Thor (satellite)

Last updated

Thor (previously known as Marcopolo) is a family of satellites designed, launched and tested by Hughes Space and Communications (now part of Boeing Satellite Systems) for British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB), and were used for Britain's Direct Broadcast Service. Thor is owned by Telenor. [1] Marcopolo 1 launched on 27 August 1989 on the 187th launch of a Delta rocket, and Marcopolo 2 launched on 17 August 1990, on a Delta II rocket. [2] Marcopolo I had the Hughes designation HS376. [3]

Communications satellite artificial satellite designed for telecommunications

A communications satellite is an artificial satellite that relays and amplifies radio telecommunications signals via a transponder; it creates a communication channel between a source transmitter and a receiver at different locations on Earth. Communications satellites are used for television, telephone, radio, internet, and military applications. There are 2,134 communications satellites in Earth's orbit, used by both private and government organizations. Many are in geostationary orbit 22,200 miles (35,700 km) above the equator, so that the satellite appears stationary at the same point in the sky, so the satellite dish antennas of ground stations can be aimed permanently at that spot and do not have to move to track it.

British Satellite Broadcasting

British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) was a television company, headquartered in London, that provided direct broadcast satellite television services to the United Kingdom. The company was merged with Sky Television plc on 2 November 1990 to form British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB). It started broadcasting on 25 March 1990.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Contents

Although the satellites performed as designed, BSB [4] merged with Sky Television to form British Sky Broadcasting and the BSB satellites were sold off and renamed. This also resulted in the obsoletion of the Squarial satellite-reception antenna, which was designed to operate with Thor 1 only.

Sky Television plc was a public limited company which operated a nine-channel satellite television service, launched by Rupert Murdoch's News International on 5 February 1989. Sky Television and its rival British Satellite Broadcasting suffered large financial losses and merged on 2 November 1990 to form British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB). Programming merger took effect on 1 December 1990.

Squarial

The Squarial is a satellite antenna used for reception of the now defunct British Satellite Broadcasting television service. The Squarial was a flat plate satellite antenna, built to be unobtrusive and unique. BSB were counting on the form factor of the antenna to clearly differentiate themselves from their competitors at the time. At the time of development, satellite installations usually required a 90 cm dish in order to receive a clear signal from the transmitting satellite. The smaller antenna was BSB's unique selling point and was heavily advertised in order to attract customers to their service.

Marcopolo 1 (Sirius 1/Sirius W)

Sirius W, previously known as Sirius 1, was launched on 27 August 1989. It was Hughes Space and Communications's first satellite. Marcopolo 1 was sold in December 1993 to Nordic Satellite AB of Sweden and operated until 2000 as Sirius 1 at 5°E. It was then moved to 13°W, and renamed Sirius W. It had 5 Ku band transponders.

Marcopolo 2 (Thor 1)

Marcopolo 2 was launched on 18 August 1990. It had 5 Ku band transponders. It was sold in July 1992 to Telenor of Norway and renamed Thor 1. It was located at 0.8°W. It was switched off in January 2002, and in November of that year it was moved to 7.4°W and reactivated with digital test signals broadcasting toward Scandinavia. Marcopolo 2 was sent up to the junk orbit in early January 2003.

Telenor Multinational telecommunications company

Telenor ASA is a Norwegian multinational telecommunications company headquartered at Fornebu in Bærum, close to Oslo. It is one of the world's largest mobile telecommunications companies with operations worldwide, focus in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Asia. It has extensive broadband and TV distribution operations in four Nordic countries, and a 10-year-old research and business line for Machine-to-Machine technology. Telenor owns networks in 13 countries, and has operations in 29 countries.

Norway Country in Northern Europe

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.

Scandinavia Region in Northern Europe

Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. The term Scandinavia in local usage covers the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The majority national languages of these three, belong to the Scandinavian dialect continuum, and are mutually intelligible North Germanic languages. In English usage, Scandinavia also sometimes refers to the Scandinavian Peninsula, or to the broader region including Finland and Iceland, which is always known locally as the Nordic countries.

Thor 2

Thor 2 was launched on 21 May 1997, and retired in 2008 although it remained in an inclined geostationary orbit until January 2013 when it de-orbited to the graveyard orbit. [5] It weighs 1467 kg, and has 15 Ku band transponders, with 3 spares, powered by 40-watt traveling-wave tube amplifiers (TWTAs).

