Home Digitalisation Successful launch of EUTELSAT QUANTUM, the first full software-defined satellite

Successful launch of EUTELSAT QUANTUM, the first full software-defined satellite

  • Unprecedented in-orbit reconfigurability heralding a new era of commercial satellite service
  • Showcasing innovative expertise of the European Space industry

The EUTELSAT QUANTUM satellite was successfully launched into Geostationary Transfer Orbit by Arianespace using an Ariane 5 rocket that lifted off from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, at 9 pm Universal Time (11 pm CET) on July 30. The separation occurred after a 37-minute flight and the spacecraft systems checkout was then successfully completed over a period of approximately 3 hours.

Built by Airbus Defence and Space, EUTELSAT QUANTUM heralds a new era of commercial satellite service. Its in-orbit reprogrammable features set a new standard in flexibility that will enable users, notably in the Government and Mobility markets, to actively define and shape performance and reach thanks to its software-based design.

To be located at 48° East, and due to enter service during the fourth quarter of calendar 2021, EUTELSAT QUANTUM will offer extensive coverage of the MENA region and beyond.

ESA and the UK Space Agency supported the development of the core technologies integrated into EUTELSAT QUANTUM, within the framework of a Public-Private Partnership between ESA, Eutelsat and Airbus Defence and Space.

Commenting on the agreement, Pascal Homsy, Eutelsat’s Chief Technical Officer said: “Our congratulations to Arianespace and the Guiana Space Center teams for successfully launching the EUTELSAT QUANTUM satellite. The collaboration between Eutelsat, ESA, the UK Space Agency and Airbus Defence and Space on this ambitious satellite program has resulted in a world-first. EUTELSAT QUANTUM will supply services with unprecedented in-orbit reconfigurability in coverage, frequency and power, allowing complete mission rehaul, at any orbital position. It is a testimony to the innovative spirit and expertise of the European Space industry.”