Eutelsat 172B, the first high power all-electric telecommunications satellite, was shipped from the Airbus satellite assembly facility in Toulouse to Kourou, French Guiana for Eutelsat, one of the world’s leading satellite operators. The satellite will be launched into orbit on an Ariane 5 in April, and will provide enhanced telecommunications, in-flight broadband and broadcast services for the Asia-Pacific region. Utelsat 172B combines electric power of 13 kW with a launch weight of only 3500 kg. It hosts three distinct payloads that will strengthen Eutelsat’s capabilities across Asia-Pacific markets: a C-band payload, a regular Ku-band payload and a high throughput Ku-band payload designed for in-flight connectivity along Pacific air corridors. The satellite also incorporates other state-of-the-art features, in particular the flexibility to dynamically distribute power between the 11 elliptical beams in the high throughput payload. Using electric propulsion for initial orbit raising and all on-station manoeuvres has led to a substantial weight reduction, enabling the satellite to be launched in the Ariane 5 lower position and offering more competitive launch costs.
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