MSAT, short for Mobile Satellite, is a satellite-based mobile telephony service developed by the National Research Council of Canada. Supported by a number of companies in the US and Canada, MSAT hosts a number of services, including the broadcast of CDGPS signals. The MSAT satellites were built by Hughes (now owned by Boeing) with a 3 kilowatt solar array power capacity and sufficient fuel for a design life of twelve years. TMI Communications of Canada referred to its MSAT satellite as MSAT-1, while American Mobile Satellite Consortium (now Ligado Networks) referred to its MSAT as AMSC-1, with each satellite providing backup for the other.
- April 7, 1995 - MSAT-2 (a.k.a. AMSC-1) launched from Cape Canaveral, Launch Complex 36, Pad A, aboard Atlas IIA
- May 1995 - testing causes overheating and damage to one of eight hybrid matrix amplifier output ports aboard MSAT-2
- April 20, 1996 - MSAT-1 launched from Kourou, French Guiana aboard Ariane 42P
- May 15, 1996 - Reported failures of two solid state power amplifiers (SSPAs) and one L-band receiver on separate occasions aboard MSAT-2.
- May 4, 2003 - MSAT-1 loses two power amplifiers.
MSAT-1 and MSAT-2 have had their share of problems. Mobile Satellite Ventures placed the AMSC-1 satellite into a 2.5 degree inclined orbit operations mode in November 2004, reducing station-keeping fuel usage and extending the satellite's useful life.
On January 11, 2006, Mobile Satellite Ventures (MSVLP) (now LightSquared) announced plans to launch a new generation of satellites (in a 3 satellite configuration) to replace the MSAT satellites by 2010. MSV has said that all old MSAT gear would be compatible with the new satellites.
- MSV-1 (U.S.)
- MSV-2 (Canada)
- MSV-SA (South America)
Services Delivered via MSAT
The following services are singularly dependent upon the continued operation of the MSAT satellite:
- CDGPS - a differential correction signal system for improved GPS navigation accuracy
- Trailer Tracking - by SkyWave Mobile Communications
- Trailer Tracking - by SkyBitz
- EMERGNET - by Glentel
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