Hispasat has successfully launched its tenth satellite, the Hispasat 36W-1 (H36W-1), from the European Spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana, aboard Arianespace's Soyuz launch vehicle. The new satellite will provide coverage for South America and Europe, including the Canary Islands. It has a 15-year lifespan and will offer video contribution and cellular backhaul services, as well as company and broadband solutions. It is fitted with 20 transponders on the Ku-band and additional capacity of up to three transponders on the Ka-band, and has a launch mass of 3200 kg.
The H36W-1 satellite was built by the German company OHB System AG and is the first mission of the SmallGEO platform, developed by the German manufacturer together with the European Space Agency and Hispasat.
In addition, the H36W-1 incorporates RedSAT, an advanced regenerative payload consisting of a novel active antenna with reconfigurable beams that together with the on-board processor, will improve the efficiency and services offered by the satellite. The antenna can be controlled electronically from the Earth and reoriented at any point during the lifespan of the satellite, granting it the flexibility to adapt its coverage to mission changes that may occur after launch, while still in orbit.
The on-board processor is a further step in the evolution of satellites, which can greatly simplify network architecture by performing in space a part of the processing usually carried out on Earth. It can simultaneously process up to four 36-MHz transponders, correcting possible signal degradations and transmitting them without errors, leading to a more robust and higher-quality communications system that enables signal reception with small-diameter antennas.