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Olympus 1



The last Ariane 3 lofted the European communications technology demonstration satellite, Olympus 1, into transfer orbit. It carried 4 communications payloads introducing new satellite services and techniques to European users. A powerful direct broadcast system (EIRP is 62.5 dBW) offered one channel for Italian TV and one for international programming throughout Europe; both transmit as 12 GHz, signals can be received on 45-cm ground antennas. A 12/14 GHz specialized services payload accomodated switching and frequency reuse experiments, videoconferencing and data distribution. A 20/30 GHz Ka-band payload offered point-to-point and multipoint videoconferencing, tele-eduction and low-speed data handling. A 12/20/30 GHz package performed propagation research. Built by British Aerospace for ESA, Olympus 1 measured 2.9 by 2.7 by 5.5 m. Solar arrays, spanning 25.6 m, provided 3.6 kW of power. It had a 5-year design life. The Olympus bus was designed to handle double the power, mass and service life requirements on future missions. A single burn of its bipropellant liquid apogee engine gave the satellite a soft ride towards its assigned station at 19 deg. w, where it arrived on August 3.

Alternate Names

  • 20122
  • Olympus1

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1989-07-12
Launch Vehicle: Ariane 3
Launch Site: Kourou, French Guiana
Mass: 1450 kg
Nominal Power: 3600 W

Funding Agency

  • European Space Agency (International)


  • Communications

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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