Military Embedded Systems

Ultra-high frequency military payload to equip telecom satellite


June 30, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Airbus photo.

NETHERLANDS. Airbus will place a dedicated Ultra High Frequency (UHF) military communications hosted payload on board the EUTELSAT 36D telecommunications satellite. As a provider of military satellite communications (milsatcom) services in Europe, Airbus will aim to offer a new UHF communications service to the armed forces, particularly those of European countries and NATO allies.

According to the company, the UHF frequency band is a relatively scarce orbital resource, so this offering will aim to make up for the capacity shortage around the world. Airbus has claims it has already signed the first firm orders for this capacity ahead of the satellite’s scheduled launch in the first half of 2024.

The UHF payload will be operated from Airbus’s Network Operations Centre in Toulouse. Its 18 UHF channels are intended to enable up to 200 simultaneous communications over Europe, the Middle East, Africa, large parts of Asia, as well as the Atlantic Ocean (to eastern Brazil) and the Indian Ocean (to western Australia).

The company claims that the UHF band is very flexible and is of particular interest to Special Forces units as it offers a lightweight, robust, and secure means of communication. The EUTELSAT 36D satellite will be built by Airbus based on its Eurostar Neo platform. In addition to the UHF payload, it will also be equipped with 70 Ku-band transponders for TV broadcasting.

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