The Teledesic system will provide global communication links via a constellation of 288 LEO spacecraft. The system will provide "fibre-optic like" links to customers around the world. The system will act as a network operator and will support communications ranging from high-quality voice channels to broadband channels supporting video-conferencing, interactive multimedia and real-time two-way digital data flow. Teledesic is backed by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Craig McCaw, founder of McCaw Cellular Communications Inc. The system will use Ka-band to send and receive signals from users. Each satellite acts as a node in a large-scale packet-switching network. Service is planned to begin in 2002. Total cost of the project is estimated at $9 billion. Spacecraft: 3-axis stabilised. Large solar panel is articulated to remain sun pointing. Designed to be compatible with over 20 different launch vehicles to permit launch option flexibility. Payload: The antenna footprint for each satellite is about 700 km. Large deployed phased array antenna.
Announced by Gates/McCaw on March 21 1994. Cost $ 9 billion for 840 Ka band low earth orbit satellites. Revised April 29 1997 to 12 planes x 24 satellites - $ 9 billion for 288 units. Boeing awarded satellite contract April 30 1997.
Design Life: 10 years.
Cost was estimated at $ 9 billion for 840 Ka band low earth orbit satellites.
The constellation was revised to 12 planes x 24 satellites - $ 9 billion for 288 units. Boeing awarded satellite contract April 30 1997.