The Florida Today article On second flight, SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to launch 'brute' of a satellite from Cape describes the upcoming SpaceX launch of SES-12. Next to this tiny image of (presumably) SES-12 is the caption:

enter image description here

SES-12 is the largest and most powerful all-electric propulsion communications satellite ever produced, according to manufacturer Airbus Defense and Space. The satellite's launch from Cape Canaveral on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is targeted for 12:29 a.m. Friday, June 1.

The main text of the article also says:

According to Airbus, the satellite is the biggest and most powerful yet to rely entirely on electric propulsion to reach and hold its final orbit high over the equator.

Question: Are they talking about the power output of the solar array, or total RF power transmitted, or power used for the all-electric propulsion, or even the total thrust available ("powerful thrusters")?

Related (though not all-electric propulsion): ViaSat's 18 kW solar array - largest ever for a commercial telecom satellite?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ airbus.com/space/telecommunications-satellites/… $\endgroup$
    – BowlOfRed
    May 31, 2018 at 6:38
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ While it may be the most powerful all-electric-propulsion sat by solar array output or by transmission power, the text is almost certainly referring to power measured by marketing budget. $\endgroup$ May 31, 2018 at 6:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ ses.com/newsroom/ses-12-elevating-experiences-today " payload of 6 wide beams and 72 high throughput user spot beams". 72 is huge number.. $\endgroup$
    – Heopps
    May 31, 2018 at 6:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think the main rival is Vaisat-1 satellite (launched in 2011). It also have 72 Ka-band spot beams, and 140 Gbit/s total capacity. $\endgroup$
    – Heopps
    May 31, 2018 at 7:38
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Hard to tell for this particular claim, but in general when talking about GEO satellite power, it refers to total RF power transmitted. $\endgroup$
    – Carlos N
    Feb 26, 2019 at 23:20


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.