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The Hylas-1 communication satellite provides advanced high-speed broadband technologies and enable innovative internet-based services across Europe.

 Hylas-1. Credit: ESA - J.Huart. (JPG, 898 Kb) 
Credit: ESA - J.Huart.

Owned and operated by Avanti Communications plc of the UK, HYLAS 1 brings high-speed broadband services to remote rural areas across Europe, using its innovative ‘highly adaptable’ payload. With the key payload constituents funded by the UK Space Agency through the framework of ESA’s Advanced Research in Telecommunication Systems (ARTES) programme, HYLAS was built by EADS Astrium at its UK sites in Portsmouth and Stevenage. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Bangalore was responsible for the HYLAS-1 platform and the satellite’s integration and testing.

Since the launch of HYLAS 1 in November 2010, the satellite performed well throughout in-orbit testing and is now providing broadband services through Avanti. In 2011, HYLAS 1 underwent a series of tests to verify and validate the performance of its flexible payload, which is designed to allocate varying amounts of power and bandwidth to the different regions within its footprint, reacting to the highs and lows of traffic demand.

The UK Space Agency and Technology Strategy Board provide support for the development of telecommunications satellites through optional subscriptions to the European Space Agency’s ARTES programme. Businesses located within ESA member states submit research and development proposals to ESA via the various elements of the ARTES programme, and then the ESA Member States choose which projects to fund through their subscriptions.

For more on ARTES, visit ESA’s website.

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I work in space

Ian Whittaker I work as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Otago.

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