EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS communications satellite successfully launched
A new-generation satellite delivering high-speed broadband and mobile connectivity to bridge the digital divide across Europe
September 8, 2022 – EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS communications satellite built by Thales Alenia Space, the joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), has been successfully launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS satellite, a very high throughput satellite built for the international operator Eutelsat, will deliver high-speed broadband and mobile connectivity across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. With a Ka-band capacity of 500 Gbps, it is the largest and most capacitive geostationary communications satellite ever built in Europe. The satellite embarks the most powerful on-board digital processor ever put in orbit, offering capacity allocation flexibility and an optimum spectrum use.
EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS is the satellite of all the superlatives: it is about 9 meters high, as tall as a three-story building, with a wingspan of more than 45 meters and a launch mass of 6,4 metric tons. With a design life exceeding 15 years, the satellite is built on a full electric Spacebus NEO platform from Thales Alenia Space and developed with the support of French and European space agency’s CNES and ESA.
This new-generation satellite, harbouring a capacity seven times that of its brother satellite EUTELSAT KONNECT launched in 2020, will help bridge the digital divide by providing very high-speed Internet access across Europe, especially in isolated regions with poor coverage. The HTS services, available on the ground, in the air and at sea, anywhere and anytime in the covered area, will be comparable to a fiber-optic network’s performance and services.
“I am very proud of the successful launch of EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS, a jewel of technology which results from our long-standing collaboration with Eutelsat,” said Hervé Derrey, President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space. “EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS embodies our vision “Space for Life”, offering people across Europe unparalleled broadband connectivity, wherever they are, meeting the objective of 100 Mbps per user. There will be no more broadband black spots!”
Illustrations: © Thales Alenia Space/Master Image Programmes - © Thales Alenia Space/Imag[IN]
ABOUT THALES ALENIA SPACE
Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of approximately 2.15 billion euros in 2021 and has around 8,900 employees in 10 countries with 17 sites in Europe and a plant in the US.
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