Satellites

Isro, EADS Astrium to build Eutelsat's W2M satellite

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MUMBAI: Eutelsat Communications has selected a consortium of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and EADS Astrium to build its new telecommunications satellite W2M.

This is the first order clinched by Isro after its commercial arm Antrix had entered into an alliance with EADS Astrium. Eutelsat will use the expertise of the alliance to build W2M.

EADS Astrium is prime contractor in charge of overall programme management and will design and build the communications payload. ANTRIX/Isro will supply the satellite bus, based on the flight proven I3K model, and integrate and test the spacecraft. The W2M spacecraft will have a launch mass of about 3 tons and payload power of about 4 kW.

The final contract will be signed in New Dehli on 20 February, in the presence of the presidents of France and India.

According to the terms of the agreement, W2M will be delivered to Eutelsat in 26 months for launch in the second quarter of 2008. W2M is the 13th satellite commissioned by Eutelsat from EADS Astrium, states an official release.

W2M will operate typically 26 transponders in Ku-band and up to 32 depending on operational modes, for a designed operational lifetime of 15 years. The new satellite is designed to provide additional security for customers and can be deployed at a number of orbital positions of the W satellite fleet, and in particular at the 10 degrees East position.

W2M, like all the other Eutelsat satellites in the W series, displays great flexibility to operate a wide range of services from television broadcasting to data networks and broadband. In addition to a fixed beam coverage taking in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, it will also carry one steerable beam which can be re-oriented in orbit according to market requirements and notably towards Africa and central Asia, consolidating Eutelsat's commercial flexibility, the release adds.

Eutelsat Communications is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A. The group is a satellite operator with capacity commercialised on 22 satellites providing coverage over the entire European continent, as well as the Middle East, Africa, India and significant parts of Asia and the Americas.

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