Contract for HYLAS, an innovative flexible broadband satellite

The European Space Agency (ESA) and Avanti Screenmedia Group plc (Avanti) have announced, with the occasion of the Case for Space Conference, in London, UK, this 15 May, the signature of a contract for the implementation of HYLAS (Highly Adaptable Satellite).

HYLAS is a hybrid Ka Band/Ku Band satellite with European coverage. The satellite will be used mainly to provide broadband Internet access and to distribute/broadcast HDTV.

The contract between ESA and Avanti addresses the support to the development of the most innovative elements of this new system. The supplier of the HYLAS Satellite is EADS Astrium Limited. ESA's contribution is 34 million euro on a total estimated project cost of 120 million euro.

For Giuseppe Viriglio, Director of European Union and Industry Programmes for the European Space Agency, "HYLAS will play an important role in demonstrating the advanced technological capabilities of European space companies which are truly competitive on a global scale. It also makes significant progress in solving the social problem of poor broadband coverage in many parts of Europe and serves as a template for future large scale projects."

For David Williams, Chief Executive of Avanti, "HYLAS is a ground breaking project for the European space industry, driving forward technology and services. It will provide services to address key markets for broadband and HDTV using new business models and technologies in markets which are highly under-supplied."

For Lord Sainsbury, British Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Science and Innovation, "HYLAS is an excellent case study which shows what public private partnerships can achieve in driving forward the capability and competitiveness of British industry, whilst at the same time solving problems for the benefit of society."

With a launch mass of around 2100kg and a beginning of life power of 3.5KW, HYLAS is a moderately sized satellite that allows the scalable introduction of new enhanced services with limited technical and financial risk.

The traffic handling capacity of the Broadband HYLAS payload ranges between 150,000 and 300,000 users at the same time. Indeed the use of high gain Ka Band spot beams allows to provide up to 8 simultaneously active spots, a capacity equivalent to more than 40 conventional 33 MHz transponders.

In addition the implementation of a novel Payload based on the combined use of EADS Astrium Limited General Flexible Payload technology and TSAT Flexible Travelling Wave Tubes will allow the optimization of the assignment of satellite resources (Power and Spectrum) to each spot as a function of their respective traffic demand.

Furthermore two flexible Ku Band transponders will allow the distribution and the broadcast of a range of High Definition Television programmes for Avanti Screenmedia customers over the largest part of the European continent.

Avanti's intended ground segment will be based on the ESA's supported standards, the so called DVB family (DVB S-S2/DVB RCS).

The launch of HYLAS is currently planned for mid 2010 by Arianespace on the Orbital position of 33.5° West with an expected 15 years lifetime.

Event Date

15 May 2006
Published 15 October 2009
Last updated at 15 October 2009 - 14:08