The new Eutelsat Quantum satellite, the first that can be reprogrammed in orbit according to customer needs, was launched today aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from the European spaceport of Kurú (French Guiana ). Takeoff at 21:00 GMT occurred as scheduled.
Two communications satellites travel aboard the Ariane 5: the Quantum of the French operator Eutelsat and the Star One D2 of the Brazilian telecommunications firm Embratel.
Quantum is the world's first commercial software-defined satellite with flexibility in coverage, power, frequency, and bandwidth, parameters that the user can reconfigure in orbit in minutes, to respond to changing demands from Earth on telecommunications, data, or mobility.
It is equipped with an ELSA antenna, developed by Airbus in Spain, electronically steerable with eight independent beams, allowing them to be reconfigured over the coverage areas.
The new satellite, with an expected life of fifteen years, is the result of a public-private partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA), Eutelsat, and Airbus Defense and Space for the development of this new technology.
Along with the Quantum also travels the Star One D2, a multi-mission communications satellite of the Brazilian Embratel.
This satellite will allow broadband coverage to be expanded to new regions in Central and South America, provide internet access to underserved populations, and add an enhanced X-band payload for government use in the Atlantic region.
Star One D2 will improve access to high-quality services, providing service to the parabolic fleet in Brazil, pay TV, data, video, and internet.