Sky Perfect JSAT, a Japanese satellite provider, has set the first order for a spacecraft from Airbus, selecting the European aerospace company to develop Superbird-9 for a release in 2024. Superbird-9 will be built on Airbus’ OneSat reconfigurable payload base to direct and reassign beams for various customers and services.
The geostationary (GEO) satellite, according to JSAT, would substitute a vital broadcasting mission while still delivering high-speed broadband communications to maritime, aeronautical, and other industries. It will transmit and offer broadband services over Ku-band, mainly in Japan as well as Eastern Asia, and will also have Ka-band capabilities.
The project is expected to cost 30 billion yen ($275 million) for the Japanese corporation. “This is a watershed moment for Airbus in Japan since it is the first moment a Japanese telecommunications provider has put an order for a satellite from Europe,” stated Jean-Marc Nasr, Airbus’ head of space systems.
The deal was announced only days after Airbus announced that it had received the first commercial GEO agreed order for the year 2021. Eutelsat Communications revealed on March 22 that it had selected Airbus to develop Eutelsat 36D, a substitute satellite scheduled to launch in 2024. This year, Airbus anticipates 15-18 GEO requests, the bulk of which will be substitute missions.
Eutelsat Communications has requested Airbus for the Eutelsat 36D geostationary (GEO) satellite, which is expected to launch in 2024. According to an Airbus Defense and Space spokesperson, this is the first industrial GEO order for the year 2021. Eutelsat 36D will substitute Eutelsat 36B at 36° East orbital position, where satellite offers TV broadcasting and government services in Africa, Russia, as well as Europe, long before its end of life in 2026.
The upcoming satellite will be deployed in the second half of 2024. Since it is operated exclusively by energy, it would take five or even six months to get up and run. Because of the significance of 36° East to Eutelsat, spokesperson Marie-Sophie Ecuer stated the business is generating headroom between the release of Eutelsat 36D and Eutelsat’s expiration 36B to guard against launch delays or other future disruptions.
It is Eutelsat’s third most critical orbital position in terms of transmission revenue and second for the government services. Eutelsat 36C already has coverage from 36 degrees east. “We are delighted to depend on one of our long-term collaborators, Airbus, to guarantee the sustainability of this crucial satellite network,” stated Eutelsat’s chief technical officer, Pascal Homsy. “The increased service continuity provided by this new state-of-the-art satellite will help our major DTH customers in Africa as well as Russia.” Eutelsat 36D will be based on the Airbus Eurostar Neo platform, with 70 physical Ku-band transponders as well as a capacity of 18 kW. Six satellites have been ordered by Eutelsat and will be launched between 2021 and 2024.