Astrium Ka-band satellite order

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Satellite operator Eutelsat Communications has awarded Astrium a contract to deliver the first European multi-beam satellite to operate exclusively in the Ka-band

Satellite operator Eutelsat Communications has awarded Stevenage-based Astrium a contract to deliver the first European multi-beam satellite to operate exclusively in the Ka-band.

The satellite, whose working designation is KA-SAT, will be launched in 2010 and positioned in geostationary orbit to provide broadband and broadcast services across Europe. The new satellite would follow in the steps of the multi-beam satellites that are already providing broadband internet access, HDTV and local and regional television to rural areas in North America.

Based on the Eurostar E3000 platform developed by Astrium, KA-SAT will operate more than 80 spot beams simultaneously, which makes it the largest multi-beam Ka-band satellite ordered to date. Weighing 5.8 tonnes at launch, the spacecraft is equipped with four multi-feed deployable antennas with enhanced pointing accuracy, and will be able to operate at a payload power of more than 11kW throughout its 15-year design lifetime.

KA-SAT is the 17th satellite commissioned by Eutelsat from Astrium, and the 23rd Eurostar E3000 ordered.