Europe’s first ‘all electric’ satellite ready for launch
January 24, 2017
By Chris Forrester
Toulouse, France-based Airbus Defence & Space is completing work on Eutelsat’s 172B satellite, which it says is Europe’s first-ever high-power all-electric satellite to be built in Europe. It will shortly be shipped to Kourou in French Guiana for launch in April.
Eutelsat 172B breaks new ground for Europe as the first high-power satellite in the 3 tonne class. The satellite combines electric power of 13 kW with a launch weight of only 3,500 kg. This highly innovative satellite will host three distinct payloads that will strengthen Eutelsat’s capability to serving Asia-Pacific markets: a C-band payload, a regular Ku-band payload and a high throughput payload specifically designed for in-flight connectivity along Pacific air corridors.
The satellite is based on the highly reliable Eurostar E3000 platform from Airbus Defence and Space, in its latest EOR (Electric Orbit Raising) evolution. This version relies exclusively on electric propulsion for initial orbit raising and all on-station manoeuvres, with the consequent reduction in mass enabling the satellite to be launched in the Ariane 5 lower position, resulting in lower launch costs.