Eutelsat Communications has announced the deployment on a future satellite of a new generation of advanced functions designed by European industry to further raise the bar of performance, flexibility and signal security. The enhancements will fly for the first time on the Eutelsat 8 West B satellite which is due to be launched in 2015.
The new functions developed by the satellite’s prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space, with the support of the European Space Agency (ESA) and CNES are focused on delivering three key benefits:
– Mitigating the effects of interference by increasing control over uplink frequencies to a satellite;
– Increasing the number of active channels by optimising a satellite payload’s use of the electrical power generated by its solar panels;
– Expanding options for repositioning satellites with frequency agile command receivers.
Following development within the framework of ESA’s ARTES and the CNES FLIP programmes, these features are now entering the final qualification phase as part of the Atlas programme which was launched by ESA in November 2012 to stimulate the acquisition of flight heritage of innovative equipment. They will fly for the first time as first-generation components on the high-power Eutelsat 8 West B satellite designed to support the digital broadcasting market in the Middle East and North Africa. The satellite will be located at the 7/8° West video neighbourhood, one of the most dynamic in the global satellite TV market, already reaching into over 30 million homes.