A special media briefing on SmallGEO and its first flight took place on 18 January, at ESA HQ in Paris, following on from Director General Jan Wörner's annual meeting of the press. The briefing was shared by the Director General and the Director of Telecommunications & Integrated Applications, Magali Vaissiere. Speakers included Carlos Espinós, Hispasat CEO, Andreas Lindenthal, of OHB System AG's Management Board and Gerd Gruppe, Director of Space Administration at the DLR German Aerospace Center.
SmallGEO is a multipurpose satellite platform capable of accommodating a wide range of commercial telecommunications payloads and missions, from TV broadcasting to multimedia applications, Internet access and mobile or fixed services in a wide range of frequency bands.
Its new, modular and flexible design boosts European industry’s ability to play a significant role in commercial satcoms by easing entry into the lower-mass telecom satellite market. It was developed by Germany's OHB System AG under ESA's ARTES Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems programme.
Hispasat's Hispasat 36W-1 will be the first satellite to use the SmallGEO platform, marking the first partnership between ESA and a Spanish operator. It is set for launch in the early hours of 28 January (CET) from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
H36W-1 will provide Europe, the Canary Islands and South America with faster multimedia services through its Redsat payload, which offers better signal quality and flexible land coverage. Redsat enables H36W-1 to provide advanced connectivity services based on the latest communication standards.