If you've been following the exploits of the rogue, out-of-control satellite Galaxy 15 as it drifted east past other satellites in the geostationary arc, you'll be interested to know that in mid-December the satellite's batteries drained sufficiently to shut down 95 percent of its electrical payload. On Dec. 23, the batteries completely drained, causing the satellite to "reboot" after its solar panels drifted back to facing the sun. This has allowed ground controllers to regain control.
The communications payload, except for telemetry and command, has been shut down and the batteries are being fully recharged. Intelsat is running diagnostic tests on the satellite to see if it can be returned to service.
Additional details are available in the SpaceNews.com article Threat from Wayward Intelsat Satellite Diminishes by Peter B. de Selding and Rogue TV satellite brought to heel after auto reboot – Wanderings, random shoutings ended by flat batteries in Bill Ray's article in the Register.
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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