Satellite Update for March 10, 2014

From FCC Report SAT-00999, "Satellite Space Applications Accepted for Filing:"

• SES Americom requested modification of its authorization for AMC-2 at 80.85 degrees west longitude (WL) to permit reorientation of the satellite towards North America rather than its current orientation towards South America. SES Americom stated AMC-2 will continue to provide Fixed Satellite Service (FSS), including direct-to-home service, from 80.85 degrees WL using the 3700-4200 MHz and 11.7-12.2 GHz frequency bands (space-to-Earth) and 5925-6425 MHz and 14.0-14.5 GHz (Earth-to-space). Telemetry, tracking and command (TT&C) operations would continue to use specified C-band frequencies but SES Americom also requested use of a new Ku-band (12.198 GHz) frequency for TT&C.

• Iridium Constellation LLC requested modification of its license for a "Big LEO" non-geostationary orbit Mobile-Satellite-Service (MSS) constellation to launch and operate its Iridium NEXT second-generation satellite system. The new system would consist of 66 in-orbit satellites to be substituted for the current 66-satellite constellation. The new satellites would operate in frequency bands authorized to the current constellation. Service links would be in the 1617.775-1626.5 MHz (space-to-Earth) frequency band. Feeder downlinks and telemetry tracking functions would use the 19.4-19.6 GHz band (space-to-Earth). Feeder uplinks and tracking and command function would use the 29.1-29.3 GHz band (Earth-to-space). Inter-satellite links are in the 23.18-23.38 GHz band. The new system would be able to received Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast signals on a center frequency of 1090 MHz and relay information concerning these signals to other satellites in the 23.18-23.38 GHz band and to the ground using the 19.4-19.6 GHz band.

• Iridium also requested modification of its "Big LEO" license to alter the post-mission disposal plan for its space stations. Iridium's license requires decommissioned Iridium satellites to be placed into a disposal orbit with a perigee of approximately 250 kilometers, from which atmospheric re-entry would be expected within one year. Iridium proposes to modify the requirement to allow decommissioned satellites to be placed in an orbit with a perigee altitude of 600 kilometers, which Iridium says will result in re-entry into the atmosphere within 25 years.

From FCC Report SAT-01000, "Actions Taken:"

• The FCC International Bureau's Satellite Division granted, with conditions, Intelsat License LLC special temporary authority (STA) to continue to provide FSS in the 3700-4200 GHz, 11.45-11.7 GHz, and 11.7-12.2 GHz frequency bands (space-to-Earth) and the 5925-6425 MHz and 14.0-14.5 GHz frequency bands (Earth-to-space) from Intelsat 9 at 43.10 degrees WL. The STA is valid for 60 days and also allows for TT&C on specified Ku-band frequencies.

• EchoStar received STA for 180 days to allow it to continue operating EchoStar 12 at 61.35 degrees WL, EchoStar 3 at 61.8 degrees WL, and EchoStar 16 at 61.5 degrees WL. All three satellites are authorized to provide DBS service over Channels 1 and 2.

Doug Lung

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.