Airbus to partner with Optus to provide reconfigurable communications satellite
Airbus Defence and Space has won a contract for a fully reconfigurable telecommunications satellite from Australia’s second-largest telecommunications company and leading satellite operator Optus – the satellite will be based on Airbus’ new standard OneSat product line and is Airbus’ first contract from the Australian operator.
Airbus will deliver an end-to-end solution, including design and manufacture of the Optus 11 spacecraft, as well as an advanced digital suite to manage the digital payload and operate the end-to-end satellite resources, providing Optus with a turnkey system and the ability to add hosted payloads such as SBAS.
What sets Optus 11 apart is its ability to adjust its coverage, capacity and frequency, through on board processing and active antennas with beam forming capability.
The spacecraft will deliver power and bandwidth dynamically to strengthen capacity and resilience of Optus fleet and enable Optus to configure and adapt the payload mission to end-user needs, taking advantage of the latest innovations in payload and resource management.
Airbus’ head of space systems, Jean-Marc Nasr, said, “We are grateful to Optus for their trust in Airbus in a region where we have ambitions to work with local industry to support space technology development in both the civil and defence sectors.”
Optus 11 will deliver a combination of broadcast and broadband VHTS missions in Ku band over Australia and New Zealand, to improve Direct to Home broadcasting over the Australasia region, increase reach in the Antarctic and Pacific zones and support growth into mobile markets, helping eliminate connectivity black spots through the Australian government’s Mobile Black Spot program.
“OneSat is a truly disruptive product, both from a manufacturing, and operational point of view, and gives customers the flexibility they need to serve their markets. This contract from Australia’s leading satellite operator, Optus, is a ringing endorsement that our R&D strategy in developing innovative products is the right one. OneSat’s high flexibility, very compact design and accelerated production should see the satellite in orbit for Optus in 2023,” Nasr added.
Airbus’ ‘ready-made’ OneSat satellite builds on the company’s heritage from its Eurostar telecommunications satellites, which have clocked up more than 800 years of successful operation in orbit.
This order further strengthens Airbus’ leadership in new generation reconfigurable telecommunications satellites and enables Optus with the option to add additional spacecraft in the near future.
The investments made by Airbus and its partners in very innovative OneSat developments are supported by the European Space Agency and national agencies, in particular the UK and French space agencies.
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