Hispasat’s Amazonas 4A satellite isn’t in the best of health with problems on its power sub-system. Amazonas 4A was launched in March 2014 and the anomaly declared in April 2014. The problems suggest that about half the satellite’s broadcast capacity has been lost.
Hispasat has now awarded the contract for Amazonas 5 to Space Systems/Loral and its mission – in part – is to complete the role expected of 4A, while also adding new potential growth capacity. Orbital Sciences were the suppliers of 4A and were expected to build a ‘back up’ 4B craft. The extra Ka-band capacity on board Amazonas 5 will serve Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Costa Rica and Venezuela. Amazonas 5 should be ready for launch in 2017.
Amazonas 5 will carry 24 Ku-band transponders, and 35 High throughput Ka-band units targeting the above ‘growth’ nations.