Olympus is an experimental communications satellite television and the ESA.


Development work on Olympus began under the name L- Sat ( though not confirmed, it may be assumed that L for Large = Large stands ). It should be initially made ​​several L- Sat satellite, the new technologies should test: eg TV DTH services for private households ( in the BSS band), frequency change and frequency re-use, video conferencing, high speed data transfer ( in the SMS - band ), video conferencing between two or more points and data transmission ( Ka-band ). In the Ku- and Ka-band, he should perform RF propagation experiments. Instead of several L- Sats only Olympus was built. Olympus was the first geostationary ESA satellite with three- axis stabilization. Olympus was indeed in weight exceeded a short time later by the Intelsat 6 satellite, but they do not get near the performance of its roll out solar cells of 3.6 kilowatts.


The satellite was launched into space at 02:14 CEST from the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou in French Guiana on 12 July 1989. The launch aboard an Ariane 3 rocket was successful and provided a special dar. Olympus was so heavy that it almost the entire payload of this rocket claimed, why be the only launch this missile type was with only one satellite on board. Olympus was brought by only one firing its apogee from the GTO in the geostationary orbit. He reached his position on August 3, 1989.


Olympus led his experiments successfully, but was unlucky and did not reach the planned service life, so that the experiments failed shorter than planned.

First fell in January 1991 from the tracking of one of the two solar generators. The remaining electric power of the generator other wing enough, however, to operate the satellite with all further experiments. This, however, complicated operations were necessary, the reason for this was possibly that in May 1991, the control was lost on him. Olympus subsequently left his position. He was rescued and after 77 days, record on August 13, 1991, for service at 19 ° West again. However was lost in August 1993, the contact, for an unknown reason, again. The satellite left its position once. A possible cause is a hit has been suggested by a meteor shower. When the contact was restored, Olympus was maneuvered and switched off since the first bailout had consumed so much fuel that another was no longer possible from the GEO in a graveyard orbit.

Olympus established a Ka -band connection to ESA 's EURECA satellite also obtained in experiments.


The satellite sent a BSS - band channel for Italy and originally intended for Austria BSS channel for large parts of Europe. The SMS -band transponders had controllable parabolic antennas and the Ka -band transponders controllable parabolic antennas for spot beams.

The transfer took place in the Ku- band and Ka-band.