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ESA / Applications / Telecommunications & Integrated Applications / Alphasat

Alphasat is the largest European telecom satellite ever built. 

A double decker in space

Alphasat mating with Alphabus
Alphasat mating with Alphabus

As the biggest public–private space project ever made in Europe, Alphasat was primarily designed to expand telecommunications provider Inmarsat’s existing global mobile network. ESA partnered with Inmarsat for the commissioning of Alphasat, which was engineered and built by Astrium. Its new-generation advanced geomobile communications payload provides access to the extended L-band spectrum and enables deployment of a wide range of high data rate services for aeronautical, land and maritime users across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Alphasat is also the first flight opportunity for the Alphabus platform, a high-power platform that gives European industry a unique position in the world telecom market. It also hosts four Technology Demonstration Payloads developed through ESA’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) programme. 

Alphasat facts and figures
Launch date:    25 July 2013
Launch mass: 6.6 tonnes (3.5 tonnes dry mass)
Solar array span: 40 m
Electrical power: 12 kW
Platform: Alphabus
Payloads: Inmarsat L-Band Payload, Advanced laser communication terminal, Q/V band experiments (two), Advanced startracker, Environment effects facility
GEO location: 25˚ east
Launch vehicle: Ariane 5 ECA
Launch site: Guiana Space Centre, Kourou, French Guiana
Operational lifetime: 15 years

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