Satellite Update

The FCC granted SES Americom special temporary authority (STA) to drift its AMC-2 satellite to 101 degrees west longitude (WL) using 6423.5 MHz for telecommand transmissions and 3700.5 MHz, 4199.5 MHz and 12198.0 MHz for telemetry beacons. The STA also allows operation of AMC-2 at 101 degrees using conventional C- and Ku-band frequencies. The STA commenced Feb. 22 and is valid for 60 days. This information is from FCC Report SAT-00504.

The 101 degree orbital location is also used by SES Americom satellite AMC-4. In a Feb. 18 press release, SES said that the AMC-14 satellite was due to launch in March from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan and mentioned the co-location of the satellites.

“Our customer, EchoStar, is contracting the entire payload of this satellite to support the development of its pay-TV operations and services in North America,” SES Americom’s release said. “EchoStar will discontinue its interim use of the AMC-2 satellite in late February. The AMC-2 satellite will then be co-located with the AMC-4 satellite at 101 degrees West, strengthening the service offering within the North American footprint and enabling the activation and commercialisation of transponders into South America.”

In a Memorandum Opinion and Order (FCC 08-64)this week, the FCC denied applications for review filed by DirecTV Enterprises LLC, EchoStar Satellite LLC, and Telesat Canada seeking review of two International Bureau license grants.

DirecTV and EchoStar asked for review of the grant of a license to Spectrum Five LLC to provide Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) service to U.S. consumers from two Netherlands-authorized satellites. Telesat Canada wanted the FCC to review its decision to grant EchoStar authority to construct a satellite to provide DBS service to U.S. consumers from the 86.5 degree WL orbital location.

In reviewing the records, commission affirmed the International Bureau’s decision. “We find no reason to reverse the bureau’s grant of Spectrum Five’s petitions for declaratory ruling the 114.5 degree WL orbital location, or the Bureau’s decision to grant, in part, EchoStar’s application to launch and operate a DBS satellite at the 86.5 degree WL orbital location,” the FCC said. “Consequently, we deny the applications for review of the Spectrum Five grant, filed by DirecTV and EchoStar, and the application for review of the EchoStar grant, filed by Telesat.”

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.