Press release -
EUTELSAT 115 West B, world first all-electric satellite, begins ascent to geostationary orbit
EUTELSAT 115 West B’s xenon-ion propulsion system uses the force generated by a thruster ejecting electrically charged particles (ions) at high velocities. The system uses xenon as its sole propellant and the electrical energy generated by the satellite’s solar panels for xenon ionisation.
Paris, 12 March 2015 – Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL) announces that the xenon-ion thrusters of the all-electric EUTELSAT 115 West B satellite have been powered up, enabling the ascent from supersynchronous transfer orbit to geostationary orbit to be initiated as planned on 12 March. Eutelsat’s new satellite was launched by SpaceX on 1 March.
The 2.2-tonne EUTELSAT 115 West B was prepped for electric propulsion orbit raising in the days following the launch by its prime contractor, Boeing, from its El Segundo facilities in California. Other key activities included full deployment of the satellite’s solar panels that was successfully carried out on 6 March, giving a total wingspan of 33 metres and enabling power to be generated for the electric orbit raising and activation of the communications payload later in the mission.
Orbit raising is scheduled to last for approximately eight months and will be followed by performance tests prior to the new satellite’s commercial entry into service in November 2015.
Equipped with 12 C-band and 34 Ku-band transponders connected to four service areas, EUTELSAT 115 West B will extend reach of the Americas to markets in Alaska and Canada, replacing the EUTELSAT 115 West A satellite that operates in inclined orbit at 114.9° West. It will focus in particular on serving clients providing data services, including broadband access, cellular backhaul, VSAT solutions and social connectivity.
About Eutelsat Communications
Established in 1977, Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is one of the world's leading and most experienced operators of communications satellites. The company provides capacity on 34 satellites to clients that include broadcasters and broadcasting associations, pay-TV operators, video, data and Internet service providers, enterprises and government agencies.
Eutelsat’s satellites provide ubiquitous coverage of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, enabling video, data, broadband and government communications to be established irrespective of a user’s location.
Headquartered in Paris, with offices and teleports around the globe, Eutelsat represents a workforce of 1,000 men and women from 32 countries who are experts in their fields and work with clients to deliver the highest quality of service.
For more about Eutelsat please visit www.eutelsat.com