Feeds

Drifting zombiesat could disrupt TV programming

Containing Galaxy 15

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Technicians are scrambling to keep an out-of-control satellite from interfering with US television programming as it drifts into the orbit of another satellite.

Galaxy 15, operated by Luxembourg-based Intelsat, stopped responding to ground controllers last month and has gradually been drifting about a tenth of a degree per day, according to news reports. It is currently just slightly to the east of Hawaii, about 22,000 miles above the equator.

Although the communications satellite is no longer responsive, it continues to broadcast its signal, posing a risk to the transmissions of a separate satellite, which is known as AMC 11 and is operated by Intelsat competitor SES World Skies. AMC 11 transmits high-definition television signals for more than 100 channels, including Showtime, MTV, and the Food Network.

Technicians at both satellite companies have a variety of options to prevent Galaxy 15 from interfering with AMC 11's signals. One is to use AMC 11's propulsion system to change the satellite's location. Other possibilities include moving some of its traffic onto other satellites or switching some of the customers to larger uplink antennas.

Galaxy 15 lost touch with ground crews on April 15 as the result of a solar storm. It is expected to eventually drift into one of two libration points, where at least 160 other "zombiesats" already await it.

Additional coverage from CNN, MSNBC, and Dow Jones is available here, here and here. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.