Airbus Defence and Space

HYLAS 1 successfully completes thermal vacuum testing

  • Major milestone for broadband satellite

  • Highly adaptable satellite will serve up to 350,000 users


Bangalore, 28 May 2010: The Highly Adaptable Satellite (HYLAS) 1, which is being developed by Airbus Defence and Space for the satellite broadband operator Avanti Communications, has successfully completed a month-long test campaign designed to expose the satellite to the rigours of space.

HYLAS 1 will bring high-speed broadband services to remote rural areas across Europe, using its ‘highly adaptable’ payload, developed by Airbus Defence and Space, primarily at its UK sites in Portsmouth and Stevenage. The payload 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.


Over the past four weeks, HYLAS 1 has undergone a series of thermal vacuum (TVAC) tests at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Bangalore, which is responsible for the satellite’s platform and satellite integration. Engineers from Airbus Defence and Space and ISRO tested the satellite’s payload electronics and external structures, in temperatures ranging from -30°C to +80°C - conditions that the satellite will have to endure in orbit. This has enabled test engineers to determine that the satellite is functioning perfectly in a simulated space environment.


Integration of the Ka antenna feed has also been completed which will validate Airbus Defence and Space’s Single Feed Per Beam (SFPB) design and its incorporation into a thermally compensated structure.    


David Williams, CEO, Avanti Communications said: "The on schedule completion of TVAC is a significant milestone. HYLAS 1 is one of the most advanced commercial satellites ever built and we are very happy with its performance and are now looking forward to the launch of service in a few months time."


Colin Paynter, CEO, Airbus Defence and Space UK said: “This is a significant milestone in the HYLAS 1 production process, demonstrating that the satellite’s sophisticated payload can function in space. This successful process is testament to the efforts of Airbus Defence and Space engineers and our industrial partners at ISRO who have spent the past month working around the clock to push HYLAS 1 to its limits.”


HYLAS 1 will cover rural areas of western and central Europe that are unlikely to receive any terrestrial broadband within the next ten years. The highly adaptable payload will provide broadband services for up to 350,000 users.


The UK Space Agency and Technology Strategy Board have provided support for the development of HYLAS 1 through the UK subscription to the European Space Agency ARTES programme.


About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2009, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €4.8 billion and more than 15,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment and Airbus Defence and Space for the development and provision of secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security satellite communications equipment, geo-information products and services, and navigation services.

AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2009, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €42.8 billion and employed a workforce of more than 119, 000.


About Avanti Communications


  • Avanti sells satellite broadband services to telecoms companies which use them to supply residential, enterprise and institutional customers.
  • Avanti's first satellite, called HYLAS 1 will launch in Q3 2010 and will be the first superfast broadband satellite launched in Europe.
  • Avanti’s second satellite called HYLAS 2 is fully funded and will launch in Q2 2012.  It will extend Avanti’s coverage to Africa and the Middle East.
  • The market for satellite broadband products in the markets served by Avanti is estimated at more than 100 million households.
  • Avanti’s systems can provide consumer broadband services at speeds of 10Mb per second at competitive prices, and other wholesale services at up to 200Mb. 


Press contacts:

Daniel Mosely (Airbus Defence and Space UK)                                          Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 8180

Matthieu Duvelleroy (Airbus Defence and Space FR)                                  Tel.: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32

Ralph Heinrich (Airbus Defence and Space GER)                                       Tel.: +49 (0) 89 607 33971

Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP)                                     Tel.: +34 91 586 37 41

Paul Dulieu, Redleaf Communications (Avanti)                Tel : +44 (0) 20 7566 6700