Eutelsat’s latest satellite, KA-SAT, has been flown to the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, ahead of its December 20 launch on board a Proton rocket.
The Astrium-built satellite weighs in at 6.1 tonnes and will form the backbone of a new European infrastructure that includes eight main gateways and two back-up gateways located across Europe and connected to the Internet by a fibre backbone ring.
Its total capacity of more than 70 Gbps makes KA-SAT one of the world’s most powerful spacecraft. In a statement, Eutelsat said Europe’s first High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) will usher in a new era of competitively-priced satellite-delivered services.
“KA-SAT’s multi-spotbeam design, use of Ka-band frequencies and proven systems deployed in North America by our technology partner, ViaSat, will transform the volume of bandwidth available through a single satellite and the scope and economics for new services,” said Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat’s CEO. “With this pan-European infrastructure complementing our Ku-band resources that will be progressively expanded and modernised with six new satellites, Eutelsat is uniquely positioned to further push back the boundaries of satellite-delivered services across the markets we serve.”
KA-SAT will have pan-European coverage and offer a platform suitable for data communications, local and regional broadcasting, IPTV and emerging video applications needing ultra high-bit rates such as HD digital cinema. It will also provide a powerful new infrastructure to support the take-up of Eutelsat’s Tooway broadband service.