An innovative small geostationary satellite platform from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd has been selected for the first “Eutelsat Quantum” class telecommunications spacecraft, due to launch in 2018.
The “Eutelsat Quantum” will be SSTL’s first geostationary satellite platform and the design is based on the SSTL GMP-T satellite product, a small and scaleable geostationary craft with a design life of 15 years, payload power of up to 7 KW, and payload mass of up to 450kg. The spacecraft is designed to be accommodated on a range of launch vehicles, including Ariane 5, Falcon 9, and Zenit.
Funding for the new platform and payload was approved at the ESA Joint Ministerial meeting last week, and will cover the development of both the platform and the payload, both of which are highly innovative. The prime contractor for the new spacecraft will be Airbus Defence and Space in Portsmouth, who will also be responsible for the payload.
Sir Martin Sweeting, Chairman and CEO of SSTL commented "We are delighted to be teaming with Eutelsat, ESA and Airbus Defence and Space in the development of this highly innovative, flexible satellite solution. Not only is this an exciting mission and application, it is a milestone for SSTL providing an anchor customer for the transfer variant of our Geostationary Minisatellite Platform (GMP-T)."
The new spacecraft design will represent a first in the commercial satellite industry, by enabling the complete electronic synthesis of “receive” and “transmit” coverages in the Ku-band. It will give Eutelsat’s customers access to premium capacity through footprint shaping and steering, power and frequency band pairing, and the ability to define their own performance and flexibility requirements.
Greg Clark, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities said “Satellite telecommunications is big business for the UK, allowing us to use our technological expertise to develop new types of satellite services that bring substantial social and economic benefits to the country.
By investing in cutting-edge projects like Eutlesat’s Quantum-class satellite, we can advance the UK space industry’s share of the rapidly expanding market for space technology and apps, ensuring the UK is on track to meet its ambitious target of achieving 10% of the global space sector by 2030.”
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is the world's leading small satellite company, delivering operational space missions for a range of applications including Earth observation, science and communications. The Company designs, manufactures and operates high performance satellites and ground systems for a fraction of the price normally associated with space missions, with over 500 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments.
Since 1981, SSTL has built and launched 43 satellites – as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services, and mission studies for ESA, NASA , international governments and commercial customers, with an innovative approach that is changing the economics of space.
Headquartered in Guildford, UK, SSTL is part of the Airbus Group.
About Eutelsat Communications
Established in 1977, Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is one of the world's leading and most experienced operators of communications satellites. The company provides capacity on 35 satellites to clients that include broadcasters and broadcasting associations, pay-TV operators, video, data and Internet service providers, enterprises and government agencies. Eutelsat’s satellites provide ubiquitous coverage of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, enabling video, data, broadband and government communications to be established irrespective of a user’s location. Headquartered in Paris, with offices and teleports around the globe, Eutelsat represents a workforce of 1,000 men and women from 32 countries who are experts in their fields and work with clients to deliver the highest quality of service.
For more about Eutelsat please visit www.eutelsat.com
About ARTES funding from the European Space Agency
The TIA Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) programme enables European and Canadian industry to explore, through research and development (R&D) activities, innovative concepts to produce leading-edge satcom products and services. ARTES offers varying degrees of support to projects with different levels of operational and commercial maturity. The scope and plans for its pursuit are incorporated into the Telecommunications Long-Term Plan (TLTP), the blueprint for ESA's actions over a five-year time frame.
Businesses located within ESA member states involved in the satcom industry - whether small or large, new or experienced - can submit proposals via the various elements of the ARTES programme. Every ARTES element includes a funding framework and follows a certain criteria that must be met by satcom companies wishing to participate.
For more about ARTES funding, visit http://artes.esa.int/about-artes