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Eutelsat Quantum: overview of the main characteristics of the satellite

Ms Solloway was speaking after the launch of Eutelsat Quantum, which is supported by funding from the British Space Agency and built in Britain by Airbus at Portsmouth and Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL) at Guildford, which is the first to ‘a new generation of satellites capable of responding while in orbit in the face of changing demands on Earth. Previously, large satellites had to be configured on the ground for specific tasks that cannot be changed after launch – but Eutelsat Quantum’s coverage, bandwidth, power and frequency can all be changed in orbit.

By investing in groundbreaking international projects like this, we’re helping UK businesses turn science fiction into business advantage

Amanda Solloway

Ms Solloway, Conservative MP for Derby North, said: ‘By investing in groundbreaking international projects like this, we are helping UK businesses turn science fiction into business advantage, creating jobs, growth and business. ‘innovation.

“This revolutionary technology will allow the UK to continue to be the world leader in telecommunications satellites and further strengthen our growing space sector, which already generates £ 16.4 billion in revenue per year and supports 45,000 jobs. . “

Named after the quantum leap that the technology brings in terms of space telecommunications, the satellite could also support government broadband services in remote and rural areas, as well as monitoring critical national infrastructure, including electricity supply. water, energy and agriculture.

Eutelsat Quantum launches on an Ariane 5 rocket (Image: UK Space Agency)

Minister of Science Amanda Solloway

Science Minister Amanda Solloway speaks in the House of Commons (Image: Parliament Television)

The UK Space Agency has so far invested £ 65million in Eutelsat Quantum, through the European Space Agency, with an additional £ 170million expected from UK industry.

Users are likely to include governments, mobile communications, and data networks.

Eutelsat Quantum will provide extensive coverage of the Middle East and North Africa region, spanning Europe, Africa and Central Asia.

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Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson will be boosted by the launch (Image: GETTY)

In the future, all satellites are likely to be reconfigurable, making space more accessible, sustainable and contributing to the growth of the industry.

Elodie Viau, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at ESA, said: “I am proud to witness the successful launch of Eutelsat Quantum, which is the result of a partnership project with ESA.

“ESA fosters innovation in the space industry in the UK and across Europe, enabling it to succeed in highly competitive global telecommunications markets.

“Investing in space creates jobs and prosperity on Earth. “

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Eutelsat’s KONNECT satellite is manufactured in Cannes (Image: GETTY)


Engineers working on Eutelsat’s KONNECT satellite in 2019 (Image: GETTY)

The launch, which was delayed in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, took place last Friday on an Ariane 5 launcher.

Eutelsat Quantum’s final geostationary position is approximately 22,000 miles above Earth, and commissioning is scheduled for October.

Weighing 3.5 tonnes, it is the size of a delivery van and was developed as part of an ESA partnership project with French operator Eutelsat, satellite manufacturers Airbus and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd .

The payload was built in Portsmouth, the platform was built in Guildford, and the active receiving antenna was built in Madrid.

British space industry

Factsheet on the UK space industry (Image: Express)

The three gathered at the Airbus satellite test facility in Toulouse in southern France before being shipped to the launch site.

Richard Franklin, Managing Director of Airbus Defense and Space in the UK, said: “The revolutionary technology we have designed and manufactured here in the UK for Eutelsat Quantum confirms our position as the world leader in advanced satellite payloads. .

“Last year, Airbus obtained 40% of the geotelecoms market, against 25% on average, and Eutelsat Quantum is a brick of this success story, which directly led to the development of our last reprogrammable OneSat satellite.

“Eutelsat Quantum demonstrates the value of partnering with space agencies to bring the latest technologies to market faster to provide enhanced services to customers and users around the world. “

Airbus Defense and Space

Airbus Defense and Space researchers work at Eutelsat 172B presentation in 2017 (Image: GETTY)

Ben Stocker, SSTL Project Director added: “The Eutelsat Quantum program presented many challenges to SSTL to overcome when developing the satellite system design, mechanical design, propulsion system and key subsystems. within the satellite platform.

“The skills and knowledge gained from successfully overcoming these challenges has enabled us to refine our engineering approach, particularly for markets and applications where system reliability and availability are key requirements, and, with the continued support from the UK Space Agency and ESA has put us in a very strong position to carry out our exciting future exploration missions. “

Around 1,000 people worked on the project across Europe, including over 500 Airbus employees in Portsmouth and Stevenage, including payload design engineers, software engineers, spacecraft assembly teams, design office teams, payload manufacturing teams and supply chain specialists.

Future sales of technologies developed under the program are expected to create more jobs.

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