Thor 3

Thor 3 (the "3" is officially "III") was a satellite used by Canal Digital in the Nordic areas for DTH services. It launched on 9 June 1998 with an expected lifetime at 12 years, and was located at 0.8°W. It had 14 active Ku band transponders powered by 47-watt traveling-wave tube amplifiers (TWTAs). The satellite was targeted on Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and parts of Central Europe. [6] Thor 3 is still in operation and is flying in inclined geostationary orbit but has been pointed towards the middle east. Thor 3 was replaced by Thor 6 in June 2010.

Satellite Human-made object put into an orbit

In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object that has been intentionally placed into orbit. These objects are called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as Earth's Moon.

Canal Digital is a Nordic pay TV and internet service provider in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland that was founded in March 1997 as a joint venture between the French pay TV company Canal+ and the Norwegian telecommunications operator Telenor. Since 2003, Canal Digital is fully owned by Telenor.

Central Europe Region of Europe

Central Europe is the region comprising the central part of Europe. Central Europe occupies continuous territories that are otherwise sometimes considered parts of Western Europe, Southern Europe, and Eastern Europe. The concept of Central Europe is based on a common historical, social, and cultural identity.

Intelsat 10-02 (Thor 4)

Intelsat 10-02 was launched on 16 June 2004, located at 1°W, and was beamed toward Central Europe and the Middle East. In 2004 this satellite to begin used by Romanian TV provider Digi TV.

Thor 5

Thor 5 was launched on 11 February 2008. It was first planned that the satellite would be called Thor 2R', but Telenor named it Thor 5. It has 24 active Ku band transponders.

Thor 6

Thor 6 was launched [7] from the Guiana Spaceport on 29 October 2009. Telenor Satellite Broadcasting announced on 15 December that Thor 6 had completed all necessary in-orbit and ground-related testing and would commence commercial service in late December.

Thor 6 has 36 Ku band transponders. It provides direct-to-home television broadcasting services from the orbital location 0.8°W. It replaced Thor 3. [8]

Thor 7

Thor 7 has been built by SSL. It was successfully launched by Arianespace from Kourou spaceport on 26 April 2015. It will mainly serve maritime customers and have a total capacity of 9 Gbit/s. It was launched in tandem with the Italian/French Sicral 2 defense satellite.

Related Research Articles

Astra (satellite) brand name for a number of geostationary communication satellites

Astra is the brand name for a number of geostationary communication satellites, both individually and as a group, which are owned and operated by SES S.A., a global satellite operator based in Betzdorf, in eastern Luxembourg. The name is also used to describe the pan-European broadcasting system provided by these satellites, the channels carried on them, and even the reception equipment.

Sirius was a constellation of communications satellites operated at 5°E in geostationary orbit (GEO) by NSAB. They carried digital satellite television to the countries of Scandinavia, Baltic states, eastern Europe and Africa, including the Viasat pay TV system, along with several pay TV packages for eastern Europe, the TopTV package for Africa, a number of Ukrainian channels and the national Latvian and Lithuanian channel service free-to-air.

MEASAT Satellite Systems

MEASAT Satellite Systems Sdn. Bhd, formerly Binariang Satellite Systems Sdn. Bhd is a Malaysian communications satellite operator, which owns and operates the MEASAT and AFRICASAT spacecraft. The company provides satellite services to leading international broadcasters, Direct-To-Home (DTH) platforms and telecom operators. With capacity across six communication satellites, the company provides satellite services to over 150 countries representing 80% of the world's population across Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and Australia.

Intelsat 2, formerly PAS-2, was a communications satellite operated by Intelsat which spent most of its operational life serving the Pacific Rim market from a longitude of 169° East. Launched in 1994, the satellite was operated by PanAmSat until it merged with Intelsat in 2006. The spacecraft was renamed, along with the rest of PanAmSat's fleet, in February 2007.

Horizons-2 is a Ku band communications satellite owned by Horizons Satellite, a joint venture between SKY Perfect JSAT Group and Intelsat. Its orbital slot is located at 74° west longitude.

Astra 5°E is the name for the Astra communications satellites co-located at the 5° east position in the Clarke Belt which are owned and operated by SES based in Betzdorf, Luxembourg. 5° east is one of the major TV satellite positions serving Europe.

The DirecTV satellite fleet is a group of communications satellites located at various geostationary orbits for the DirecTV satellite television service and HughesNet internet service.

Galaxy 25 (G-25) launched in 1997 is a medium-powered communications satellite formerly in a geostationary orbit at 0°N 97°W, above a point in the Pacific Ocean several hundred miles west of the Galapagos Islands. It was manufactured by Space Systems/Loral, part of its FS-1300 line, and is currently owned and operated by Intelsat. The satellite's main C-band transponder cluster covers the United States, southern Canada, and Mexico; its main Ku band transponder cluster covers the U.S., Mexico, and the northern Caribbean Sea. An additional C-band and a Ku band transponder pair targets the Hawaiian Islands.

