DirecTV-15, described by its manufacturers as “the most powerful US broadcast satellite” ever built, has left Airbus Defence & Space’s manufacturing facility at Toulouse, France. The giant satellite is ready to be flown to Kourou in French Guiana for launch during May.
Ordered back in November 2011 with the (then) EADS Astrium company, and is designed to be part of DirecTV’s fleet with a massive 150 amplifiers on board serving 30 high-power Ku-band transponders, 24 in Ka-band and another 18 in Reverse Band, which is unique to DirecTV.
DirecTV-15 is a ‘sister’ craft to DirecTV-14 launched on December 6 last year, and both are part of DirecTV’s plans to introduce 4K/Ultra-HDTV.
Once successfully launched DirecTV-15 will take about 3-4 weeks for in-orbit testing prior to entering service.