Eutelsat has talked about a new class of satellite for some months, but it seems an official order is now imminent. Dubbed Eutelsat Quantum, this new breed of satellite is a software defined craft that permits its clients to “actively define the performance and flexibility they need from a satellite”.
Eutelsat has been developing its thinking with help from the European Space Agency, as well as satellite builder Airbus Defense & Space’s UK facility as well as the UK’s Surrey Satellite Technology.
Last December, Eutelsat said it hoped to launch the first new craft with this configuration in 2018.
Eutelsat says the new concept will represent a ‘first’ in the commercial satellite industry by enabling the complete electronic synthesis of ‘receive’ and ‘transmit’ coverages in the Ku-band, including extremely important on-board jamming detection and mitigation. It will give customers access to premium capacity through footprint shaping and steering, power (Mb/s) and frequency band pairing that they will be able to actively define.
By adapting dynamically to all frequency bands in each ITU region, the
‘Eutelsat Quantum’ class satellite will also be the first generation of universal satellites able to serve any region of the world. This ability to mirror or complement another satellite anywhere in geostationary orbit will offer a level of flexibility that will transform fleet management and enable a significantly more efficient use of resources.
Michel de Rosen, Chairman and CEO of Eutelsat, speaking last December, said: “We are delighted to initiate this ground-breaking programme with the support of ESA, as well as our long-standing partner, Airbus Defense and Space. Developing solutions that give our customers control over the performance and adaptability they need from our satellites is a key ambition for Eutelsat. With the “Eutelsat Quantum”’ class of satellite we will deliver on this goal, offering an incomparable level of efficiency and flexibility in data, mobility and government services markets.”