Spaceway 1 Satellite Damaged

CycloneSat

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The two Spaceway sats were built for two-way Internet use then inherited by DirecTV and not built to any of their specs. The Spaceway 1 battery failure should have nothing to do with the rest of the DirecTV satellite fleet.
 
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navychop

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Two? Is the other active?


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slice1900

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Two? Is the other active?


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The other one has recently been phased out from active use, but the problem that hit SW1 was a "thermal anomaly" so there isn't any reason to believe SW2 will suffer the same fate.

But even if it did it shouldn't affect Directv unless they have some future plan in mind to continue using that satellite on a limited basis. It is only useful for spot beams, and because of the way it works it is not very efficient at doing them so they'd only use it if they had no other choice. So if it is used again in the future, losing it would only affect a few spot beams.
 
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CycloneSat

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The last time I recall them having a major problem with their spacecraft was with D6, which was hit by a solar flare...
 
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raoul5788

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I wonder what kind of anomaly could’ve caused this. The last time I recall them having a major problem with their spacecraft was with D6, which was hit by a solar flare...
What about D10?
 

907TECH

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There were two and I don't think they are carrying any traffic but I can check.
[/Q
The other one has recently been phased out from active use, but the problem that hit SW1 was a "thermal anomaly" so there isn't any reason to believe SW2 will suffer the same fate.

But even if it did it shouldn't affect Directv unless they have some future plan in mind to continue using that satellite on a limited basis. It is only useful for spot beams, and because of the way it works it is not very efficient at doing them so they'd only use it if they had no other choice. So if it is used again in the future, losing it would only affect a few spot beams.
There are plans, but they do not include video feeds at all.
 

rad

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If they are worried about this thing exploding why are they going to raise the orbit and keep it in space, which will then have more junk floating around vs. causing it to burn up in the atmosphere?
 

DishSubLA

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The two Spaceway sats were built for two-way Internet use then inherited by DirecTV and not built to any of their specs. The Spaceway 1 battery failure should have nothing to do with the rest of the DirecTV satellite fleet.
Hughes/DTV really had no choice but to re-purpose the Spacways for TV linear service because it would take too much time to start from square one and design, build DBS sats and then obtain DBS licences and slots, and that would allow Dish to have large lead. The Spaceway satellites were hastily re-purposed from ISP via satellite use (that is why it was a Ka band sat in the first place) to DBS use and efficiencies by Boeing at the swift direction of Hughes with DirecTV being only a brand/moniker then, not a separate company, yet. So, it really wasn't an inheritance by DTV as DTV did not exist as a separate company, yet. DirecTV was just a brand/moniker, but DTV was always Hughes owned and operated. Hughes/DTV decided to abandon their big plans to use the mighty constellation of Spaceway sats for the planned massive DirecTV ISP service and, instead decided to invest in High Definition TV capacity. Subsequently, News Corp, became the then new owner of Hughes--and the DTV service still not a separate company, yet--and News Corp had kept Spaceway sats after the sale of Hughes Network Systems to Boeing.

After DTV made public its ISP intentions without any emphasis on High Def investment, Dish, likely feeling safe to show its cards after DTV's plans for ISP made public, announced that they would NOT go down the ISP road as had been speculated, but instead would invest in High Def channels capacity. Just two weeks after Dish made its plans for High Def public, DTV, announced a change in its plans: it would abandon the mighty Spaceway for ISP and, instead, invest in High Def, just as Dish was planning, but it would use its Spaceway sats to achieve this. Hughes/DTV had to re purpose the Spaceway Ka sats because starting over again trying to build more DBS sats and obtain additional DBS licences and slots would take too much time and allow Dish to have a lead in offering more HDTV.

It was an odd time for both Dish and DTV back then. There were very few, nearly zilch High Def programming at the time, so it was widely thought that DBS simply had to provide some form of internet service both to offer some sort of bundle to compete with cable TV or at least to provide the more advanced TV services such as On Demand viewing and guide enhancements with access to the internet (instead of the current manner in which a sat box is connected to the customers separate, terrestrial, in most cases, ISP). Neither Dish nor DTV could do both; they had to choose ONE because the costs for just one or the other would cost Billions. Invest in ISP, which seemed a sure bet, or invest in High Def capacity in the belief (or hope) that High Def TV content would become ubiquitous in the years it takes to build and launch sats and have room for HDTV capacity growth.

As usual, Charlie made the best bet for the time. Ergen had said publicly at the time that his customers didn't seem to want Dish to provide internet as part of their TV services (and they were seriously considering integrating access to internet to improve the TV service), but customers did seem to say they want MORE HD--at a time when there was hardly any HD content. It was a "chicken and the egg" conundrum for both Dish and DTV, and was interesting that DTV was betting on ISP.

It was kind of sad to see DTV abandon the Spaceway for ISP because the specs looked so good at the time, but after Dish made its public announcement that it was going all-in for HD, DTV must have felt that they could not allow Dish to offer lots of HD, while DTV could not. It was a wise, but sad, decision for DTV to abandon the ISP route for future HDTV bandwidth to stay competitive with Dish.

Of course, even with the changes made to the Spaceway fleet to better deliver live linear TV, DTV was stuck with its acquisition of Ka licences--and slots. Ka's lower power compared to Ku DBS was not seen as a terrible compromise for INTERNET use because the user (browser/router) could easily request for any dropped packets to be resent. That was and still is how the internet works. However, for Live linear TV streaming DBS providers having frequent dropped packets is unacceptable because it results interruptions of the live TV stream where dropped packets are gone for good and the TV channels having no way of re-sending dropped packets. However, even with alterations made on the Spaceway sats, the lower power Ka band would present problems during inclement weather, and to this day does haunt DTV's HD content on its Spaceways compared to Dish's more powerful Ku DBS sats it uses for almost all its SD and HD content (Internationals on Dish use Ku FSS, not DBS spectrum).

The unreliability of the HD content during rain--in areas with fair amounts of rain, not the drought or infrequent rain areas--was the only complaint I heard about DTV BEFORE the AT&T acquisition. DTV back then was a good, premium service. However, since the AT&T Death Star acquisition, they are more complaints and louder sounds of dissatisfaction from DTV reaching the level of Comcast.
 
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slice1900

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If they are worried about this thing exploding why are they going to raise the orbit and keep it in space, which will then have more junk floating around vs. causing it to burn up in the atmosphere?
That's how ALL satellites in geosynchronous orbit are retired.
 

slice1900

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Understand retired but this is a case of knowing that this thing will explode.
No it won't. It will only (potentially) explode if they try to charge the battery. They have already stopped using the battery, the reason they are hurrying to retire it is so they can avoid the part of the year when the satellite will spend part of the day in Earth's shadow when satellites need battery power to operate.
 

907TECH

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Understand retired but this is a case of knowing that this thing will explode.
No it won't. It will only (potentially) explode if they try to charge the battery. They have already stopped using the battery, the reason they are hurrying to retire it is so they can avoid the part of the year when the satellite will spend part of the day in Earth's shadow when satellites need battery power to operate.
 

CycloneSat

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New info:
  • Boeing will update operating procedures to other spacecraft of the same model to prevent SW1’s issue from occurring again
  • AT&T will relocate one of its satellites to replace SW1 as backup
I doubt the age of the satellite had any factor in what happened.
 

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