Inmarsat bids for European S-Band

Inmarsat says it will apply for bandwidth in the S-Band over Europe, and if it is successful in its application then it will order a new satellite (EuropaSat, from Thales Alenia) and launch it early in 2011. On Friday it signed an “authorisation to proceed” agreement with Thales, pending the European Union’s decision on the S-Band auction.

A Europe-wide S-Band auction (the European S-Band Application Process-ESAP) is being organised, and opened on August 7. Orbital space has already been allocated (at 31 degree East). S-Band occupies the 2-4 GHz bandwidth, and is used for application like Mobile Satellite Services. In the US, for example, amongst other users are the recently merged Sirius and XM satellite radio services

The Thales Alenia spacecraft, if given the actual go-ahead, will carry a payload at 2 GHz generating nine S-Band user spot beams in two polarizations, using a giant S-Band transmitting antenna of 12 meters diameter.