Reprogrammable satellite is ready for launch

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26/07/2021
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A European telecommunications satellite that can be completely repurposed while in orbit has been placed on board a rocket ready for launch on 30 July.

Developed under an ESA Partnership Project with satellite operator Eutelsat and prime manufacturer Airbus, Eutelsat Quantum is the first commercial fully flexible software-defined satellite in the world.

Because it can be reprogrammed in orbit, it can respond to changing demands for data transmission and secure communications during its 15-year lifetime.

Its beams can be redirected to move in almost real time to provide information to passengers on board moving ships or planes. The beams also can be easily adjusted to deliver more data when demand surges.

The satellite can detect and characterise any rogue emissions, enabling it to respond dynamically to accidental interference or intentional jamming.

Eutelsat Quantum is the outcome of an ESA Partnership Project. It is a UK flagship project with most of the satellite developed and manufactured by British industry. Airbus was the prime contractor and was responsible for manufacturing the satellite’s payload, while Surry Satellite Technology Ltd manufactured the new platform.

The satellite will be launched on board an Ariane 5 rocket operated by Arianespace from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

ESA Partnership Projects develop sustainable end-to-end systems, right up to in-orbit validation.

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