Arabsat and Airbus Partner to Build Multi-Mission Satellite

The BADR-8 satellite will be based on Airbus Eurostar Neo electric orbit. (Image source: Airbus)

Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat), a communications satellite operator in the Arab World, has contracted Airbus to build BADR-8 telecommunications satellite to deliver broadcast, broadband and telecommunications services over Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia.

The BADR-8 will replace and increase Arabsat’s capacity and augment its core business at the BADR hotspot. The BADR-8 satellite will be based on Airbus Eurostar Neo electric orbit, allowing access to a broad range of launchers.

The construction will include the Airbus developed TELEO optical communications payload demonstrator. TELEO is projected to allow very high capacity analogue optical feeder link communications. The TELEO is a part of development projects by Airbus to innovate a new generation of optical communications technology in space to be integrated into its future commercial products, which is highly robust against jamming.

While speaking about the project, Jean-Marc Nasr, head of Space Systems, said, “BADR-8 incorporates the best of our expertise and technologies, including very innovative optical communication hosted payload. This further strengthens our continuing strategic partnership with the Arab Satellite Communications Organisation, which has been connecting people by satellite across the Middle East and the world for more than 40 years.”

Khalid Balkheyour, President and CEO of Arabsat, added, “BADR-8 will be joining our Badr-network at Arabsat 26°E hotspot, expanding our service over EMEA region.”

The satellite is scheduled for launch in 2023, and its electric propulsion system will enable it to reach geostationary orbit in four to five months, depending on the type of launcher used. It has been designed to remain in service in orbit for more than 15 years. The satellite will have a launch mass of around 4.5 tonnes and power of 17 kW.


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