Astrium has been selected, following an international competition, by EUTELSAT to build its most powerful satellite W3A to be launched mid 2003. W3A will provide a full range of applications that include business communications, Internet-based services and television transmission over a large zone covering Europe and Africa from the 7°degree East orbit location in Ku and Ka-bands.
Astrium, as prime contractor for W3A, will design and build the satellite and supply both the payload and the platform. The satellite will fulfil a fixed and broadcast communications mission and is equipped with 50 transponders in Ku and Ka-bands. On-board digital multiplexing is also included for up to 5 channels.
The spacecraft has a launch mass of 4.3 tons, a solar array span of 35 metres once deployed in orbit, and a spacecraft power of 9 kW at end of life. The satellite, operating in geostationary orbit, will provide commercial services for a minimum of 12 years.
W3A is based on the E3000 version of the EUROSTAR family, five models of which are already in production. 32 EUROSTAR spacecraft have been ordered to date, of which 22 have already been launched and have proven highly reliable in operational service.
A Carlier, CEO of Astrium, said: "It is the seventh time, in five years, that EUTELSAT has selected Astrium for satellites of their HOT BIRD and W series and the sixth success for an E3000 in a year. The flexibility offered for the W3A mission will allow EUTELSAT to make full use of the spacecraft capabilities for multimedia applications."
Astrium Awarded W3A Satellite Contract By Eutelsat