Eutelsat HotBird 13F in orbital test mode
March 28, 2023
By Chris Forrester
Eutelsat’s important HotBird 13F satellite, launched back in October 2022, is now in orbit. It has taken the past few months since its SpaceX launch to steadily raise its orbital height using its on-board electrical propulsion. Prime contractor for the satellite was Airbus and Eutelsat is using the Airbus/ESA Eurostar Neo platform.
Currently HotBird 13F is being tested and is expected to come into service during Q2 of this year.
But 13F is not alone. It has a sister satellite, HotBird 13G, which was launched on November 3rd 2022 and will eventually be collocated with 13F at the HotBird orbital position of 13 degrees East. These two satellites will replace three existing Eutelsat craft (13B, 13C and 13E, which will then be free to be moved to other locations).
The pair will also extend Eutelsat’s overall footprint and their on-board – and much improved technology – will mean the new satellites are much more resilient as far as signal jamming is concerned.
The two have improved footprints which will extend over the whole of Europe and the Middle East, and parts of Africa and Asia.