Airbus : the first satellite high-power all-electric EUTELSAT 172B, has been launched by Ari…

The use of electric propulsion for the update post and the orbital manoeuvres leads to a reduction of considerable weight for this type of mission

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The technology of payload innovative will adjust to the demand of the power allocated to each beam to provide Internet access to aircraft flying over the Pacific

Kourou, 02/06/2017 – EUTELSAT 172B, the first telecommunications satellite, high-power all-electric in the world, built by Airbus to Eutelsat, satellite operator and leader on the world market, was successfully launched by an Ariane 5depuis Kourou, in French Guiana. This satellite will provide telecommunications and tv broadcasting improved, as well as services of high-speed flight in the Asia-Pacific region.

“We are the first company to use the propulsion power for satellites of this size and this capacity,” said Nicolas Chamussy, head of Space Systems within Airbus. “With this satellite we clearly identify a new reference for the launch of satellites and a powerful, complex with reduced costs”.

EUTELSAT 172B will have an electrical power of 13 kW for a mass at launch of only 3 500 kg, thanks to the latest version EOR (Electric Orbit Raising) of the ultra-reliable Eurostar E3000 Airbus.

The electric propulsion is used both for the update post that for all orbital manoeuvres, based on the ejection at high velocity of xenon gas through the electrical energy supplied by the solar panels, eliminating the need for operators to ship tons of propellant, decreasing the mass of the satellite up to 40%. Customers can choose to significantly reduce the launch costs, or significantly increase the power for a given mass. In addition, the Hall effect technology used by Airbus allows a transfer to the operating orbit much faster than with other electric propulsion technologies.

The satellite is equipped with two robotic arms that are deployable to guide its trolling motors to control the direction of the thrust and attitude according to the different phases of the mission. Developed by Airbus, the global network of ground stations WALIS (Wide-Angle Localization Integrated System) also allows the engineers in the control centre in Toulouse ordering the update operations position until the satellite reaches its position on the geostationary orbit.

The development of satellites, all-electric Eurostar Airbus is supported by ESA and the space agencies of the european States, in particular the CNES in France in the framework of the Investment Plan for the Future, and the space agency of the uk.

EUTELSAT 172B carries three payloads distinct that will enhance the capacity of Eutelsat on the markets of Asia-Pacific : a payload C-band, payload conventional Ku-band and a payload of multibeam specially designed for connectivity to edge in the air corridors, located above the Pacific.

To this effect, the payload of the satellite is equipped with an amplifier to multiple ports (MPA), which allows to optimize the Internet access to aircraft flying over the Pacific. The flexibility of the MPA allows to adapt the power of each of the eleven beams as a function of the demand by area, in order to provide a better service to passengers.

Technology MPA has been developed by Airbus in the framework of the programme ARTES (Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems) of the ESA, and supported by the space Agency of the uk.

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is also being used to perform the various elements of the satellite. A mounting bracket antenna printed on a single holding is 35% lighter and faster to produce than the complex component that it replaces.

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