I have not seen any reports of cable TV outages due to Galaxy 15 passing through the center of AMC-11's orbital location at 131 degrees west longitude (WL) late on May 31. The success was not due to luck, but careful planning and hard work by SES World Skies, operator of AMC-11, Intelsat, owner of the out-of-control Galaxy 15, and uplink operators providing AMC-11 programming. Web site SatNews.com reported all of AMC-11's customers used an Intelsat 19 meter tracking uplink in Clarksburg, Md., to keep their signals from illuminating Galaxy 15.
As shown in the SES World-Skies animation, AMC-11 was moved east to stay in front of Galaxy 15 as it moved through AMC-11's orbital location. SES positioned SES-1 behind Galaxy 15 and all customers moved to it as Galaxy 15 moved further east. Intelsat's ephemeris showed Galaxy 15 will move out of AMC-11's 1 degree square box on June 7. Once Galaxy 15 is out of the way, AMC-11 will be moved back to its normal location and customers will need to move from SES-1 back to AMC-11. Intelsat can then rest a bit as there are no C-band satellites at 129 degrees WL. If Intelsat isn't able to shut it down, expect more celestial satellite dancing as Galaxy 15 approaches Galaxy 13 at 127 degrees WL and Galaxy 14 at 125 degrees WL. Galaxy 14's C-band cable customers include HBO, Disney/ABC, ESPN, BET, Lifetime, and A&E.
Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.
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