Glitch hit Eutelsat W2

Eutelsat Communications has confirmed that a technical anomaly occurred in the evening of January 27 on the W2 satellite located at 16° East. This incident is under full investigation by Eutelsat in collaboration with the satellite’s manufacturer, Thales Alenia Space. Immediate actions were taken in parallel in order to propose alternative capacity, to all customers affected by the anomaly, with services progressively being restored, said the satellite operator.

The so-far unexplained on-board failure saw the craft place itself into sun-pointing safe mode, forcing Eutelsat to off-load customers to two satellites at the same slot and to send another satellite to the affected position.

Eutelsat will be able to move some W2 customers to the Eurobird 16 satellite, also located at 16° East. In addition, Eutelsat's W2M satellite, which had been located at 3 degrees east without serving a commercial mission, will be drifted to 16° East to cater for some of the W2 traffic. Eutelsat never put W2M into commercial service because of failures on its power system that became evident just weeks after the satellite’s December 2008 launch.

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