SES will dodge 'Zombie' satellite

SES World Skies has unveiled plans for an intricate set of orbital manoeuvres later this month aimed at steering its AMC-11 satellite clear of interference from Intelsat’s 'free falling' Galaxy 15 spacecraft, now known as Zombie, or living dead, satellite.

As the stricken satellite nears AMC-11’s orbital location at 131 degrees west, SES plans to have AMC-11 match the eastward drift of Galaxy 15 in order to maintain a minimum separation between the two satellites. This synchronised drift is designed to protect AMC-11 services from interference caused by Galaxy 15's still on transponders – attempts to power them down have failed.

At the same time, SES World Skies will move its new SES-1 satellite to the opposite side of Galaxy 15, thereby enabling some customers, including cable television networks, to leapfrog their broadcasts over interference caused by the wandering spacecraft.

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