|Operator||Space Research Commission|
|Mission duration||15 years|
|Launch mass||5,115 kilograms (11,277 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||11 August 2011, 16:15:04UTC|
|Rocket||Chang Zheng 3B|
|Launch site||Xichang LC-2|
|Perigee||35,778 kilometres (22,231 mi)|
|Apogee||35,805 kilometres (22,248 mi)|
|Epoch||24 December 2013, 23:02:29 UTC|
PakSat-1R (PakSat-1 Replacement) is an advanced geosynchronous communications satellite that is manufactured and operated by the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), an executive space authority of the government of Pakistan.
PakSat-1R was Pakistan's first newly built geostationary telecommunications satellite and was launched from Xichang, China, at 16:15 UTC on 11 August 2011. Launched on the Long March 3B rocket, the satellite has a design life of 15 years with initial goals to provide broadband internet access, digital television broadcasting, remote and rural telephony, emergency communications, tele-education and tele-medicine services across South and Central Asia, Eastern Europe, East Africa and the Far East. The satellite successfully took over the operations of its predecessor, the PakSat-1 satellite leased by Pakistan, in geostationary orbit at 38° East.
In December 2001, SUPARCO leased the Palapa C1 satellite as PakSat-1. It was acquired after an anomaly in the electrical system of the satellite on 24 November 1998. A module for controlling the hydro accumulators had failed and Hughes Global Services (HGS) managed to develop a strategy that allowed the continued use of the satellite in geostationary orbit. The satellite was eventually leased by Pakistan as PakSat-1 at 38° East in geostationary orbit and had been active since April 2004. To replace the PakSat-1, the 2040 Pakistan Space Program stipulated the development and manufacture of a new satellite in Pakistan.
A prototype of PAKSAT-IR was developed by SUPARCO at its Satellite Research and Development Centre (SRDC) in Lahore. The project was aimed to enhance the know-how of young scientists and engineers about communications satellite engineering. The PakSat-1R prototype has three C-band Transponders as the communication payload. All the subsystems have been designed and developed locally in Pakistan. System integration and testing have also been performed. SUPARCO reported that the project was completed in three years.
Manufacture and launch
The PakSat-1R was mostly designed, built, launched and funded by China. Before launching the satellite spent around 18 days undergoing laboratory tests in China. The PakSat-1R was launched on 11 August 2011 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province, China, by a Long March 3B/E (Chang Zheng-3B/E) launch vehicle. In 2010, China provided loans for setting up communication facilities at the SUPARCO Satellite Ground Station.
The Paksat-1R satellite is based on the DFH-4 platform, with a launch mass around 5,200 kg. The satellite will be positioned at 38.0 degrees East, replacing the Paksat-1 (23779 1996-006A), which was launched as Palapa-C on January 31, 1996, by an Atlas-IIAS (AC-126) from Cape Canaveral’s LC-36B launch complex. Paksat-1R was manufactured by the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), after being ordered in October 15, 2008 – with a contract signed with the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC). The PakSat-1R contract was the third communications satellite contract signed by China’s space industry with international customers. It is also China’s first satellite in-orbit delivery contract signed with an Asian customer.
The satellite will support all conventional and modern Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) applications, with a total of up to 30 transponders: 18 in Ku-band and 12 in C-band. To ensure high degree of reliability/availability of the system, two fully redundant Satellite Ground Control Stations (SGCS) were established in Karachi and Lahore, one to act as the Main and the other as Backup respectively.
The DFH-4 (DongFangHong-4) platform is a large telecommunications satellite platform – a new generation of hardware based on high output power and communication capacity, ranking alongside international advanced satellite platforms. The applications for the DFH-4 platform aren’t limited to high capacity broadcast communication satellites and can be used to tracking and data relay satellites, regional mobile communication satellites, etc. The platform comprises propulsion module, service module and solar array. It has a payload capacity of 588 kg and an output power of 10.5 kW by the end of its lifetime. Its design lifetime is 15 years and its reliability by the end of its lifetime is more than 0.78.
Based on versatility, inheritance, expandability and promptness principles and mature technology, the platform will meet the needs of international and domestic large communication satellite markets. The satellite is equipped with three receiver antennas and two transmission antennas. It can support the transmission of 150-200 TV programs simultaneously to ground users using a 0.45m antenna device.
The launch was witnessed by, among others, Pakistan's Secretary Defence, Lt. Gen. Syed Athar Ali (R), Secretary Foreign Affairs, Salman Bashir, Director General, Strategic Plans Division, Lt. Gen. Khalid Ahmed Kidwai (R) and the Ambassador of Pakistan to China, Muhammad Masood Khan.
The reception perceived in Pakistan science community and in the country was generally positive. However, leading scientists in Pakistan gave criticism to Suparco for not able to launch the satellite from Pakistan's Flight Space Center and questioned were raised whether space programme is on the right track. In a press release, Suparco dismissed the concerns and maintained that the program is being directed on its right direction. Commenting on the launch of the satellite, The Tribune wrote, what Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) has achieved today could have been done 30 years ago.
- McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
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- "Development Programmes: PakSat-IR Prototype" (Webcache). SUPARCO. Press Release. March 11, 2008. Retrieved 2011.
- Siddiqui, Salman (August 1, 2012). "Lagging behind: 2040 - Pakistan’s space od[d]yssey". the Express Tribune.
- "China backs Pak moves to safeguard its security". Retrieved 21 March 2014.
- "China provides loan for satellite ground control segment". The Nation. October 30, 2010. p. 1.
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- Siddiqui, Salman (August 12, 2011). "PAKSAT-1R: China launches Pakistan’s first GEO communications satellite". The Express Tribune (in English) (Karachi, Sindh Province of Pakistan: Century Publications). p. 1. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
- PAKSAT Official Website
- Pakistan's PAKSAT-R
- PAKSAT-1R Prototype
- PAKSAT-1R launch date
- SUPARCO to launch Paksat 1R satellite
- New communication satellite ‘PakSat-1R’ important for many reasons: Khan
- Pakistan’s first Communications Satellite PAKSAT-1R launched