Press Release

Eutelsat Drives Programme to Raise Performance, Operational Flexibility and Signal Security on Future Satellites

By SpaceRef Editor
January 15, 2013
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EUTELSAT 8 West B first satellite selected to host advanced functions

Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) today 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[1] 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.

Mitigating interference

This function involves embarking new-generation frequency converters behind the satellite’s receive antennas. This will put Eutelsat in the unique position to be able to change the frequency of an uplink signal without any impact on the downlink frequency received by user terminals, marking a major breakthrough in the bid for continuity of service for broadcast signals jammed by rogue uplink signals.

Optimising distribution of electrical power

1. Flexible Payloads

This technology involves embarking a new generation of equipment in the payload’s high power amplification system so that the electrical power used by a channel can be set according to its actual requirement at a given frequency. As the number of channels that can be operated simultaneously is directly linked to the amount of energy produced by solar panels, this innovation brings with it the potential to increase active channels.

More flexible fleet deployment options

This innovation uses a new generation of command receivers that can be set to multiple options, giving enhanced operational flexibility for relocating a satellite from the original position for which it was designed to a new position. It will also improve coordination with other operators when a satellite moves from one position to another.

About Eutelsat Communications

Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A. With capacity commercialised on 30 satellites that provide coverage across Europe, as well as the Middle East, Africa and significant parts of Asia and the Americas, Eutelsat is one of the world’s three leading satellite operators. As of 30 September 2012 Eutelsat’s satellites were broadcasting more than 4,400 television channels to over 200 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Group’s satellites also provide a wide range of services for TV contribution, corporate networks and fixed and mobile broadband markets. Eutelsat’s Headquartered in Paris, Eutelsat and its subsidiaries employ just over 750 commercial, technical and operational professionals. This culturally diverse staff comprises employees from 30 countries.

SpaceRef staff editor.