A detailed investigation is taking place into why a solar panel has failed to deploy on Intelsat-19, and one focus of examination is looking at whether the Sea Launch’s rocket fairing suffered excessive vibration during the launch process.
While this aspect is only one of the studies being undertaken the pressure is on satellite builders Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) because it has another satellite readying for launch in two weeks.
SES is using a very similar satellite, SES-5, also built by SS/L. On June 7th SES spokesman Yves Feltes told trade journal Space News that it had performed special verifications on the solar panel arrays before the satellite left the manufacturing plant and had carried out additional tests at the satellite’s launch site (at Baikonur, Kazakhstan).
Intelsat also announced June 7 a new range of satellites, its ‘Epic’ models. The first will be launched in about 3 years and will carry a full range of transponders, including C-band and Ka-band plus Ku-band for DTH use, and will also use frequency re-use technology for satellite-based broadband coverage.