Advanced Television

SES will dodge 'Zombie' satellite

May 19, 2010

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.

Categories: Articles