Headlines > News > EADS Astrium completes construction of Hot Bird 8 satellite for Eutelsat

EADS Astrium completes construction of Hot Bird 8 satellite for Eutelsat

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Sat Feb 4, 2006 1:18 am
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EADS Astrium has finished construction of the Hot Bird 8 broadcast satellite. The satellite has successfully completed an extensive series of environmental and performance trials. The final customer review took place on 25 January, ending the construction phase precisely on schedule. Hot Bird 8 is the most powerful satellite ever ordered to serve Europe.

The satellite will shortly leave Toulouse for Baikonur, where it will be launched. In its orbital position at 13 degrees east, it will join Eutelsat’s Hot Bird system of satellites in transmitting television, radio and interactive services to an audience of over 100 million households equipped for direct satellite or cable reception in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Designed to cover all the frequencies of the 102 transponders positioned at 13 degrees east, Hot Bird 8 could substitute for any of the other satellites at this location.

Hot Bird 8 is equipped with 64 transponders that can be operated simultaneously, 58 of which will operate at full power for most of the satellite’s lifetime. This capacity is almost three times that of the previous-generation Hot Bird satellites. The satellite will operate with a payload capacity in excess of 11 kW for most of its planned 15-year service life in orbit, which makes it the most powerful satellite ever built in Europe and the most powerful satellite ever ordered by a European operator.

As prime contractor for Hot Bird 8, EADS Astrium designed and built the satellite, including the Ku-band payload and the platform. The satellite is a Eurostar E3000 model equipped with a two-level communication module, an all-chemical propulsion system and lithium-ion batteries. It will have a launch weight of almost 5 metric tons. The solar panels, spanning 39 metres once unfolded in orbit, will provide more than 14 kW of electric power.

To date 41 Eurostar satellites have been ordered, 29 of which have already been launched. Six Eurostar E3000s are currently operating in orbit, while eight more are currently in production.

EADS Astrium is Europe’s leading satellite system specialist. Its activities cover complete civil and military telecommunications and Earth observation systems, science and navigation programmes, and all spacecraft avionics and equipment.
EADS Astrium is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS SPACE, which is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems. In 2004 EADS SPACE had a turnover of €2.6 billion and 11,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain.

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2004, EADS generated revenues of €31.8 billion and employed a workforce of more than 110,000.

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