Eutelsat 5 West B, a new broadcast satellite currently being developed by Eutelsat, is expected to be launched on-board Proton M launch vehicle by the end of 2018.

To be placed at 5° West longitude orbital position, the satellite will serve the video markets in Europe and North Africa. It will replace the Eutelsat 5 West A satellite, which was launched in July 2002.

The new satellite is being procured in line with the capex reduction strategy unveiled by Eutelsat in June 2016. Its operations will be managed by Eutelsat Communications.

Eutelsat 5 West B satellite development details

Orbital ATK and Airbus Defence and Space were awarded a joint contract to design, integrate and test the Eutelsat 5 West B satellite in October 2016. Orbital ATK will provide design, integration and testing of the satellite platform, while Airbus will be responsible for the development of Ku-band communications payload.

The European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) awarded a contract worth €102m ($94.99m) to Eutelsat in March 2017 for the development of the European geostationary navigation overlay service (EGNOS) GEO-3 payload, which will be fitted to the Eutelsat 5 West B.

Design details of Eutelsat 5 West B

Based on Orbital ATK’s GEOstar satellite platform, which can accommodate all types of commercial communications payloads, the satellite is designed for a lifespan of 15 years. It is being constructed and tested at the company’s sophisticated satellite manufacturing facility located in Dulles, Virginia.

The satellite will have a launch mass of 2,740kg and include two four-panel solar wings with UTJ cells. It will generate approximately 5kW of power and will include Li-ion batteries.

“The satellite will offer new digital infrastructure, business continuity and improved quality services to the broadcast markets located across France, Italy, and Algeria.”

It will have three-axis stabilisation, and will use thrusters and reaction wheels. It will be powered by liquid bi-propellant transfer orbit system and monopropellant on-orbit system.

Eutelsat 5 West B satellite’s communication payload

The satellite will be fitted with 35 equivalent 36MHz transponders, which are linked to three service areas and are switchable for improving commercial flexibility. The satellite will offer new digital infrastructure, business continuity and improved quality services to the broadcast markets located across France, Italy, and Algeria.

It will also carry EGNOS GEO-3 payload, which comprises two L-band transponders. The payload will serve as an augmentation service for the accuracy and reliability of the global positioning systems (GPS). It will also enable the deployment of the EGNOS next-generation service, EGNOS V3.

Launch vehicle for Eutelsat 5 West B satellite

Eutelsat 5 West B is compatible with all major commercial satellite launch platforms. Its launch will be performed by the International Launch Services (ILS) under a multi-launch agreement (MLA) signed with Eutelsat in October 2016.

The satellite will be launched on-board two-stage Proton Breeze M launch vehicle, along with Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1) spacecraft, from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Eutelsat ground control stations

The fleet of Eutelsat satellites are controlled and monitored by the satellite control centre (SCC) and the communications system control centre (CSC). The SCC controls and monitors the spacecraft, while the latter monitors the services provided by the satellites.

Eutelsat operates ISO 90001-certified teleports located in France, Italy, Madeira, and Mexico. The teleports are supported by a fibre-based terrestrial network and numerous Points of Presence (PoPs) in major cities across Europe and the US.