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Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Sixto, Jun 17, 2010.
You like asking rhetorical questions don't you?
Who knows maybe they could find one on ebay. :lol:
So my question is why was it pushed out?
Was it of DirecTV's choosing to back off and drag their feet or is the revised launch window based on what it turned out the launch providers were able to do?
I could see the latter as more likely. DirecTV contracted the bird, SSL says they could deliver it by the end of 2012 (thus the original projected launch date of 2013) and then when they started actually shopping the launch found that the soonest they could get it scheduled was in 2014.
Pure speculation, but not improbable.
It's likely that there's no "dragging of feet" by Directv - that's just more FUD from the usual source. After all subscriber numbers and corporate income continue to be quite positive for Directv, so there's no reason to assume a change in schedule is anything but the usual course of business with anything involving the aerospace industry (something the canine knows little about). Anyone looking to spin that negatively is just grinding an axe.
Rather, if you look at the bigger picture surrounding Directv's satellite constellation, there are lots of balls in the air from a regulatory standpoint with regard to the BSS slots (at least one of which is apparently still up for grabs among several contenders) and whether those payloads (some of them anyway) can be fitted as additional payloads to already-planned Ka satellite buses, the need to replace some of the aging Ku sats in the next several years, and balancing the cash flow necessary to expand and maintain the constellation, PLUS securing launch slots for some of these next few satellites. None of that is easy and it takes quite a bit of work to coordinate it all. Delays are not unexpected - by contrast, ANYTHING involving the space business that arrives precisely when planned after several years of effort would be a shock.
OK. I wouldn't have thought they were dragging their feet, just mentioning it because the projected launch date for D14 did slip by a year and I for one was disappointed to hear it.
Also, I was under the impression that the BSS payloads were a done deal and already planned for inclusion on the new birds.
From the SSL press release for D14...
Palo Alto, Calif. – June 11, 2010 – Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) today announced that it has entered into a contract to provide a high-power satellite to DIRECTV. The new satellite, DIRECTV 14, which was started earlier this quarter under an authorization to proceed, is a 20 kilowatt spacecraft that will use Ka-band and Reverse DBS to expand the company’s video services.
And from the Astrium press release for D15 release...
Based on Astrium’s highly reliable Eurostar E3000 platform, the new satellite, DIRECTV 15, will have a payload comprising 30 high power transponders in Ku-band, 24 transponders in Ka-band, 18 transponders in Reverse Band,
Don't misunderstand me. I'm not challenging what you are saying. I just find that asking questions and presenting what my current understanding is based upon is the best way I can end up learning something.
I'm just trying to learn something.
Is it possible they've contracted for hardware on the new birds for which they don't yet have the authorization locked down or am I even more confused than I thought.
EDIT TO ADD; That D15 sucker sounds pretty loaded. Seems like it might be well positioned to pick up some of that KU attrition from the end-of-life of some of the older sats.
Yeah they're clearly building hybrid, multi-band satellites. However, there is still wrangling over one or more of the BSS slots (I think 95W but I might be remembering wrong - there was a big discussion over this here sometime last year or so - a search should turn up the posts if you want to look). I don't think that has ever been fully resolved but again, I could be wrong. Haven't been paying that much attention to that squabble lately. The D15 announcement is the newest and all that has been going on in the background since D14 was announced. The interesting thing about D15 is that right now, I don't think the current Directv LNBs can receive Ku from 99 or 103, nor can they receive Ka from 101. So I wonder if that means new more flexible LNBs (very expensive for 18M or so service locations) or if portions of the payload will be used differently depending on which slot the satellite ends up in (e.g. operational flexibility).
So yeah, lots of things still to shake out. I'm certain Directv has a detailed plan for all of this; it's just us - the outside interested observers - who are trying to parse it all out and make sense of the tidbits of info that sneak out over time.
Well the Astrium press release goes on to say that D15 "will be able to operate from up to five orbital locations from 99°W to 119°W" so it could go anywhere in there...but that also leaves 95°W out of the equation...at least for this sat.
I was thinking to myself that this may be the new "Super 101" bird capable of doing all things from one slot, not knowing it would take an LNB upgrade to utilize all three spectrums from that slot.
Although it sounds like some sort of LNB upgrade would be needed to use all three spectrums on D15 no matter what slot they put it in.
