Airbus Defence and Space, the world leader in communications satellites, will be showcasing its full range of products and services at the Satellite 2017 in Washington DC at booth 401, Exhibit Hall.
Airbus provides global and regional operators with tailored solutions for a full range of missions, from fixed services and broadcast to mobile and broadband applications. The company has a total satellite communications system capability in-house, from spacecraft and payload design, manufacture, test, launch and operations, to the complete communications system infrastructure. With over 50 years of industrial experience, Airbus has been prime contractor for 105 GEO communications satellites. The company’s communications satellites have together accumulated more than 900 years of successful in-orbit operations. Today, satellites designed and built by Airbus are the benchmark for in-orbit reliability.
Airbus Defence and Space boasts an impressive heritage in the design and manufacture of communications satellites for both civil and military applications, covering the whole frequency spectrum from UHF and L-band to Ka-band and EHF. Airbus’s leadership in this field includes innovations such as the first commercial satellite to use Ku-band solid state power amplifiers (SSPAs), the world’s first multi-spot mobile communications payload, the first real-time high date-rate optical communication link between in-orbit satellites, the first high throughput satellite (HTS) providing high-speed internet access across Europe, the first ultra-flexible processed payload and the record satellite mission capacity with more than 150 high power amplifiers.
Airbus developed payloads deliver high communications performance and large capacity at an efficient in-orbit capacity cost. They are also designed to offer a maximum level of flexibility and reconfigurability throughout the mission lifetime, to adapt to market developments or for fleet management purposes. Airbus Defence and Space has developed leading-edge technologies and solutions in this field, such as integrated RF technologies, digital signal processing and active antennas for reconfigurable coverage, multiple spot-beam technology and high precision antenna tracking systems.
In 2016 Airbus won five telecommunication satellite contracts and holds 26 percent of the global market share. The company is the only supplier for the top seven commercial telecommunication operators. For 2017 the company expects at least four launches of its telecommunication satellites including the first high-powered all-electric satellite EUTELSAT 172B, built in record time.
SKY Brasil-1, a telecommunications satellite made by Airbus Defence and Space for AT&T/DIRECTV, was successfully launched on 15 February 2017 from the space centre at Kourou, French Guiana, on an Ariane 5 rocket. SKY Brasil-1 is the 44th Eurostar E3000-based spacecraft built by Airbus and the second for DIRECTV. The spacecraft had a mass at launch of 6000 kg and spacecraft power of 16 kW. SKY Brasil-1 is 7.5m high and has a wing span 45m when the two solar arrays are deployed in orbit. SKY Brasil-1 has a double propulsion system: chemical for initial orbit raising and electric for station keeping. It has been designed with a nominal lifetime of 15 years, and carries enough fuel for more than 20 years of in-orbit manoeuvring.
SES-10, the 10th Eurostar satellite built by Airbus for Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES, has left the Airbus cleanrooms in Toulouse, France, and has been shipped to Cape Canaveral for its forthcoming launch by SpaceX. SES-10 is the 45th satellite based on the highly reliable Eurostar E3000 platform and the 10th to use electric propulsion for station-keeping. It will have a launch mass of 5,300 kg and spacecraft power of 13 kW. SES-10 will be positioned at the 67 degrees West orbital position, pursuant to an agreement between the Andean Community (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru) and SES. The satellite will provide SES with replacement and additional capacity for direct-to-home TV broadcasting, enterprise and mobility services to Central America and South America, Mexico and the Caribbean. It will carry a payload of 55 high-power Ku-band transponder equivalents. The satellite is equipped with frequency-agile remote-control receivers, increasing the flexibility of the ground control link. It is designed for a nominal in-orbit life of more than 15 years.
Construction of EUTELSAT 172B, the first high-power all-electric telecommunications satellite built in Europe, is now complete at the Airbus satellite assembly facilities in Toulouse. The satellite is now undergoing final testing before it is sent to Kourou, French Guiana, for an Ariane 5 launch scheduled in April. EUTELSAT 172B breaks new ground 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 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. EUTELSAT 172B 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:
Echostar 105, the 48th satellite to be based on Airbus Defence and Space highly reliable Eurostar E3000 platform, has successfully completed final integration and test activities. The new satellite with 24 x 36 MHz Ku-band transponders, will be positioned at the 105 degrees West orbital position, offering comprehensive coverage of the Americas, including Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, and the Caribbean. EchoStar has been providing satellite communications services to customers from this orbital position since 2006. EchoStar 105 is equipped with a payload of 24 C-band transponders. The launch of the satellite which has a mass of approximately 5,400 kg and an end of life power of approximately 12 kW is scheduled for 2017.
OneWeb Satellites has completed its industrial organization. 900 satellites are to be built for the OneWeb constellation by the Airbus-OneWeb joint venture. A pilot production line is being set up at Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, where the satellites are designed. The Toulouse facility will assemble and test the first 10 satellites, and check and validate industrial solutions for the series production. It will then be used for other derived programmes. The assembly line for the OneWeb satellites series production will be at Florida’s Exploration Par, near the Kennedy Space Center.