After a first announcement late last year, the satellite Eutelsat Quantum is ready to become a reality. And not talking about an ordinary satellite but one that presents an interesting feature: it is able to reconfigure itself in space.
This model satellite will be built in the UK, and is a project of the ESA 250 million in two private companies collaborating renowned: the French Eutelsat and manufacturer Airbus. The new satellite is expected to be put into orbit in 2018, and may do so using different types of launch vehicles, one aspect that has been enhanced to make it something like a universal satellite.
A satellite that reconfigures on demand
The greatest value of this Eutelsat Quantum is to look for it in the payload. That series of elements designed to receive and transmit the signals (both communications antennas and repeaters) are now configurable and will not be fixed to Earth. Thus, through its software can be customized both coverage, bandwidth, power or frequency. The key is in the design of some of its antennas, whose shape is not defined in the manufacturing process but can vary electronically once in orbit.
The client, whether private or public, will have in their hands to determine the form, orientation and power of the covers, as well as the frequency plan, adapting in a dynamic way. With this ability this satellite can operate in any region of the world and even copy or supplement any other satellite in geostationary orbit.
Its main uses will be in the fields of communications, data traffic (it may be adapted at any time to the needs or burden of operators) or tasks of different entities and governments. It is the latter case, the flexibility of the satellite window gives an important improvement for security or disaster management by allowing faster and according to specific needs response.