Amazonas Nexus is already operational: Hispasat has begun a new era in communications, with high-quality internet for boats and planes

Amazonas Nexus became operational today. It is a high-performance geostationary satellite designed for the air and maritime mobility market that will provide high-quality internet access in remote places such as Greenland or the Amazonian rain forest.

Today, Hispasat began a new era in satellite communications with the introduction of Amazonas Nexus. It is a high-performance geostationary satellite that will provide high-speed internet across the entire continent of America, the North-South Atlantic corridors, and extremely remote places such as Greenland and the Amazonian rain forest. It is specifically designed to provide high-quality connectivity for planes and boats, and will effectively contribute to bridging the digital divide in Latin America in an agile and efficient way.

The satellite was successfully launched on 7 February from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at the United States Space Force Station in Cape Canaveral (Florida) using a Space X Falcon 9 rocket. The satellite has been undergoing tests over the last six months, from the moment it entered geostationary orbit at 36,000 km, was turned on and deployed its antennas and transmission equipment, until it reached its final location in the orbital station (61º West), where it will stay for the remainder of its useful life.

This mission has made Hispasat the first satellite operator in the world to offset the carbon footprint of the entire launch process. This process will be carried out by Sylvestris and falls within Redeia's commitment to achieve sustainability in all of its activities.

Technological innovation

This new satellite is a technological advancement that strengthens Hispasat’s position at the forefront of the satellite industry. Built on the Thales Alenia Space Spacebus NEO platform, Amazonas Nexus has a next-generation Digital Transparent Processor (DTP). It allows communication to be established with a single link throughout the coverage area, and it will provide maximum flexibility that will facilitate its adaptation to changes in service demand over its 15-year life span.

Given its multi-point architecture, Amazonas Nexus can re-use the transmission frequency and therefore, increase its in-orbit performance. Furthermore, it is an electrically powered satellite. As a result, it is lighter (launch mass of 4.1 tonnes) and the costs of putting it in orbit are reduced. Due to this, it will not enter geostationary orbit until July. After conducting the last in-orbit tests, the satellite will remain in its final position at 61º West and will become operational.

Amazonas Nexus was made at the Thales Alenia Space facilities in Cannes (France) and enjoys significant participation from the Spanish aerospace industry through companies such as Thales Alenia Space Spain, Sener, GMV and Aicox, among others.

Economic profitability

Amazonas Nexus is beginning its operation with trade agreements for the long-term lease of a large part of its capacity. The satellite project was carried out with an investment of approximately €300 million.

For example, Nexus carries the Greensat payload for Tusass, Greenland’s national communications company. So it will be providing internet access to all remote cities and towns in Northern and Eastern Greenland that currently rely on satellite service, as well as business solutions for mining companies and support for restoring communication services in the event of emergencies.

In addition, it incorporates the US Space Force Pathfinder 2 mission for Artel which includes comprehensive levels of protection that meet the Department of Defense's strict security requirements. For greater security, Amazonas Nexus is equipped with the advanced CNSSP-12 encryption system for telemetry and telecontrol, which makes it more secure and more suitable for critical missions.

Hispasat will also provide Intelsat with several gigahertz of Ku bandwidth to provide aerial connectivity services in America and the Atlantic region.

Redeia President, Beatriz Corredor, stated that ‘this project epitomises Redeia’s spirit as a global operator of essential infrastructures, that contributes to social and regional cohesion, and that I am sure will strengthen robust, diverse and sustainable development.’

Hispasat President, Jordi Hereu, emphasised that ‘Amazonas Nexus has started a new era. It will allow us to open up new markets and fulfil our commitment to citizens to prevent the digital divide from growing any more, providing remote areas with access to digital rights, education and healthcare. For this reason, I would like to thank SpaceX, Thales Alenia Space, and especially the entire Hispasat team for the work carried our over the past three years since the start of the project.’

Hispasat CEO, Miguel Ángel Panduro, explained that Amazonas Nexus ‘was a risky decision in 2019 because we designed it to be directed at water and remote places through the use of highly sophisticated technologies. We have exceeded our expectations, which is why we can now say that we got it right. A large part of the project was built with national technology, which is why we have contributed to consolidating the Spanish industry.’

About Hispasat

Hispasat's objective is to help citizens overcome the digital divide and promote sustainable development in society. It is the main communications bridge between Europe and America as it supplies broadband and connectivity services through its Spanish and Latin American companies, where its Brazilian subsidiary Hispamar is located. In addition, it is a leader in the broadcasting and distribution of audiovisual content in Spanish and Portuguese, including the transmission of digital Direct-to-Home (DTH) and High-Definition Television (HDTV) platforms. Hispasat is the main driver of innovation in the Spanish aerospace sector and it is committed to sustainability throughout its entire supply chain. These activities make it one of the world’s leading companies in the sector in terms of revenue.