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HYLAS - Broadband via Satellite

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    Posted: 11/August/2011 at 12:49
HYLAS - Broadband via Satellite
The Highly Adaptable Satellite is an advanced satellite system focused on high-speed internet connectivity for Europe.
Broadband from the sky
Operating across Ku- and Ka-band frequencies with advanced communication technology, Hylas-1 can pipe broadband through the sky to hundreds of thousands of previously underserved users while simultaneously broadcasting multiple standard and high-definition TV channels.
Ku-band and Ka-band are portions of the microwave spectrum: Ku-band is extensively used for satellite television broadcasting, while Ka-band is increasingly employed for broadband internet services.

Hylas-1’s wide Ku-band beam covers the whole of Europe. Its Ka-band antenna generates eight closely focused ‘spot beams’ for optimal frequency reuse, each providing coverage to a key European market. Bandwidth and power can be redistributed between beams to fulfil the changing needs of the market.

In partnership with business
Hylas-1 is an innovative mission put together in a new way: it is ESA’s first public–private partnership resulting in a full satellite system. The commercial operator, UK-based Avanti Communications, has contributed most of the mission budget and will use the satellite to deliver broadband services to customers. ESA’s involvement focuses on Hylas-1's payload technology.

Joining forces with a commercial operator means that Europe’s advanced telecom technologies reach orbit much more rapidly and economically than otherwise. The Hylas-1 public–private partnership drives the technical state-of-the-art forward in space while efficiently serving a developing market.

Hylas-1 facts and figures
Launch date: 26 November 2010
Launch vehicle: Ariane 5 ECA
Launch site: Guiana Space Centre, Kourou, French Guiana
Orbital location: geostationary at 33.5°W
Operational lifetime: 15 years
Payload: repeaters: eight flexible Ka-band forward link transponders; one flexible Ka-band return link transponder; two flexible Ku-band transponders
  antennas: deployable 1.6 m-diameter Ku-band reflector antenna generating a linearly polarised shaped beam with European coverage;
a single-feed-per-beam Ka-band antenna system with two elliptical antennas – each measuring 1.6 x 1.35 m – generating eight circularly polarised spot beams, each covering a key European market
Spacecraft bus: ISRO I-2K (three-axis stabilised)
Launch mass: 2242 kg (1109 kg dry mass)
Size: 4.2 x 2.6 x 2.5 m; deployed solar array span 9.0 m; deployed antenna span 6.0 m
Power supply: two Sun-tracking wings each comprising two (2.54 x 1.53 m) solar panels, made up of triple-junction gallium arsenide cells; two batteries each comprising 20 lithium-ion cells with 32 Ah capacity
Satellite control centre: Inmarsat HQ, East London, UK
Network operations centre: Avanti Communications HQ, London, UK
Gateway stations: primary: Goonhilly (UK); back-up: Land’s End (UK)

Hylas-1 is bringing Europe broadband from the sky. This 'Highly Adaptable Satellite' is our continent's first geostationary satellite dedicated to high-speed Internet, rolling out broadband connectivity to hundreds of thousands of Europeans.
Gaps in connection
It is hard to imagine modern life without broadband, for most of us at least. The high cost of extending terrestrial broadband networks, however, means that many Europeans still do not have the high-speed connectivity that the rest take for granted.

Access to broadband is increasingly recognised as economically and socially essential – even mandated by some nations as a fundamental human right. But the fact remains that tens of millions of Europeans remain deprived of it.

Terrestrial broadband access is based on on extensive communications infrastructure, which it is often uneconomic to extend into more remote areas. Some 13 million European homes and businesses fall within such 'notspots', finding them with no way of accessing high-speed Internet. There is little indication the situation will improve significantly within the coming decade.  
Flexible cross-European coverage
But Hylas-1 is capable of connecting up even the remotest corners of Europe - from Ireland in the west to Greece in the east, Denmark in the north to Italy and Spain in the south, simultaneously serving widely-dispersed collections of end-users.

Thanks to continuous improvements in telecommunications technology, satellites have become an efficient method of getting Europe online. Geography presents no obstacle: from city suburbs to rural villages, remote islands to high mountains, anyone within the satellite ‘footprint’ can obtain a broadband link.

ESA has devoted years to developing satellite broadband technologies through its ARTES (Advanced Research in Telecommunication Systems) initiative. Now several of these innovations are being put to work aboard Hylas-1. The mission’s flexible payload technology can vary its data throughput across the European regions it serves, keeping pace with market demand.

Serving a developing market
Hylas-1 serves as an excellent case study of the added value that ESA provides to Europe's economy. As one of the few worldwide space agencies tasked with responsibility for industrial competitiveness and market development as well as basic exploration and technology research and development, ESA can collaborate with industry to leverage new technologies swiftly into sustainable business applications.

Joining forces with commercial operator Avanti Communications means that Europe’s advanced telecom technologies reach orbit much more rapidly and economically than otherwise. The Hylas-1 public–private partnership drives the technical state-of-the-art forward in space while efficiently serving a fast-developing market.

More information:
Satcoms UK

The Satellite Communications Engineering Resources Website.
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