European Space Agency (ESA) launched ‘Eutelsat Quantum’ – the world’s 1st commercial reprogrammable satellite into space aboard Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana. It is a fully flexible software-defined satellite.
i.The satellite has been developed under an European Space Agency partnership project with satellite operator Eutelsat, Airbus & Surrey Satellite Technology.
ii.An reprogrammable satellite allows the user to repurpose it even after being launched into orbit. It can be reprogrammed in real-time to suit the changing purposes of the user.
iii.The Quantum satellite is capable of responding to changing demands for data transmission and secure communication during its lifespan of 15 years and will cover the areas from West Africa to Asia.
i.Weighing 3.5 tons, Quantum satellite has 8 communications beams.
- Each of these 8 beams can be reprogrammed to change its area of coverage and also the power of the telecommunications signal it emits.
ii.Depending on the situation, it can be used to provide mobile coverage for moving objects such as aircraft or oceangoing vessels, or to provide coverage after a natural disaster or for one-off events.
iii.Amidst growing concerns about digital security, the satellite is capable of pinpointing the origin of signals emitted with or without malicious intent and taking action to remedy the interference.
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About European Space Agency (ESA)
Director General – Josef Aschbacher
Headquarters – Paris, France