“Guide To C/KU Analog Satellites, Designators and Locations”

 

Whether you are an amateur or a pro, sometimes locating the designated C-Band or KU-Band satellite for a particular satellite teleconference can be a challenge, especially when new satellites are launched, older satellites are moved, and others go out of service.  The chart below is intended as a tool to help you find each satellite on your satellite receiver.

 

The satellites listed have foot prints that largely cover just the North America Hemisphere to include Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

 

As of:  September 1st  2004   Changes Since last posting in Bold Italics             

 

Satellite
Name 

Location Designator   

Orbital 
Location

Remarks

Telstar 14/

Intelsat 14

XE?

IA/14

63* West

Successfully launched 10 Jan 2004

Experienced Problems on C-Band Side, will provide on limited KU Service. Loral’s Telstar Fleet Bought by Instelsat

This satellite renamed Instelsat 14 or IA-14

 

AMC-6

W6?

 

72* West

Formerly Known as GE-6

SBS-6

B6

74* West

 

KU Bands Only

AMC-5

 

W5

79* West

KU Band Only;  Transmits wild feeds for sports and news.  Formerly Known as GE-5

 

AMC-9

 

W2

85* West

Launched 06/06/03;  Replaced AMC-2

AMC-3

 

W3

87* West

Formerly Known as GE-3

Telstar-4

 

No

T4

 

Longer

89* West

 

Operational

Failed in orbit and went out of service on September 19th 2003. Not recoverable.

 

Galaxy-11

 

G7

91* West

Replaced Galaxy 7 which failed in orbit and went out of service in November 2000.

 

Telstar-6

Instelsat 6

 

T6/

IA-6

 

93* West

 

Loral’s Telstar Fleet Bought by Instelsat

This satellite renamed Instelsat 6 or IA-6

Galaxy-3C

 

G3

95* West

 

Telstar-5 /

Instelsat 5

 

 

T5/

IA-5

97* West

Loral’s Telstar Fleet Bought by Instelsat

This satellite renamed Instelsat 5 or IA-5

Galaxy-4R

G6

 

99* West

Replaced Galaxy 6 which went out of service in January 2003.  Experiencing some propulsion problems.  Now used less frequently.

 

AMC-4

 

S4

101* West

Formerly Know as GE-4

AMC-1

W1

 

103* West

Formerly Known as GE-1

ANIK F1

 

A1

107.3* West

 

ANIF E1

A3

 

109.5* West

 

ANIK ER2

 

A2

111.1* West

 

SATMEX 5

 

M2

116.8* West

 

Telstar 13

Instelsat 13

XD?

IA-13

121* West

 

Successfully launched on 7 August 2003. C-Band side not in operation yet. Loral’s Telstar Fleet Bought by Instelsat

This satellite renamed Instelsat 13 or IA-13

 

Galaxy 10R

 

G9

123* West

Galaxy Nine moved to 127* West now designated as  G0

 

Galaxy 5

 

G5

125* West

 

Galaxy 12

 

GC?

125.5* West

Moved from 74* West to be a Back Up for Galaxy 5.

 

Galaxy 13

G13

127* West

 

 

Telstar-7/

Instelsat 7

T7/

IA-7

129* West

 

Loral’s Telstar Fleet Bought by Instelsat

This satellite renamed Instelsat 7 or IA-7

 

Telstar-8/

Instelsat 8

T8/

IA-8

???

 

Loral’s Telstar Fleet Bought by Instelsat

This satellite renamed Instelsat 8 or IA-8

(To Be Launched in 2004)

 

AMC-11

??

131* West

Successfully launched May 19. Will replace SATCOM C3 in the fall of 2004. Owned by SES Americom.

 

AMC-10

W0

135* West

 

Successfully launched in February. Testing Complete. Will provide 36 C-Band Transponders.

AMC-7

 

W7

137* West

Formerly known as GE-7

AMC-8

W8

139* West

Formerly known as GE-8.

 

Galaxy 13

 

GD

154* West

Launched 01 Oct 03;  Will Eventually Replace Galaxy 9 at 127* West when testing complete.

