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EGNOS GEO-3’s launch satellite has solar array problem

Eutelsat Communications is investigating an incident on one of the two solar arrays on its Eutelsat 5 West B satellite. The satellite, launched Oct. 9, carries a payload for the European GNSS Agency (GSA) called GEO-3. GEO-3 is a geostationary satellite designed to augment GNSS signals.

Eutelsat is working to assess the potential impact on the performance of the satellite and will communicate on it as quickly as possible, according to a statement from the company.

Eutelsat Communications said the satellite is fully insured against the eventuality of loss by a launch-plus-one-year insurance.

Eutelsat 5 West B hosts the GEO-3 payload of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System (EGNOS) under a 15-year agreement signed in 2017 with the European GNSS Agency (GSA), and valued at approximately $112 million dollars (102 million euros).

The EGNOS payload, manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space, will hone the accuracy of satellite navigation signals over Europe for use in aviation, maritime and other industries as part of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System (EGNOS).

Revenues generated in Financial Year (FY) 2018-19 by Eutelsat 5 West A, the satellite that West B is intended to replace, amounted to about $33.3 million (30 million euros).

Feature image: Orbit ATK

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