[Satellite News 07-10-12] Sky Perfect JSAT is now ready to commence service on the Lockheed Martin-built JCSAT-13 telecommunications satellite at 124 degrees East following successful on-orbit deployment and checkout of all spacecraft systems, the Japanese operator announced July 10.
JCSAT-13 gives Sky Perfect JSAT a wide range of new capabilities in the rapidly growing Asian market. The satellite carries an all Ku-band payload comprising 44 high-power communication channels with uplink and downlink coverage over Japan, Indonesia, the Middle and Near East, Southwest Asia and Oceania.
Sky Perfect JSAT President Shinji Takada said JCSAT-13’s two additional steerable antennas would provide coverage for new and emerging markets as well as quick response coverage, spanning the Earth to quickly cover a specific geographic region and, depending on capacity requirements, multiple transponders on each steerable beam.
“Extensive on-board switching allows for payload reconfiguration capability on orbit, efficiently using the frequency plan,” Takada said in a statement. “JCSAT-13’s 44 Ku-band transponders, Japan beam, Southeast Asia beam, and two steerable beams provide extensive coverage over Asia and Oceania and support the Sky PerfecTV domestic DTH service as the replacement satellite for JCSAT-4A. By making full use of JCSAT-13, we intend to boost our global businesses in new and emerging markets.”
JCSAT-13, based on Lockheed Martin’s A2100 platform, is the seventh A2100 satellite Lockheed Martin has delivered to Sky Perfect JSAT. Lockheed Martin successfully built JCSAT-9 through JCSAT-12, JCSAT-110 and BSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R, which was procured jointly with the Broadcast Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT).
“JCSAT-13 is the 100th commercial geostationary satellite Lockheed Martin has delivered to customers around the globe,” Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems President Joseph Rickers said. “We are extremely proud to share this milestone with Sky Perfect JSAT, one of our most trusted and valued business partners for over a decade.”
Sky Perfect JSAT accelerated its JCSAT-13 satellite project by a full year. The satellite was originally scheduled for launch on an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket in 2013, but Sky Perfect JSAT announced in June 2011 that the company hoped to launch the spacecraft in the 2011 fourth quarter.
Sky Perfect JSAT Senior Executive Vice President Osamu Inoue said that Arianespace made an earlier launch spot available to the company after it saw the need to meet faster-than-expected growth in certain market segments.
“[The program acceleration] allows us to quickly respond to a variety of customer requirements such as DTH services, high-speed broadband services and enterprise VSAT networks, in which time-to-market is a crucial factor for success. We view JCSAT-13 as an important platform for our future growth. Leveraging on its Southeast Asia beam and the two steerable beams, this satellite will significantly expand our international Ku-band businesses to new areas,” Inoue said.
The multimillion-dollar JCSAT-13 spacecraft will replace the operator’s JCSAT-4A satellite at the 124 degrees East orbital slot, providing 44 high-power Ku-band transponders designed to continue providing service to Japan’s DTH platform.
Sky Perfect JSAT CEO Masanori Akiyama previously told Satellite News that robust transponder demand in the Asia-Pacific region has motivated the company to focus on JCSAT-13’s future role in the expansion its regional presence. “We expect to find new opportunities in the fields of DTH, IP solutions and teleport business in the Asian region that will utilize our existing and new satellites,” Akiyama said.