Airbus has been selected by Eutelsat to build two new-generation Hotbird telecommunication satellites. Eutelsat becomes the launch customer for the Eurostar Neo.
Airbus has been selected by Eutelsat to build two new-generation Hotbird telecommunication satellites to replace the current spacecraft and enhance capacity at Eutelsat’s broadcasting position 13° East. Eutelsat becomes the launch customer for Eurostar Neo.
The two satellites will ensure full service continuity over the operational 102 Ku-band transponders/frequencies, secure deployment and capacity redundancy at the Hotbird position. The Hotbird fleet forms one of the largest broadcasting systems in Europe, broadcasting 1,000 television channels to more than 135 million homes in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
The new spacecraft will be based on the Eurostar Neo platform, the latest addition to the Eurostar series. Eurostar Neo is designed to combine increased payload capacity and more efficient power and thermal control systems with reduced production time and optimized costs.
The satellites combine electric power of 22kW with a launch mass of only 4,500kg, thanks to the EOR (Electric Orbit Raising) version of the Eurostar Neo platform.
Due for launch in 2021, they will be the 9th and 10th high-power all-electric Eurostar satellites, harnessing multiple electric propulsion thrusters for faster orbit raising and on-station manoeuvres.
The development of Airbus’ Eurostar Neo platform has been supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) and space agencies across Europe in the framework of the ARTES-14 programme line led by ESA and CNES, and strongly supported by the UK Space Agency.