CNES projects library

January 13, 2020


The NEOSAT project aims to develop a new generation of spacecraft buses for telecommunications satellites in geostationary orbit delivering Internet and television services.

NEOSAT is a cutting-edge research and development programme for geostationary telecommunications satellites in the 3-to-7 tonne class.

CNES and the European Space Agency (ESA) are working together on NEOSAT to spin off the innovations needed to boost the competitiveness of Europe’s satellite equipment manufacturers and increase their market share. NEOSAT was initiated under the space budget line of the government’s PIA future investment plan and is being pursued through ESA’s ARTES14 programme.

The programme’s main objective is to achieve a 30% reduction in the cost of in-orbit satellite capacity (launch and operations).

Two product lines are being developed, one by Airbus Defence & Space (EuNEO) and the other by Thales Alenia Space (SB Neo), the two NEOSAT prime contractors.

Among the palette of innovations that NEOSAT is developing are:

  • All-electric propulsion, affording significant launch weight savings by drastically reducing propellant mass (Airbus’s EuNEO product line also offers a hybrid version and an all-chemical propellant version)
  • New power subsystems able to deliver 22 to 25 kW to the payload, against 14 to 16 kW today
  • Active thermal control systems that significantly increase the capacity to remove power dissipated by equipment
  • Optimized and more-competitive avionics systems using generic equipment and flight software capable of adapting to individual mission requirements
  • Modular structures enabling the payload’s layout to be optimized to cover a wider range of missions