The Highly Adaptable Satellite (HYLAS) will bring high-speed broadband services to remote rural areas. HYLAS has been partly funded by the UK Space Agency and is designed and built for Avanti Communications by Astrium UK. The low-cost satellite was launched successfully on 26th November 2010 and will serve hundreds of thousands of Internet users across Europe.
HYLAS uses small satellite technology and will help solve the problem of unequal access to broadband services. The satellite is named after its 'highly adaptable’ payload, developed in the UK by Astrium Limited. It will automatically allocate varying amounts of power and bandwidth to the different regions within its footprint, reacting to the highs and lows of traffic demand. This means that between 150,000 and 300,000 users can access HYLAS at any one time.
The satellite will cover rural areas of western and central Europe that are unlikely to receive any terrestrial broadband within the next ten years. The idea is for Internet services to be delivered either directly to customers or through a central terminal in a village and then fed out to a cluster of users in a local area via a wi-fi network.
As well as broadband Internet, HYLAS will facilitate the distribution and broadcast of a range of high definition television programmes.
HYLAS has been designed and built by a core team from Avanti Communications (link opens in a new window) and Astrium, (link opens in a new window) with support from specialist organisations around Europe. The UK-built payload is being integrated into the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) (link opens in a new window) I-2K spacecraft platform. HYLAS is being launched on an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from the European ‘space port’ in French Guiana.