Airbus has signed a contract with Inmarsat to design, manufacture and build the first in their next generation of geostationary Ka-band satellites, Inmarsat GX7, 8 & 9.
The three satellites are the first to be based on Airbus’ new OneSat product line, which is fully reconfigurable in orbit.
Featuring on board processing and active antennas, the three Ka-band spacecraft will be able to adjust their coverage, capacity and frequency. They will deliver power and bandwidth in real-time to adapt to Inmarsat’s requirements to provide HTS (High Throughput) broadband connectivity for the mobility market.
Airbus’ OneSat is based on a standard, modular and design-to-manufacture approach, and can be delivered more quickly than existing telecommunications satellites.
“We are launching the OneSat product line for our customer Inmarsat, following the successes of the Airbus-built Inmarsat-4 spacecraft, Alphasat and the Inmarsat-6 satellites, which are currently under construction,” Airbus’ Head of Space Systems, Nicolas Chamussy said.
“This latest contract continues the long standing innovation relationship between Airbus and Inmarsat. OneSat is a truly disruptive product both from a manufacturing and operational point of view, which allows Airbus to offer our customer a market enabling solution with reduced cost and time to orbit.”
“OneSat’s high flexibility, very compact design and fast production approach perfectly fits our ambition for our next generation GX spacecraft,” Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, said. “The new satellites will support the growth of the Global Xpress mobility services, in particular to service emerging ‘hot spot’ regions worldwide. The GX7, 8 & 9 satellites will represent the next evolution of HTS technology incorporating new highly flexible capabilities which can be deployed very quickly to support the rapid evolution of the traffic growth from year 2023 onwards.”
The Australian Border Force was the first comprehensive customer for Inmarsat's high speed Ka band GX satellite network. ABF Cape class patrol boats are also able to access both the GX and WGS satellite networks.