THOR 7 is scheduled to launch towards the end of 2013 from Arianespace Space Centre based in French Guiana. Taking the helm of the THOR 7 satellite programme is Oddveig Tretterud, one of several leading ladies in Telenor's satellite business.
With less than 24 months until the launch of its latest satellite, THOR 7, Telenor Satellite Broadcasting (TSBc) has just stepped up a gear and is working full throttle to ensure that the programme remains on schedule. Leading the programme is Oddveig Tretterud:
“THOR 7 is making good progress and is now within the design stages before proceeding to construction and testing later this year. Every day counts to ensure the programme remains on schedule,” says Oddveig on the phone from California. Two engineers from TSBc’s Space Systems department have re-located from Fornebu, Norway to the THOR 7 field office based at the headquarters of satellite manufacturer Space Systems Loral in Palo Alto, USA.
Increased communication via satellite
In a fast changing communications environment, satellites continue to play an important role in the distribution of digital content. Satellites are first class platforms for bandwidth hungry TV applications including HDTV, 3DTV, mobile TV, pay per view and in the future – Ultra HD (also known as Super hi -Vision), providing the same TV viewing experience in your home as you would experience in an IMAX cinema. Furthermore with growing consumer demands for broadband – satellites have a central position in delivering broadband services, regardless of location, whether on land in remote regions such as the South Pole, at sea or even up in the air.
Telenor Satellite Broadcasting is well positioned to capture this growth and already operates from an established hotspot orbital location, 1°West, reaching over 17 million TV households and offering a stronghold position for maritime services throughout Northern Europe.
“THOR 7 is a significant investment for Telenor and will provide Telenor Satellite Broadcasting with the satellite capacity required to support increasing broadcast and broadband demands for digital services, anywhere and at anytime,” explains Oddveig. “Internet and video traffic is increasing by the day – satellite as part of a hybrid solution allows broadcast and broadband operators to offer consumers easy access to content with the best video quality regardless of the type of device, wherever and whenever. For broadband communications, the need for the same access to digital applications at remote locations at sea or even in the air has marked an increase in the need for satellite technologies,” adds Oddveig.
Realizing her love of space
Over the past few years, TSBc has been involved in two major satellite programmes, both of which have proved commercially successful and have provided necessary satellite capacity for the distribution of broadband and broadcast services throughout Europe. Oddveig was field manager for both the THOR 5 and THOR 6 programmes based respectively in Washington DC, USA and Cannes, France. Her love of space sparked at an early age and she recalls fondly the lasting impression of the historic moon landing – an event that captured her interest and lead to Oddveig studying engineering.
“When I graduated, I looked for a position where I could learn more about space and satellites. The closest I found at the time was working with satellite communication systems, which I really enjoyed. Whilst in this job, I came across an opportunity to work as an intern at the field office of the Intelsat 6 program. That was the start of a career that has and continues to provide me with much motivation and enthusiasm.”
When it comes to leading women within the satellite team, Oddveig is certainly not alone. Kjersti Hamborgstrøm, Head of our Spectrum management department, is responsible for frequency coordination and satellite capacity management and also holds the position as president of NIFRO (Norwegian Industrial Forum for Space Activities). Among many merits, she also led the team that secured the right frequencies in orbital position 4°West, which allows TSBc to fully exploit the remaining commercial life of Thor III.
“Kjersti has also played a key role in making it possible to use the Ka-band on our new satellite, which means we will be able to provide faster and more cost-efficient broadband through THOR 7,” says Oddveig, visibly proud of her colleague.
Oddveig also works closely with space scientist Lene Marthinsen, who is responsible for the launch and insurance procurements for THOR 7. Lene studied space physics and has been involved in the selection and project management of the previous launch vehicles for THOR 5 and THOR 6.
For Oddveig, the most exciting part of the project is the launch campaign.
“The launch campaign is the highlight of the project. This represents the final stage of almost four years of hard work for all parties of the project, and it is truly spectacular to be a part of the launch,” says Oddveig. “I feel incredibly lucky to have been part of the two last satellites launched by TSBc, and I’m looking forward to send this project off to space too!”