Satellite Update

The DIRECTV Group, Inc. has filed an application to modify its authorization for the SPACEWAY-2 Ka-band satellite system at 99 degrees West Longitude (WL) to use phased-array antennas for downlink transmission through small, hopping spot beams with higher EIRP and greater antenna pointing accuracy and control and to add a downlink broadcasting capability through a single or multiple wide-area beams on each polarization to cover wide geographic areas.

DIRECTV requested new bandwidth partitioning and frequency re-use schemes for uplink and downlink signals and the ability to operate either with or without on-board processing. DIRECTV wants to the combine two satellite payloads it has authorizations for at 99 degrees WL into a single satellite, improve telemetry, tracking and command systems and relinquish spectrum no longer needed for inter-satellite links.

The satellite would operate in the 18.3-18.8 GHz and 19.7-20.2 GHz bands for space-to-earth communication and in the 28.35-28.6 GHz and 29.25-30.0 GHz bands for earth-to-space communications. DIRECTV also requested modification of its SPACEWAY-1 Ka-band satellite system at 103 degrees WL to update the system design, use phased array antennas and relinquish spectrum not needed for inter-satellite links. It would use the same spectrum as SPACEWAY-2. At 101 degrees WL, DIRECTV wants to combine the two Ka-band satellites it is authorized for at this location with a DBS satellite payload on a high-power hybrid satellite.

In conjunction with this request, DIRECTV filed an application to for authority to launch and operate DIRECTV 8 to replace DIRECTV 2 at the nominal 101 degree WL orbital location, co-located with DIRECTV 1, DIRECTV 1R and DIRECTV 4S satellites. DIRECTV stated the addition of DIRECTV 8 to the existing constellation of DBS satellites will provide in-orbit redundancy for DIRECTV's DBS system and guard against potential interruptions in the service as well as providing improved coverage of Alaska and Hawaii.

Details on the DIRECTV applications are contained in the FCC Public Notice Report SAT-00230. The same Public Notice has information on Boeing's amendment to its application for a 2 GHz MSS satellite at 120 degrees, an amendment filed by SkyBridge LLC for its Ku-band satellite system and Lockheed Martin Corporation's amendments to its pending global radio navigation-satellite service system applications.

The FCC granted Intelsat LLC's request, with conditions, to relocate INTELSAT 804 from 176.0 degrees East Longitude (EL) to 174.0 degrees EL and operate it at that location. Intelsat was also granted special temporary authority to continue performing test operations of the INTELSAT 10-02 satellite at 1 degree EL from July 23, 2004 to August 22, 2004.

For details on these and other grants see Report SAT-00228.

SES Americom filed an application to relocate Satcom C-4 from 135 degrees WL to 85 degrees WL following the launch of AMC-16 and the relocation of AMC-9 to 83 degrees WL. Satcom C-4 is being replaced at 135 degrees by AMC-10, which was launched February 5, 2004. This information is from Report SAT-00229.