Airbus Group‘s defense and space division will design and produce an electric telecommunications satellite for satellite operator Eutelsat as they prepare for its launch in early 2017.
EUTELSAT 172B would be the first European satellite to use electric propulsion in performing orbit-raising and on-orbit maneuvers, Airbus said Thursday.
According to François Auque, head of space systems at Airbus Defence and Space, the contract is expected to boost the company’s position in the global electric satellite market.
Airbus said the satellite is based on Airbus’ Eurostar E3000 platform and will be built with a weight of 3,500 kilograms and 13 kilowatt power.
It will also carry the following payloads:
- 14 physical C-band transponders for coverage in Southeast Asia;
- 36 physical regular Ku-band transponders for coverage in north Pacific, northeast Asia, southeast Pacific, southwest Pacific and south Pacific;
- High-throughput Ku-band payload for in-flight broadband coverage along Asian and trans-Pacific flight paths.