Communications satellites are set to enter a new age following agreements signed today between Eutelsat Communications (Paris:ETL), ESA, and Airbus Defence and Space for the first ‘Eutelsat Quantum’ software-driven satellite.

‘Eutelsat Quantum’ will usher in a new era of commercial satellite service by enabling users in government, mobility and data markets to actively define and shape the performance and reach they need from a satellite. Using a software-based design, it will be the first universal satellite to repeatedly adjust to business requirements and to be able to operate in any geographic region in the world. With a new payload, use of proven technology and software control, the Eutelsat Quantum class of satellites will also accelerate time-to-market.

The development of the core technologies integrated into Eutelsat Quantum will be supported by ESA and the UK Space Agency within the framework of a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) signed today by ESA, Eutelsat and Airbus Defence and Space on the occasion of the inauguration of ESA’s new centre in the UK. Eutelsat today also signed the contract for the first satellite with Airbus Defence and Space (ADS) in the UK using a new platform to be built by its affiliate, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL). The first satellite will be delivered in 2018.

Michel de Rosen, Chairman and CEO of Eutelsat said: “Eutelsat Quantum is the first of a new generation of satellite that has agility, adaptability, responsiveness and performance at its core. It is the culmination of many years of research and evaluation driven by Eutelsat, and marks a new age of maturity for the commercial satellite business. We are proud to be spearheading this initiative in partnership with ESA and Airbus Defence and Space with the support of the UK Space Agency.”

Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson said: “Space is a great British success story and this partnership between Airbus and Eutelsat to build cutting-edge telecommunications satellites here in the UK is testament to that. Our investment in collaborative space science means the UK has the know-how and technical expertise to provide exciting and innovative space solutions that will drive growth and create jobs.”

Magali Vaissiere, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications of ESA said: “This new programme is an excellent PPP example of a win-win scenario. Industry benefits from a new type of satellite in a highly competitive and risk-averse market, the satellite operator benefits from the satellite’s advanced features and the ESA Member States who invested are ensured maximum return on their support through the development of their respective industry.”

“Eutelsat Quantum is the first satellite that can be fully reconfigured in orbit,” said François Auque, Head of Space Systems (Airbus Defence and Space). “With this satellite, Airbus Defence and Space will deliver yet another innovation for Eutelsat, marking a breakthrough in telecommunications satellites and following electric propulsion with EUTELSAT 172B and broadband access with KA-SAT.”

Eutelsat Quantum's in-orbit reprogrammable features will set a new standard in flexibility and will principally address markets that are highly changeable and mobile.

For communications on the move, it will offer dynamic beam shaping and vessel-tracking capabilities that can be optimised for power and throughput as required by maritime, aeronautical and land-based transportation.

  • For data networks, it will support bespoke design of wide-area networks and dynamic traffic shaping, responding to demand where and when needed.
  • For government users, it will provide rapid response for public protection and disaster recovery as well as secure control using the latest encryption technology.
  • For more about Eutelsat please visit www.eutelsat.com

For more about Eutelsat please visit www.eutelsat.com 

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