Press Release

Eutelsat W3B Satellite on Track for October 28 Ariane Launch

By SpaceRef Editor
October 4, 2010
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The W3B satellite of Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) was flown into French Guiana on September 30 and has been transferred to the Guiana Space Centre to be readied for launch by Arianespace on October 28. Lift-off of the Ariane 5 ECA launch vehicle is scheduled for October 28 in a launch window opening at 21.51 to 23.17 GMT (23.51 to 01.17 CET).

Built by Thales Alenia Space, and weighing in at 5.4 tonnes, Eutelsat’s new satellite will be located at 16 degrees East to renew and expand resources at a longstanding orbital position that reaches out to some of the most dynamic markets in the satellite business.

In addition to providing increased capacity for rapidly-expanding video platforms in Central Europe and Indian Ocean islands, W3B will initiate a new mission at 16 degrees East, with bandwidth and coverage for telecom operators and Internet Service Providers in Africa to meet sustained demand for enterprise networks and GSM connectivity.

Scheduled to enter service at 16degrees East in December this year, the satellite will replace Eutelsat’s EUROBIRD(TM) 16, W2M and SESAT 1 satellites which will all subsequently be redeployed to alternative positions.

W3B’s 56 transponders will be connected to four distinct footprints:

– A high-power footprint of Central Europe for Direct-to-Home broadcasting;

– A widebeam spanning Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia for professional video links and data networks;

– A high-power beam over Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands for DTH broadcasting;

– A beam sweeping across Sub-Saharan Africa and Indian Ocean islands for regional telecoms and Internet services. Interconnectivity with Europe will also be possible via a combination of Ka-band frequencies in Europe and Ku-band frequencies in Africa.

The satellite’s launch marks the latest step in Eutelsat’s far-reaching investment programme of seven satellites (W3B, KA-SAT, W3C, ATLANTIC BIRD(TM) 7, W5A, W6A, EUROBIRD(TM) 2) to be launched by early 2013 to expand, renew and secure the Group’s in-orbit resources.

W3B vital statistics

Platform: Thales Alenia Space Spacebus 4000

Height: 5.8 m
Length: 2.0 m
Width: 2.2 m
Width with solar panels deployed: 34 m
Mass at launch: 5.4 tonnes
Power at end-of-life: 12 kW
Operational life: 15 years +
Orbital position: 16 degrees East

About Eutelsat Communications

Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A.. With capacity commercialised on 26 satellites that provide coverage over the entire European continent, as well as the Middle East, Africa, India and significant parts of Asia and the Americas, Eutelsat is one of the world’s three leading satellite operators in terms of revenues. At 30 June 2010, Eutelsat’s satellites were broadcasting more than 3,600 television channels. More than 1,100 channels broadcast via its HOT BIRD(TM) video neighbourhood at 13 degrees East which serves over 120 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The Group’s satellites also serve a wide range of fixed and mobile telecommunications services, TV contribution markets, corporate networks, and broadband markets for Internet Service Providers and for transport, maritime and in-flight markets. Eutelsat’s broadband subsidiary, Skylogic, markets and operates access to high speed internet services through teleports in France and Italy that serve enterprises, local communities, government agencies and aid organisations in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Headquartered in Paris, Eutelsat and its subsidiaries employ nearly 661 commercial, technical and operational employees from 28 countries.

SpaceRef staff editor.