Satellite operator SES is relocating its AMC-3 craft from its former location of 87 degrees West to 67 degrees West to optimise coverage of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The 67 degrees West orbital position offers an extensive Ku-band satellite frequency range and excellent viewing angles for coverage of the Americas and the Caribbean, notes SES.
The drift was initiated in January and the satellite is scheduled to arrive at its new orbital location on February 24th.
AMC-3 was launched in 1997 into the orbital location of 87 degrees West. Built by Lockheed Martin, the spacecraft carries Ku- as well as C-band transponders. The AMC-3 spacecraft was replaced at the 87 degrees West slot by the SES-2 satellite launched on board an Ariane 5 vehicle on September 22, 2011. AMC-3 has enough fuel to operate in geostationary orbit until 2017. At 67 degrees West, AMC-3 will be co-located with the AMC-4 satellite, which has been providing services over Latin America and the Caribbean since its deployment at this position in 2010. Together, AMC-3 and AMC-4 will be able to offer 28 commercially available Ku-band transponders (36 MHz equivalents) at 67 degrees West.
Romain Bausch, President and CEO of SES said the relocation of the AMC-3 satellite once again demonstrated the operational flexibility provided by a 50 spacecraft strong global fleet. “The orbital slot of 67 degrees West offers an additional growth opportunity to SES to efficiently serve Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean with satellite solutions for television distribution, broadband connectivity and government services,” he explained.