Sunday, October 5, 2008

Eutelsat Prepares for Launch of HOT BIRD 9 and W2M Satellites

Arianespace confirmed the upcoming launch of Eutelsat's HOT BIRD 9 and W2M satellites during the last week of November 2008.

Construction of HOT BIRD 9 was completed in July by EADS Astrium and the satellite arrived in Kourou from Toulouse on September 16 to be prepared for launch. Designed for consumer broadcasting to satellite and cable homes across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, the high-power Ku-band HOT BIRD 9 satellite, equipped with 64 transponders, will join Eutelsat's 13 degrees East position to increase in-orbit sparing at the Group's premium video neighborhood. HOT BIRD 9 is identical to HOT BIRD 8 which was launched to 13 degrees East in August 2006 and HOT BIRD 10 which will be orbited by Arianespace beginning of 2009.

W2M, which is built by EADS Astrium / ISRO, is due to be shipped from Bangalore (India) to Kourou by mid-October to initiate final preparations for launch. W2M will be positioned at Eutelsat's 16 degrees East for digital broadcasting in central Europe and Indian Ocean islands. Equipped with 26 Ku-band transponders and up to 32 depending on operational modes, the new satellite will replace W2 and provide additional capacity for further service expansion.