8 December 2014 – An innovative small geostationary satellite platform from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd has been selected for the first “Eutelsat Quantum” class telecommunications spacecraft, due to launch in 2018.
The “Eutelsat Quantum” will be SSTL’s first geostationary satellite platform and the design is based on the SSTL GMP-T satellite product, a small and scaleable geostationary craft with a design life of 15 years, payload power of up to 7 KW, and payload mass of up to 450kg. The spacecraft is designed to be accommodated on a range of launch vehicles, including Ariane 5, Falcon 9, and Zenit.
Funding for the new platform and payload was approved at the ESA Joint Ministerial meeting last week, and will cover the development of both the platform and the payload, both of which are highly innovative. The prime contractor for the new spacecraft will be Airbus Defence and Space in Portsmouth, who will also be responsible for the payload.
Sir Martin Sweeting, Chairman and CEO of SSTL commented “We are delighted to be teaming with Eutelsat, ESA and Airbus Defence and Space in the development of this highly innovative, flexible satellite solution. Not only is this an exciting mission and application, it is a milestone for SSTL providing an anchor customer for the transfer variant of our Geostationary Minisatellite Platform (GMP-T).”
The new spacecraft design will represent a first in the commercial satellite industry, by enabling the complete electronic synthesis of “receive” and “transmit” coverages in the Ku-band. It will give Eutelsat’s customers access to premium capacity through footprint shaping and steering, power and frequency band pairing, and the ability to define their own performance and flexibility requirements.
Greg Clark, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities said “Satellite telecommunications is big business for the UK, allowing us to use our technological expertise to develop new types of satellite services that bring substantial social and economic benefits to the country.
By investing in cutting-edge projects like Eutlesat’s Quantum-class satellite, we can advance the UK space industry’s share of the rapidly expanding market for space technology and apps, ensuring the UK is on track to meet its ambitious target of achieving 10% of the global space sector by 2030.”