El Segundo, Calif.
Oct. 9, 1999
||101 Degrees W
To expand channel capacity and strengthen in-orbit redundancy, DIRECTV, Inc., ordered a new satellite from Hughes Space and Communications Company (HSC), today Boeing Satellite Systems, Inc., in 1998. The new spacecraft, called DIRECTV 1-R, is a Hughes 601HP model satellite scheduled that was launched in October 1999 under a delivery-in-orbit contract.
It is positioned at 101 degrees West longitude among DIRECTV's three existing spacecraft, which are "classic" Hughes 601 models built by HSC. Collectively those three satellites have the capacity to deliver more than 200 channels of entertainment programming to subscribers that are equipped with DSS™ digital home receiving units, which feature an 18-inch dish.
The new satellite replaces DIRECTV-1, which will remain available as in-orbit backup. DIRECTV 1-R carries 16 Ku-band transponders, for additional Ku-band capacity that will be used to deliver new programming services. With 7.7 kilowatts, DIRECTV 1-R will deliver nearly 30 percent more power than its predecessor.
DIRECTV's satellites operate in the BSS portion of the Ku-band spectrum (12.2-12.7 GHz) and employ circular polarization. Depending on configuration of the transponders, they can deliver 50 to 55 dBW radiated power over the contiguous United States, Alaska and Hawaii.
Stowed (left); In Orbit (right)
All Hughes 601-now Boeing 601-spacecraft use the same basic bus design, allowing the company to realize efficiencies gained by production volume, tooling investments and quantity buys. The Hughes 601 was introduced in 1987, and it has become the world's best-selling large satellite model, with more than 81 ordered. The "classic" Hughes 601 model, with silicon solar panels, provides up to 4-5 kilowatts total spacecraft power. The Hughes 601HP version uses gallium arsenide solar panels and other technological advances to provide as much as 10 kilowatts.
The Boeing 601 body is composed of two modules. The first contains the primary bus structure that carries all launch vehicle loads and contains the propulsion subsystem, bus electronics and battery packs. The second payload module is a structure of honeycomb shelves that hold the communications equipment, electronics and isothermal heat pipes. Reflectors, antenna feeds and solar arrays mount directly to the payload module, and antenna configurations can be placed on three faces of the bus. This modular approach allows work to proceed in parallel, thereby shortening the manufacturing schedule and test time.
The operations control center for the DIRECTV satellites is in Long Beach, Calif.; telemetry and command terminals are in Castle Rock, Colo., and Spring Creek, N.Y. Uplink is from both the DIRECTV Castle Rock Broadcast Center, and the Los Angeles Broadcast Center.
Boeing Satellite Systems is the world's leading manufacturer of commercial communications satellites, and is also a major supplier of spacecraft for communications and space exploration to the U.S. government, and builds weather satellites for the Unites States and Japan.
||16 active (4 spare)
200 w microwave power amplifiers (MPAs) (dual 100 w TWTAs)
Beginning of life
End of life
2 wings, each w/4 panels of dual-junction gallium arsenide cells
||27-cells NiH, 350-Ahr
|Liquid apogee motor
||110 lbf (490 N)
4 x 10-6 lbf (0.17 N)
4 x 5 lbf (10 N)
4 x 2 lbf (22 N)
||L, solar arrays: 86 ft (26 m)
W, antennas: 23 ft (7. m)
||H: 13 ft 3 in (4 m)
W: 8 ft 10 in x 11 ft 9 in
(2.7 m x 3.6 m)
(beginning of life)
7581 lb (3446 kg)
5069 lb (2304 kg)
||2 107-in shaped Gregorian reflectors
||1 54-in shaped single-surface reflectors