On July 30th, the World’s first ever commercial fully re-programmable satellite, Eutelsat Quantum lifted off from French Guiana on board on Ariane 5 rocket. With the satellite being placed in orbit after some 36 minutes of its launch, there are hopes of new era for more flexible communications.
The European Space Agency(ESA) posted on its social media handle that said, “first commercial fully flexible software-defined satellite in the world.” The official release through the ESA said, “Eutelsat Quantum, developed under ESA partnership project with satellite operator Eutelsat and prime manufacturer Airbus, is the first commercial fully flexible software-defined satellite in the world. Because it can be re-programmed in orbit, it can respond to changing demands for data transmission and secure communications during its 15-year lifetime. Its beams can be redirected to move in almost real-time to provide information to passengers onboard moving ships and planes.”
What is fully re-programmable satellite?
Eutelsat Quantum, that is a re-programmable satellite allows users to tailor the communications to their need-almost in real-time. Usually, the conventional models are designed and ‘hard-wired’ on Earth and cannot be repurposed once placed in an orbit. The ESA claimed that, as Eutelsat can be re-programmed, the quantum can easily respond to changing demands for data transmission and secure communications during it’s 15-year lifetime while orbiting in a fixed position at 35,000kms above the Earth.
The 8 communication beams to provide mobile coverage: Eutelsat Quantum.
The Quantum in its 3.5-tonne model, has 8 communication beams, each of which can be modified as per the area of coverage and power of the telecommunication signal required. To provide mobile coverage for moving aircraft and oceangoing vessels, coverage after natural disaster or for one-off events the satellite can be used and changes be made “in a matter of minutes,” with the software made available to customer, says ESA.
Malicious Intents will also be monitored.
The satellite for a period of 15-year will cover over a large geographical area from West Africa to Asia. With the concerns over digital security and weaponising space, Quantum is able to find origin of signals sent with or without harmful intents and is also able to take actions to remedy the interferences.