Eutelsat Hotbird 13F launch

Eutelsat Hotbird 13F launch

First of its kind is ready to get to orbit. The completion of the satellite is actually a bit older news, but with its launch day coming up I guess it is also the right time to talk about this.

Eurostar Neo Overview

Eurostar Neo is a cooperation of 17 ESA member states with main contributions by CNES (French Space Agency) and the UK Space Agency. Goal is to provide an optimized and competitive platform for telecommunication satellites, addressing the market needs for big data communication, high capacity and flexibility to adapt to different needs of telecommunication. As an example, besides serving as a base for the two upcoming Eutelsat TV satellites, later launches will include military communication satellites.

The investment into Eurostar Neo has created around 2.200 jobs in Europe

Hotbird details

Hotbird F and G are the result of a cooperation between ESA, Airbus and Eutelsat.

Hotbird F is the first satellite which has been completed under ESA’s Eurostar Neo Programm. Eurostar Neo is a partnership programm together with Airbus (link), underlying is a modular concept, where generic service modules provide the base functions and customer specific components extend on top of that. While Airbus have sold 16 of those adoptions already, Hotbird 13F marks the first one to be launched.

The Launch will take place on Friday, October 14 via a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. After launch Hotbird F will start a 5 to 6 months journey to its final position at Eutelsats’s 13° East position.

Hotbird 13F is the first satellite of a twin constellation, which will provide direct to home communication and replaces a current operation trio of satellites. The total mass of the launch is 4500kg.

As this satellite is a communication satellite the devices used in the setup are interesting.

Hotbirds will have 80 (eighty!) Ku Band communication devices as well as L Band devices for EGNOS

Ku Band:
11–20 GHz (2.5–1.67 cm)
L Band: 
1–2 GHz(30–15 cm)

Ku Band, which means “K — under” is traditionally used for satellite communication especially as a downlink for direct broadcast, given the long range advantages of the wave length.

The L-Band advantages are that they can penetrate clouds, rain, fog, and such, making them very useful in GPS communication.

The two Hotbird satellites (F and G) will together provide more than 1000 Television channels for Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, providing Digital, HD and 4k programs to more than 160 million people.

The electrical power is 22 KW (Kilowatt). Hotbird is planned to launch in November 2022, also on a Falcon 9.

Although launched on a Falcon 9 by SpaceX, the Eurostar Neo platform is full compatible with the new Ariane 6 rocket.

Artist picture (Source: ESA)

Picture Copyright of Airbus and ESA (link)

This news item was first published on “Space and Ham Radio News” a Newsletter published every Sunday on Patreon. If you want to be among the first to read please become a supporter