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Flexible Payloads

Flexible Payloads


From frequency/bandwith to power allocation and coverage, Airbus Defence and Space payload products offer flexibility in all domains to satisfy the customers' applications and business needs.

Airbus Defence and Space has a unique heritage and capability in flexible payload products which allow to reprogram a satellite’s mission once the spacecraft is already in orbit. Such a satellite, which can reconfigure its frequencies, coverages and/or power allocation, will allow its operator to quickly answer evolving market needs or access new businesses. In addition, a flexible satellite opens a whole array of opportunities for operators in their fleet, frequency rights and orbital slots management as well as allowing for the progressive deployment of the associated ground segments and gateways.

Airbus Defence and Space products provide the following functionalities to a satellite, each of which can be embarked alone or associated with the others:


Uplink coverage
Variable spectrum
Allocation and channel connectivity
Power distribution to beams
Downlink coverage

Related programmes

Eutelsat Quantum
Quantum will be the first generation of universal satellites able to serve any region of the world and adjust to new business without the user needing to procure and launch an entirely new satellite.

Featuring phased array antennas and flexible connectivity, which is fully reconfigurable in orbit, Quantum will be able to adjust its coverage and capacity to suit customers’ needs as and when they change.?

The EUTELSAT QUANTUM satellite is being built under a public–private partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the satellite operator Eutelsat with Airbus as the prime contractor.

Inmarsat-6 F1 and F2
Inmarsat-6 F1 and F2 will feature a high level of flexibility and connectivity.

A new generation modular digital processor will provide full routing flexibility over up to 8000 channels and dynamic power allocation to over 200 spot beams in L-band. Ka-band spot beams will be steerable over the full Earth disk, with flexible channel to beam allocation.

SES-12 / SES-14

Both SES-12 and SES-14 embark flexible fixed services missions with a multibeam processed payload.

These High Throughput Satellite (HTS) missions with a Digital Transparent Processors (DTP) are combined with high power broadcast mission combining two high-capacity missions, equivalent to two conventional satellite, into one satellite.


Airbus’ OneSat is a game-changing medium-size telecommunications satellite that is fully reconfigurable in orbit – capable of adjusting its coverage area, capacity and frequency. This responds to future challenges by enabling the adoption of new technologies in orbit, and on a highly dynamic, rolling basis.

OneSat is based on a standard, modular and design-to-manufacture approach, and can be delivered more quickly than existing telecommunications satellites?and at a reduced cost.

Read more about OneSat

See also

Satellite Telecommunication missions and applications

Satellites privileged position up in orbit means that they can deliver a whole host of applications, without borders and without blind spots.

Satellites provide the connectivity we need, to keep us in touch, to keep us informed, to keep us entertained – and, in emergency situations, to keep us safe.

Hosted Payloads: Capabilities and Opportunities

Sharing access to space offers large cost reductions for both payload customer and hosting spacecraft operator.

Airbus Defence and Space has considerable expertise in this field, having worked on more than 20 hosted payloads over the two last decades, for commercial and institutional users, civil and military missions. This encompasses a wide range of applications and service requirements for operation in LEO as well as in GEO.?

How does a Telecommunications Satellite work?

How do the signals travel? How are frequency bands chosen? What’s special about geostationary orbit?

A communications satellite works like a relay station: signals transmitted by the ground stations are picked up by the satellite’s receiver antennas, the signals are filtered, their frequency changed and amplified, and then routed via the transmit antennas back down to Earth.

Telecom Satellites

Eurostar series

Electric propulsion satellites

OneWeb satellites



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