Microspace Prepares for Transition to New Satellite

satellite Upgrading to a new satellite isn’t as simple as getting the latest version of the iPhone or picking up a new laptop at the computer store, but Microspace is making the transition feel that easy to their customers.

Micropsace is now mid-way through a several year transition from their AMC-1 to the brand new SES-3 satellite.

“Satellites are like most electronic devices.  They do wear out and come to end of life and we’re nearing that point now with AMC-1,” explained. MCC Vice President of Sales & Marketing Greg Hurt.

Microspace has been providing services on AMC-1 since 1996. 

When a satellite nears “end of life,” satellite operators launch a new satellite and put it in the same parking place in the sky and transition the traffic, the information Microspace sends out for their customers, to the new satellite. 

The new SES-3 satellite was actually launched into space in 2011.  SES-3 has gone through all the necessary operational tests to make sure it will perform as it was designed.  The satellite is located at 103 degrees right now but not transmitting any traffic. 

The old and new satellites are currently together in space.  Once AMC-1 has been officially shut down, it will gradually be moved to the end of the satellite arc and will, in essence, become space junk.  However, the old satellite will be situated so that it doesn’t interfere with any satellites in use.

Microspace has established the official date for the transition a little over one year from now on August 24, 2014, but the actual switchover will likely happen on the weekend in the middle of the night so the effect on Microspace’s clients will be minimal.  The transition will be seamless.  Then their customers will have another long term solution, typically 15-20 years, for their satellite needs.

The new SES-3 satellite is slightly more powerful than the AMC-1 and has a larger footprint.

Microspace recently posted a video on their website to explain the transition:

  • Click here for a video presentation that explains the upcoming transition of Microspace services from AMC-1 to the brand new SES-3 satellite.

Thanks to MCC’s Greg Hurt for this contributions to this capcom story.


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