Galaxy 9

 

G0

127* West

 

Was moved from 123* West.

Galaxy 9 will eventually move to 74* West when it is replaced by Galaxy 13.

Telstar 7

 

T7

129* West

 

SATCOM

C3

 

F3

131* West

 

 

Galaxy 1R

 

G1

133* West

 

SATCOM

C4

 

F4

135* West

 

AMC-7

 

F1

137* West

 

SES GSTAR 4

 

NA

NA

 

 

Source:  Via Satellite’s  North American Transponder Guide August/September 2004

Other Notes: 

 

NASA Users:  NASA Television will improve coverage to viewers in Alaska and Hawaii as well as the continental United States when it switches its signal from one satellite to two different ones.  Beginning July 24, NASA Television will be seen in the continental United States on AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude, Transponder 9, 3880 MHz, vertical polarization, audio at 6.8 MHz.  If you live in Alaska or Hawaii, NASA TV will now be seen on AMC-7, at 137 degrees west longitude, Transponder 18, at 4060 MHz, vertical polarization, audio at 6.8 MHz. NASA Television will no longer broadcast from its present satellite, AMC-9, after July 24.

 

Satellite Operators occasionally reposition their satellites as described above to make room for newly launched, more capable satellites.  For example, earlier satellites sometimes only had 16 transponders and operated only on the C or KU analog bands.  Newer technology now enables some satellites to carry 24 to 36 transponders and have both a C and KU capability as well as being both analog and digitally capable.

 

All geo-stationary satellites must maintain a geosynchonous orbit roughly 22,300 miles above a point on the earth, hence their orbital location, like 127* West.  They typically have enough “station-keeping” or location holding fuel for 10-15 years of life.  Occasionally, one will fail for known or unknown reasons, as have three orbiting over the United States in the last 10 years or so.

 

Although the smaller DirecTV, Dish, and Echostar Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) digital dishes have replaced the larger first generation, 6-12 foot C/KU analog TVRO (Big, Ugly Dishes) BUDs in many locations, the fact is that there are still 12,000-15,000 of these older dishes in service in the United States.  They are still the primary means of receiving “ad hoc” teleconferences from various providers as the small dish networks, though mandated to set a few channels for teleconferences, have never offered space segment pricing that made “ad hoc” programming very economically attractive.

 

Having been in this field of operations for over eight years now, I find that the major reason that C/KU operators have trouble with their existing C/KU BUDs is that the owner or sponsor rarely has done any preventative maintenance on the dish in years if ever.   Like all mechanical devices, they do need occasional service.  So once a year or at least every 18 months, you should schedule a technician to come out to service your dish.  This should not cost more than a couple of hundred dollars.  You can find a good explanation of what the technician should do during this visit at this web site:  

http://www.nmia.com/~roberts/winterize.

 

While your tech is on site, be sure that he also reprograms your receiver to add the newest satellites or re-designate the location designators as described above.

 

Finally, this may also be a good time to consider an upgrade to a digital receiver.  The FCC has mandated that all satellite signals be digital by 2007 (though some analog signals will still be available until 2014).  Ad Hoc Program providers will be moving to digital transmission sooner than later however and some already have.

 

When I relocated my office in July 2003, I bit the bullet and made the upgrade.  As my old BUD was used when I got it, I simply elected to get a completely new 10 foot mesh dish with a new digital receiver, capable of analog reception as well.   The total cost of the installed dish (pole mounted on the ground), the new Motorola 4DTV digital receiver, and the cable runs (buried) to my office was less than $3,000 from a local provider here in Phoenix.  You can learn more about a digital upgrade here: http://www.4dtv.com/index.html.

 

Lastly, here’s a web site with lots of good satellite related explanations and detailed links: http://www.21st-satellite.com/sat_tv.html.

 

Meanwhile… May IGOR the Satellite God always let your electrons flow freely…

 

Good Luck!

 

Ed Kronholm

Interagency Satellite Programs Coordinator

1-480-730-1388

   


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