Intelsat 604, previously named Intelsat VI F-4, was a communications satellite operated by Intelsat. Launched in 1990, it was the third of five Intelsat VI satellites to be launched. The Intelsat VI series was constructed by Hughes Aircraft, based on the HS-389 satellite bus.

BSAT-1a was a geostationary communications satellite designed and manufactured by Hughes on the HS-376 platform. It was originally ordered and operated by the Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT). It was used as the main satellite to broadcast television channels for NHK and WOWOW over Japan. It had a pure Ku band payload and operated on the 110°E longitude until it was replaced, along its backup BSAT-1b, by BSAT-3a. On 3 August 2010, it was decommissioned and placed on a graveyard orbit.

BSAT-1b was a geostationary communications satellite designed and manufactured by Hughes on the HS-376 platform. It was originally ordered and operated by the Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT). It was used as backup of BSAT-1a to broadcast television channels for NHK and WOWOW over Japan. It had a pure Ku band payload and operated on the 110°E longitude until it was replaced, along its twin BSAT-1a, by BSAT-3a.

Horizons-1, also known as Galaxy 13, is a geostationary communications satellite operated by Intelsat and SKY Perfect JSAT Group (JSAT) which was designed and manufactured by Boeing on the BSS-601 platform. It has Ku band and C band payload and was used to replace Galaxy 9 at the 127°West longitude. It covers North America, Puerto Rico, Alaska, Hawaii and Mexico.

Intelsat 26 was known as JCSAT-5 before launch and as JCSAT-R until it was sold to Intelsat in 2009. It is a geostationary communications satellite designed and manufactured by Hughes on the HS-601 platform. It was originally ordered by JSAT Corporation, which later merged into the SKY Perfect JSAT Group. It has a mixed Ku band and C band payload and was used as an on orbit spare.

JCSAT-3 was a geostationary communications satellite designed and manufactured by Hughes on the HS-601 platform. It was originally ordered by JSAT Corporation, which later merged into the SKY Perfect JSAT Group. It has a mixed Ku band and C band payload and operated on the 128°E longitude until it was replaced by JCSAT-3A.

SBS 6 was a geostationary communications satellite designed and manufactured by Hughes on the HS-393 platform. It was originally ordered by Satellite Business Systems, which later sold it to Hughes Communications and was last used by Intelsat. It had a Ku band payload and operated on the 95°W longitude.

Intelsat 701 is a geostationary communication satellite that was built by Space Systems/Loral (SSL). It is located in the orbital position of 29.5 degrees east longitude and it is currently in an inclined orbit. The same is owned by Intelsat. The satellite was based on the LS-1300 platform and its estimated useful life was 15 years.

Intelsat 701 is a geostationary communication satellite that was built by Space Systems/Loral (SSL). It is located in the orbital position of 32.9 degrees east longitude and it is currently in an inclined orbit. The same is owned by Intelsat. The satellite was based on the HS-601 platform and its estimated useful life was 15 years.

NSS-703

NSS-703 is a geostationary communication satellite that was built by Space Systems/Loral (SSL). It is located in the orbital position of 29.5 degrees east longitude and it is currently in an inclined orbit. The same is owned by Intelsat and after sold to SES World Skies on November 30, 1998. The satellite was based on the LS-1300 platform and its estimated useful life was 15 years.

Intelsat 705 is a geostationary communication satellite that was built by Space Systems/Loral (SSL). It is located in the orbital position of 29.5 degrees west longitude and it is currently in an inclined orbit. The same is owned by Intelsat. The satellite was based on the LS-1300 platform and its estimated useful life was 15 years.

Intelsat 706 is a geostationary communication satellite that was built by Space Systems/Loral (SSL). It is located in the orbital position of 157 degrees east longitude and it is currently in an inclined orbit. The same is owned by Intelsat. The satellite was based on the LS-1300 platform and its estimated useful life was 15 years.

References

  1. BSB History by Boeing Archived 2009-01-20 at the Wayback Machine
  2. "Boeing Launch Services Mission Record". Boeing.
  3. NASM's Herbert Stephen Desind Collection,p. 36
  4. "TSE - BSB 1". www.tbs-satellite.com.
  5. Clover, Julian. "Thor II de-orbited after 15 years". Broadband TV News. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  6. http://telenorsbc.com/templates/Page.aspx?id=377
  7. "Telenor Satellite Broadcasting".
  8. "Telenor Satellite Broadcasting".