[Satellite TODAY 03-14-12] European satellite operator Eutelsat
has unified the names of its satellites under the company brand name, Eutelsat announced March 11.
The company’s satellites will now take the Eutelsat brand name followed by a numeric figure representing their orbital position and a letter highlighting their order of arrival at that position.
For example, Eutelsat’s W6 satellite at the 21.5-degrees East orbital slot will be renamed Eutelsat 21A, and the upcoming W6A satellite set for the same orbital slot will become Eutelsat 21B.
Eutelsat’s four satellites in the West orbital positions will include the term “West” in their name. Therefore, the Eutelsat Atlantic Bird 2 satellite at the 8 degrees West slot will become Eutelsat 8 West A. Eutelsat will not, however, remove the Hot Bird and Ka-Sat brands from its satellite names. Hot Bird 6 will be renamed Eutelsat Hot Bird 13A.
The operator said it made the switch to remove contradictions within the current fleet naming system, which has, “progressively mixed figures loosely related to an industrial series with figures related to an orbital position.”