New ASTRA 1L satellite ready for operation
Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

Astra 1LSES Astra announced today that its new Astra 1L satellite has been successfully deployed to its final orbital position at 19.2° East and is ready for commercial operations. The satellite, which was launched from Kourou, French Guiana, on 5 May has completed all necessary in-orbit tests of the hardware and broadcasting functionalities on board. Astra 1L was built by Lockheed Martin.

Astra 1L will deliver Direct-to-Home (DTH) broadcast services to continental Europe and further strengthen the Astra fleet at the prime orbital position 19.2° East. The new satellite allows SES Astra to move the satellite Astra 2C from 19.2° East to 28.2° East in order to serve the UK and Irish markets. Astra 1L also strengthens the operations of Ka-band transponders at 19.2° East with the Ka-band transponders on Astra 1H serving as backup.

With this fleet redeployment, SES Astra is able to offer 16 additional transponders on Astra 2C out of which at least 10 transponders will be for DTH in UK and Ireland and the remaining transponders for other services across Europe.

Furthermore, the move of Astra 2C allows a realignment of transponders across the different satellites positioned at 28.2° East, permitting activation of another 8 transponders on the steerable beam on Astra 2B, which is currently positioned over West Africa, and bringing the total of transponders on that beam from 8 to 16. Furthermore, the inter-satellite backup system at 28.2° East is strengthened as Astra 2C carries backup capacity for Astra 2A, 2B and 2D. The repositioning of Astra 2C is scheduled for the third quarter of this year.

In addition, the new satellite Astra 1L enables SES Astra to bring its satellite Astra 1E from 19.2° East to 23.5° East, further strengthening this orbital slot for DTH transmissions across Europe.

(Source: SES Astra)