Eutelsat software-defined satellite enters commercial service

Eutelsat Quantum, Europe’s first commercial satellite capable of being completely reprogrammed while in space, has now entered commercial use.

Eutelsat Quantum, launched on 30 July 2021. is a collaboration under an ESA Partnership Project between Eutelsat and satellite manufacturer Airbus, with support from the UK Space Agency. Its technologies were developed and manufactured in the UK and in Spain, with additional contributions from companies based in Canada, Italy, Norway and the Netherlands.

The satellite offers new capabilities to reconfigure mission capacity while in space. Its beams can be reshaped and redirected as required to provide information to mobile platforms in close to real time.

Satellite operator Eutelsat says it has already sold six of its eight beams to a variety of organisations and it is expected that the entire satellite capacity will be sold in the coming months.

“ESA’s Partnership Projects help to federate industry around large-scale programmes that have a demonstrable economic impact. This satellite commercialisation represents a major milestone for this successful ESA Partnership Project, creating jobs and prosperity across ESA’s Member States,” said Elodie Via, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at ESA.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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