The Hylas-1 payload can be reconfigured in orbit. Unlike standard telecom repeaters, which are fixed during manufacture, this mission’s power and bandwidth levels can be adjusted between signal beams. Surplus capacity can be redirected as demand for services varies across different regions.
Hylas-1’s reconfigurable nature comes from a key payload element developed by ESA in partnership with EADS Astrium in the UK. The Generic Flexible Payload (GFP) consists of densely integrated and interconnected state-of-the-art electronic devices, creating an unprecedented level of system flexibility.
GFP technology could change the way future telecom satellites are made. Mass-produced on a modular basis, it could slot within a wide array of future missions in place of custom-built payload systems, reducing costs and development times.