The rogue Galaxy 15 satellite
The rogue Galaxy 15 satellite

The Galaxy 15 satellite that was knocked out by a solar storm on April 5th (but is somehow still transmitting) has been slowly drifting towards the AMC 11 satellite and was expected to drift into the orbit of AMC 11 around May 23rd.  Since these 2 satellites operate on the same frequencies, there was expected to be interference with  satellite and cable programming across the United States, Canada, Caribbean and Mexico. AMC 11 also relays HDTV programming for NBC, Discovery, Scripps, Comcast, MTV and iNDemand networks.

SES World Skies plans to maneuver its satellite, AMC 11, to match the drift of zombie satellite Galaxy 15, effectively running from the interference. That should maintain a minimum distance of separation between the two satellites.

The company will also move a new satellite, SES-1, to the opposite side of Galaxy 15, effectively flanking the zombie. This will enable customers, including several cable television networks, to leapfrog their broadcasts over any potential interruption in service. Customers will either be able to maintain services on AMC-11 during its repositioned drift, or re-point antennas to the new SES-1 in order to maintain the quality of their services.

The interference is now likely minimum, but hopefully companies are monitoring the signals for interference with their cable and satellite test equipment so they can make any adjustments needed.

About The Author

LBA Group, Inc. has 50 years of experience in providing RF asset solutions and risk management for industrial and telecommunications infrastructure assets. The group is comprised of LBA Technology, a leading manufacturer and integrator of radio frequency systems, lightning protection and EMC equipment for broadcast, industrial and government users worldwide; the professional consultancy Lawrence Behr Associates and LBA University, providing on-site and online professional training. The companies are based in Greenville, N.C., USA.

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