UK HDTV deal with ESA – GOES-N change

by Chris Bergin

The Avanti Screenmedia Group PLC (Avanti) have announced 120 million Euro deal with the European Space Agency (ESA) and EADS Astrium Limited for the construction and launch of the HYLAS (Highly Flexible Satellite) communication satellite.

Set to be launched in late 2008, the spacecraft will aim to complete full HDTV and broadband internet coverage for outstanding areas of Europe.

The hybrid Ka Band/Ku Band satellite is expected to be launched alongside another payload on an Ariane 5 ECA launch vehicle in around October 2008 – with ESA picking up 34 million Euros of the total cost, covering ‘development of the most innovative elements of this new system’ – although the agency’s contribution nearly matches the cost of the actual launch.
‘HYLAS will play an important role in demonstrating the advanced technological capabilities of European space companies which are truly competitive on a global scale,’ said Giuseppe Viriglio, Director of European Union and Industry Programmes for ESA. 
Order Now - Countdown Creations‘It also makes significant progress in solving the social problem of poor broadband coverage in many parts of Europe and serves as a  template for future large scale projects ‘.

With a launch mass of around 2100kg and beginning-of-life power of 3.5KW, HYLAS is a moderately sized satellite that allows the scalable introduction of  new enhanced services with limited technical and financial risk. 

“This contract for the first Generic Flexible Payload represents a tremendous endorsement of our research and development programme,” said  EADS Astrium UK Managing Director Colin Paynter. 

“The payload combined with the next Generation Antenna will give satellite operators revolutionary flexibility for bandwidth and channel assignment and enabling them to tailor capacity to meet changing demand.”

The traffic handling capacity of the Broadband HYLAS payload ranges from 150,000 to 300,000 simultaneous users. By using high-gain Ka Band spot beams, it is possible to provide up to eight simultaneously active spots, a capacity equivalent to more than 40 conventional 33 MHz transponders.

In addition, the implementation of a novel type of payload based on the combined use of  EADS Astrium Limited General Flexible Payload technology and TSAT Flexible Travelling Wave Tubes will allow the optimisation of the assignment of satellite resources (power and spectrum) to each spot as a function of their respective traffic demand.

Furthermore, two flexible Ku Band transponders will allow the distribution and broadcast of a range of HDTV programmes for Avanti Screenmedia customers over the largest part of the European continent.

Avanti’s intended ground segment will be based on ESA-supported standards known as the DVB family (DVB S-S2/DVB RCS).  The launch of HYLAS is currently planned for an orbital position of  3.5 degrees West. Its expected lifetime is 15 years.

David Williams, Chief Executive of Avanti added: “This is a marvellous example of what can be achieved when government, industry and the City co-operate. HYLAS is a ground breaking project for the European space industry, driving forward technology and services.”

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Meanwhile, the launch of the GOES-N satellite has been pushed back to a NET (No Earlier Than) launch date of May 24.

GOES-N – which will provide a constant vigil for the atmospheric ‘triggers’ for severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, flash floods, hail storms, and hurricanes, will be launched on a Delta IV launch vehicle.


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