EchoStar hit by “solar array” problems

EchoStar has reported that three of its satellites suffered “solar array anomalies” during the first quarter of this year. The news, which emerged from an SEC filing, affected its EchoStar 6, 11 and 14 satellites. In addition its EchoStar 1 satellite, launched in December 1995, suffered a communications receiver anomaly.

Although nothing is official, most observers think solar flares during the period may have much of the blame.

EchoStar 6 also lost a pair of travelling wave tube amplifiers. The problems that affected EchoStar 11 and 14 are confined to the solar panels and have led to reduced power being available on the spacecraft.
EchoStar 6 operates from 61.5 deg West, and is a back-up satellite. Launched in 2000 it is a Space Systems/Loral 1300 model.

EchoStar 11 operates from 110 deg West and is a fairly new craft, having been launched in July 2008. Again, it is a SS/L 1300 model.

EchoStar 14 operates from 119 deg West, and only launched in March 2010. Again it is a SS/L 1300 model.

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