Eutelsat 13B (HOTBIRD 8, HOTBIRD 13B) at 13° East
|Airbus Defense & Space
Eutelsat contracted EADS Astrium (Airbus Defense & Space) for the construction the HOTBIRD 8 broadcast satellite. The spacecraft had a launch mass of less than 5 tons, a solar array span of 45m once deployed in orbit, and a spacecraft solar array power of almost 14kW at end of life. It will provide commercial services for a minimum of 15 years.
The satellite was launched on August 5th, 2006 on an Ariane 5 launcher operated by launch operator Arianespace.
Designed for television and radio broadcasting, the HOTBIRD 13B satellite has 64 Ku-band transponders that can operate simultaneously and spanning the entire range of frequencies used at Eutelsat’s HOTBIRD neighbourhood. The satellite was the largest satellite ordered by Eutelsat. It will join the company’s constellation of HOT BIRD broadcasting satellites at 13° East that provide television, radio and interactive services to almost 100 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, North Africa and the Middle-East.
With three high-power satellites, the HOTBIRD-family at 13° East forms the largest broadcasting systems in EMEA, delivering 1,000 television channels to more than 135 million tv-homes in Europe, North Africa and the Middle-East. Direct-To-Home reception in beam centre is possible with antennas smaller than 70cm, and with slightly larger antennas throughout Europe, North Africa and as far East as Moscow and Dubai.
HOTBIRD 8’s mission was to replace existing HOTBIRD capacity and to join HOTBIRD 7A in bringing in-orbit sparing to a level where 13° East can maintain its reputation as one of the most secure multi-satellite video neighbourhoods. The satellite has been designed to cover all 102 Ku-band transponders/frequencies at 13° East which means that it can substitute any transponder on the other HOTBIRD satellites.
An identical HOTBIRD 9 was ordered in May 2006 for a launch in 2008.
In March 2012 Eutelsat renamed their satellite assets under a unified brand name. HOTBIRD 8 and 9 became Eutelsat HOTBIRD 13B and 13C respectively.
The HOTBIRD 10, which was ordered in October 2006 is also identical to HOTBIRD 8 and HOTBIRD 9 with the same mission capacity. It was initially commissioned as Atlantic Bird 4A at 7°W. When Atlantic Bird 7 became operational, it was renamed Eutelsat 3C and was colocated with Eutelsat 3A at 3° East. Later it became HOTBIRD 13D and in 2016 Eutelsat 33E.