Thales Alenia Space and Inmarsat have signed an Authorization To Proceed (ATP) for the development of the EuropaSat satellite to provide mobile broadcast and two-way telecommunications services in the S-band throughout Europe.

Thales Alenia Space will commence work on the satellite design, based on its Spacebus 4000C3 platform and develop it through timely Critical Design Review to support a fully compliant application for an EC-wide S-band spectrum allocation by Inmarsat, under the recently-announced European S-band Application Process.

The spacecraft will carry a payload at 2 GHz generating nine S-band user spot beams in two polarizations, using a large S-band Tx antenna of 12 m diameter.

Designed with a lifetime of 15 years, the EuropaSat satellite is expected to be launched in early 2011, in compliance with the European Selection and Authorisation Process (ESAP).

The spacecraft manufacturing programme supports Inmarsat’s imminent application for an award of S-band spectrum, pursuant to the ESAP, which commenced on 7 August 2008 and is subject inter alia to a successful outcome of the ESAP for Inmarsat.