Eutelsat’s Konnect Satellite Ready for Launch

Eutelsat’s Konnect satellite ready for launch

14 January 2020 | Jason McGee-Abe

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Eutelsat’s Konnect satellite, which will provide broadband services for Europe and Africa, has entered its final phase ahead of its 16 January launch.

The Konnect satellite, which was built by Thales Alenia Space for Eutelsat, is part of a European Space Agency (ESA) partnership project to help to deliver competitive satellites for the commercial telecommunications market.

The new Spacebus Neo product line has been developed in the frame of the French Programme d’Investissement d’Avenir (PIA) and ESA's Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) programme, in cooperation with space agencies from ESA member states, and is managed jointly by ESA and CNES.

The satellite was successfully delivered to the Kourou launch site in French Guiana, an ESA statement disclosed, and all tests and inspections have been completed by on-site teams, confirming that sub-systems are flight ready.

“The satellite was placed on the upper position of the secondary payload adapter and then within the fairing. These assembled parts have now been fitted on top of the launcher, during the last major step of the mechanical integration of the Ariane 5 rocket,” the statement added. The satellite launch represents the first Ariane launch of 2020.

After the launch of Konnect, the Spacebus Neo programme will continue to introduce further innovative technologies to the next satellites to be launched.

So far Thales Alenia Space has sold seven Spacebus Neo satellites. The next six missions will be:

  • The French government’s Syracuse-4; SES-17;
  • Another two Eutelsat missions called Konnect Very High Throughput Satellite and Eutelsat 10B, which will provide connectivity services for aviation and maritime transport;
  • Satria, which will be operated by the Indonesian operator Pasifik Satelit Nusantara; and
  • Amazonas Nexus for Hispasat, a Spanish operator, which will deliver high-capacity mobility services for aviation and maritime transport.

The Neosat programme comprises both Spacebus Neo by Thales Alenia Space and Eurostar Neo by Airbus. It includes development and in-orbit validation of the new satellite product lines for both companies, allowing the two European satellite prime integrators to deliver competitive satellites for the commercial market.

In other news, Eutelsat recently entered a multi-year contract with Orao Telecom Congo for video capacity on one of its satellites and is planning to launch 25 nano satellites in a partnership with wireless company Sigfox to serve internet of things (IoT) applications.