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Satellite Update for Oct. 11, 2012

From FCC Report SAT-00903, “Actions Taken”:

• The FCC International Bureau's Satellite Division granted EchoStar special temporary authority (STA) for 30 days to continue to provide Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) service via EchoStar 6 at 76.95 degrees west longitude (WL) using 17.3-17.8 GHz (Earth-to-space) and 12.2-12.7 GHz (space-to-Earth). Telemetry, tracking and command operation is allowed on specified Ku-band frequencies.

• The Satellite Division granted a request from Iridium Constellation LLC for STA for 60 days to continue to co-locate one of its spare in-orbit satellites with another satellite in its orbital constellation.

• Orbcomm License Corp's request to modify its authorization for a non-voice, non-geostationary mobile satellite service system was granted in part. The Satellite Division allowed Orbcomm to modify the target orbital inclination of one satellite from 51.6 degrees to 51.7 degrees and use an additional feeder link centered at 150.025 MHz for that satellite. The grant noted that, “In addition, in light of the imminent launch of the satellite, the Satellite Division partially waived the fourth milestone in the Orbcomm Next Generation License, which requires Orbcomm to complete construction of and launch the first two next-generation satellites. The waiver is limited to extending authority to launch and operate with respect to the one satellite proposed for imminent launch. The Satellite Division deferred action on all other aspects of the pending modification application, as amended.”

From Orbcomm document:

• On Monday the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle carrying an Orbcomm OG2 prototype satellite as a secondary payload experienced an anomaly in one of its nine first-stage engines that resulted in OG2 satellite being placed into an orbit lower than intended. It was reported that Orbcomm and Sierra Nevada Corp. engineers had been in contact with the satellite and were working to determine whether the spacecraft’s orbit could be raised with the satellite's on-board propulsion system. Orbcomm expects to launch eight additional OG2 satellites into orbit on a Falcon 9 in mid-2013 with the remaining 10 satellites to be launched in 2014. Those satellites will be the primary payload on both of these two planned launches and will directly insert the OG2 satellites into the operational orbit. 

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.