Right, but then you have to figure in regulatory stuff. The ITU regulates which country (countries, in some cases) are allowed to broadcast from which orbital slots in which bands. For U.S. slots, the FCC allocates usage between competing providers of telecom services. For instance, Directv doesn't have a Ku license from 99 or 103, nor does it have a Ka license for direct-to-home service from 101 (I don't think - I might be wrong about that - haven't looked lately). The do have a Ka license from 101 but only for backhaul transmissions to and from their uplink centers. Then there's the new BSS (or Reverse DBS) licenses for the various orbital slots, not all of which correlate with Directv's usual arc at 99-101-103 (or even 110 or 119). Plus a set of odd-ball applications this year (filed August 9) for a (new?) Ka slot at 97W. THAT slot is also applied for by Inmarsat and Hughes, who both want to use the ITU's frequency allocations to the UK to access the U.S. market from that slot, if the FCC will allow it.
It's all pretty confusing to keep up with if it's not your full-time day job.
Well, I'm obviously forsaking my full-time day job right now in favor of this trivial pursuit.
I'm on vacation starting in about 50 minutes until 12/27 and not much is going to get done at this point I'm afraid. :lol:
D15, with its Ku payload, seems destined to end up at 101°, as a replacement for an aging bird. At 101°, it would use its Ka and Ku capabilites. In the meantime, it could reside at 99° or 103°, making use of its Ka and Reverse band payloads. It's possible that it could displace a Ka only sat, which would go to 101°.
New LNBs are expected, as current LNBs don't receive Reverse band at all, nor Ka from 101°.
It's not really clear what role BSS is destined to play. Depending on the type of service(s) that bandwidth is used for, new LNBs and/or new SWiM units (to modulate the signals into the existing tuner frequency bands) could be phased in more slowly as customers opt for those specific services.
Moreover, I don't believe Directv has any intention (nor do they have a license) for Ka to the home from 101.
Clever, but no license from the FCC means no service to customers. Plus Ka at 101 is already being used for back hauls. Until the FCC grants a license for Ka to the home at the 101 slot, nothing is changing on that score.
If directv starts using bss band for any to home signals, then lnbs will have to replaced everywhere anyway, based on some speculation. If that happens then I would expect directv to create a new lnb that can pick up any of the signal freq at any of their slots, if it's feasible and not cost prohibitive to do, knowing that that would give them the most flexibility overall.
I changed the title of the thread earlier today, certainly with Lefty having an active role (as always) ...
D15 seems to be designed to be able to work at any of DirecTV's current locations and that is really the only explanation. This gives them the most flexibility long term and for managing their fleet. Not only does DirecTV not have any where that they have licenses for all those different bands but there isn't a single spot that they use that they could get all those bands to use at a single slot. The spacing and offset of the different bands don't line up anywhere that they use. There is also no way it could end up powering all those TPs at the same time. If you look at the number of TPs using all of them would be the equivalent of 3 or 4 of their currently in orbit sats while the specs don't indicate that it is able to generate any more power than d10-d12 do.
D14 is going to 99. That much is pretty clear IMO. It should also provide an immediately available boost to channels they can provide by using the Ka High for conus, just like d12 did. Where D15 goes may depend on how D10 and the other sats are doing at that point. Replacing what ever sat is doing the worst at that point.
It might also depend on what happens with the 97 Ka license that dish had but never used. This seems like a longshot since they don't even have the license yet and once they did get the license they would have a several year timeline to actually get a sat up there. They would also need LNB swaps before they could get any use out of it for in home service.
What ever ends up happening we are definitely looking at new LNBs.
I suspect it had much to do with debate over what to do about D10.
The mention in the license applications regarding Puerto Rico should have been a dead giveaway.
Seems like the excuses were flowing like beer at a frat party. Some of them didn't make sense given the timeline and previously posted planned dates.
Are you a practicing aerospace engineer? If the manufacturer started construction in 2010, could they not typically finish by the end 2012? Remember that we're talking about SS/L that has a reputation for on-time or early deliveries and not Boeing.
Um, no. The modification of an application to cover additional geographic doesn't really tell much about the overall use of BSS in the bigger picture. But seeing as you're a non-subscriber, I wonder why it is that you care enough to keep making these inane drive-by posts. :nono: