The European Space Agency (ESA) and Avanti Screenmedia Group plc have signed a contract for the implementation of the Highly Flexible Satellite (HYLAS), a hybrid Ka-band/Ku-band satellite with European coverage. The contract between the two companies covers support for the development of the most innovative elements of this new system. The supplier of the HYLAS Satellite is EADS Astrium Ltd. and ESA’s contribution is €34 M of a total estimated project cost of €120 M.

With a launch mass of around 2100 kg and beginning-of-life power of 3.5 kW, HYLAS is a moderately sized satellite that allows the scalable introduction of new enhanced services with limited technical and financial risk. By using high gain Ka-band spot beams, it is possible to provide up to eight simultaneously active spots, a capacity equivalent to more than 40 conventional 33 MHz transponders.

Giuseppe Viriglio, director of European Union and Industry Programmes for ESA, commented, “HYLAS will play an important role in demonstrating the advanced technological capabilities of European space companies, which are truly competitive on a global scale.”