MEASAT Satellite Systems

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Technicians at Boeing's Space and Intelligence Systems satellite manufacturing facility in El Segundo, California, prepare the MEASAT-3 communications satellite.

MEASAT Satellite Systems Sdn. Bhd, formerly Binariang Satellite Systems Sdn. Bhd is a Malaysian communications satellite operator, which owns and operates the MEASAT (Malaysia East Asia Satellite) spacecraft.

As of 2006, the MEASAT satellite network consists of three geostationary satellites designed and built by Boeing Satellite Systems. MEASAT-1 and MEASAT-2 (AFRICASAT-2) were launched in 1996 and MEASAT-3 in 2006.

The MEASAT-1 and 2 satellites were designed to provide 12 years of both direct-to-user television service in Malaysia and general communications services in the region from Malaysia to the Philippines and from Beijing to Indonesia. With the launch of MEASAT-3, the coverage extends even further to an area encompassing 70% of the world's population.

History[edit]

In 1993, Malaysia's Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, called for the end of the Malaysian government's monopoly on communications services. He believed that the creation of privately owned companies could better serve Malaysia's communications needs in the decades ahead. One result of Mahathir's 1993 "Malaysia Plan" was the creation of the Binariang Sdn. Bhd. company by Malaysian tycoon Ananda Krishnan, which was given the charter to develop Malaysia's first satellite communications system. In 1994, Binariang signed a contract with Hughes Space and Communications Company (now Boeing Satellite Systems) for two Model 376 satellites. The project was named the "Malaysia East Asia Satellite" program, or "MEASAT" for short. The satellites opened the door to reliable telephone and data transmission services to all of Malaysia, helping to strengthen the unity between the peninsula and the island portions of the nation. The satellites also contributed greatly to the rapid growth of computer networking in Malaysia, as well as the creation of a new direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television service, called "Astro".

MEASAT-1 and MEASAT-2 (AFRICASAT-2)[edit]

Image of MEASAT-1 orbiting over Malaysia

As advanced Model 376 spacecraft, the MEASAT-1 and -2 satellites have three enhancements over the standard model. They were the first in the 376 series to be fitted with gallium arsenide solar cells, which deliver 40 percent more payload power as compared to their silicon predecessors. They were also the first Model 376s to use lightweight, high-gain shaped antenna. The satellites also used a more efficient bipropellant system for stationkeeping and attitude control maneuvers. Both MEASAT-1 & 2 satellites were launched on Ariane rockets from Centre Spatial Guyanais at Kourou in French Guiana. MEASAT-1 was launched in January 1996, and MEASAT-2 was launched in November 1996. MEASAT-1 was located in a geostationary orbit at 91.5 degrees East, and MEASAT-2 was located in a geostationary orbit at 148 degrees East. The contract with Hughes also called for the installation and testing of equipment for a satellite control station on Langkawi Island, and training of Malaysian spacecraft controllers.

MEASAT 1 had five high-power transponders in Ku band for the direct-to-user service, powered by 112-watt traveling-wave tube amplifiers. The regional service to Malaysia was provided on 12 transponders in C band, using 12-watt solid state amplifiers. MEASAT-2 had 11 active transponders in Ku band. Eight of these use 95-watt traveling-wave amplifiers, and three have 62 watts. MEASAT-2 also had six active transponders in C band, powered by 12-watt solid-state amplifiers.

In the fall of 2009, MEASAT-2 was still functioning reliably beyond its planned 12 year life. With help from Boeing Satellite Systems, MEASAT drift relocated MEASAT-2 from its 148°E orbital location, across the Indian Ocean to provide service to the African continent. In January, 2010, MEASAT renamed MEASAT-2 as "AFRICASAT-2". The AFRICASAT-2 satellite now provides service at the 5.7°E orbital location in inclined orbit. AFRICASAT-2 provides both C and Ku-Band capacity for telecommunications and broadcasting services across Africa, Southern Europe and the Middle East.

MEASAT-1
Orbital Location 91.5°East (0°00′N 91°30′E / 0°N 91.5°E / 0; 91.5)
Geographic Coverage South East Asia, northern Australia and Guam
Launch Year 1996
Present Status Operational
Type of Satellite Boeing 376 HP
Launch vehicle Ariane 4
Design Lifetime 12 years
SSPA Power 12 Watts
Transponder Bandwidth 12×36 MHz
Channel Polarization Linear

MEASAT-3[edit]

Image of MEASAT-3 orbiting over Malaysia
Main article: MEASAT-3

MEASAT-3 was launched successfully on the 12th of December 2006, 7.35 am (Malaysian Time, GMT +8.00 HRS) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.[1]

MEASAT-3a[edit]

Main article: MEASAT-3a

MEASAT-3a constructed by Orbital Sciences Corporation under their Star-2 production line was launched on 21 June 2009.

MEASAT-3b[edit]

MEASAT-3b was launched on 12th September 2014. The satellite which costs MYR1.25 billion was launched from the European Spaceport in French Guiana. MEASAT-3b and will be used to expand video and data services across Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Australia.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ Qishin Tariq (12 September 2014). "Malaysia's Measat-3b satellite successfully launched into space". The Star. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]