The EUTELSAT QUANTUM, the world’s first commercial, fully re-programmable satellite, was successfully launched into Geostationary Transfer Orbit on board an Ariane 5 rocket from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.

Unlike conventional models that are “hard-wired” on Earth and cannot be adjusted once in orbit, the Eutelsat Quantum is flexible and can adjust to users’ requirements in real-time. The 3.5 tonne Quantum model has eight communications beams, each of which can be modified to change its area of coverage and also the power of the telecommunications signal it emits.

According to the European Space Agency, the Quantum can respond to changing demands for data transmission and secure communications during its 15-year lifetime because it can be reprogrammed while orbiting 35,000 kilometres (22,000 miles) above the Earth.

This means the satellite can be used to provide mobile coverage for moving objects such as aircraft or oceangoing vessels, or to provide coverage after a natural disaster or for one-off events.

According to the Eutelsat website, the satellite will “revolutionise telecom markets.”

The Quantum will cover a large geographical area from West Africa to Asia for 15 years.

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