Airbus has signed a contract with Intelsat to build two OneSat satellites operating in multiple frequency bands for Intelsat’s next-generation software-defined network. The contract was signed on 31 December 2020.
The satellites will be based on Airbus’ OneSat product line and will be part of the latest generation of fully flexible, in orbit reconfigurable, Software Defined Satellites (SDS). OneSat is designed to deliver a balance between performance, flexibility and competitive cost per bit, while maintaining Airbus’ product reliability.
Airbus will deliver an end-to-end fully integrated solution, including design and manufacture of the satellites. Ground segment software components, when fully integrated into Intelsat’s next-generation software defined network ecosystem and advanced digital suite will allow dynamic operation of end-to-end satellite resources. The two next generation SD satellites will be delivered in 2023.
Six satellites now in production
Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Airbus Space Systems said: “This important contract with our long-standing and valued partner Intelsat, has a special significance for Airbus. With six satellites now in production – plus options – for three major operators, OneSat has proven that when it comes to fully reconfigurable satellites, Airbus is the winning choice. Our new industrial capabilities put in place at our sites across Europe, together with our solid experience in Eurostar geostationary satellites and mega-constellation manufacturing, will enable production of our truly disruptive OneSats at an unrivalled pace.”
The Airbus Software Defined satellites will deliver powerful performance for Intelsat customers across multiple geographic regions. The agreement also marks the beginning of a radical evolution of Intelsat’s network; Intelsat is pursuing an aggressive, multi-year network transformation plan with investments in new assets that are designed for extremely high speeds, enhanced capacity flexibility, redundancy and backwards compatibility.
Intelsat Chief Executive Officer Stephen Spengler said: “Intelsat’s investment in Airbus software defined satellites marks an important first step in evolving the world’s largest, most resilient, integrated space and ground network. Intelsat’s next-generation software-defined network will be the catalyst for our growth, enabling future Gogo Commercial Aviation inflight broadband services, as well as other managed services across Intelsat’s customer segments.”