The EDRS-C satellite is the second node of the SpaceDataHighway network. The SpaceDataHighway is the world’s first “optical fiber” network in the sky based on cutting-edge laser technology. It is a unique network of geostationary satellites permanently fixed over a network of ground stations that can transmit data at a rate of 1.8 Gbit/s It will help to improve environmental and security monitoring, disaster response and crisis management.
As a result, Arianespace once again ensures its leading mission to offer an independent access to space for European flagship programs.
The SpaceDataHighway system will relay larger volumes of image data in a secure way. From its position in geostationary orbit, the SpaceDataHighway system relays data collected by observation satellites to Earth in near-real-time, a process that would normally take several hours. It thus enables the quantity of image and video data transmitted by observation satellites to be tripled and their mission plan to be reprogrammed at any time and in just a few minutes.
Launched into a geostationary orbit at 31° East, EDRS-C will be able to connect low-orbiting observation satellites via laser at a distance up to 45,000 km., as well as intelligence UAVs or mission aircraft. The SpaceDataHighway is a public–private partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus, with the laser terminals developed by Tesat-Spacecom and Germany’s DLR Aerospace Center. Airbus owns, operates and provides services for the SpaceDataHighway. The EDRS-C satellite platform is supplied by OHB System AG.
In addition, a hosted payload – HYLAS 3 – was provided by Avanti Communications under a contract with ESA as a customer-furnished item to OHB.
EDRS-C/HYLAS 3 will be: the 132th satellite launched for Airbus by Arianespace, the 26th satellite based on an OHB platform; and the 4th Avanti payload to be launched by Arianespace.