Press Release

CNES positions Atlantic Bird TM 2 telecom satellite

By SpaceRef Editor
September 27, 2001
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CNES’s Toulouse Space Centre is positioning the Atlantic BirdTM 2 satellite, orbited on flight 144
atop an Ariane 44P launch vehicle during the night of 25 to 26 September 2001, for Eutelsat.

The Atlantic BirdTM 2 satellite, built by prime contractor Alcatel Space Industries, is based on the
Spacebus 3000 B2 bus and has 26 Ku-band transponders with a total capacity of 1 GHz. The
transponders are able to switch between three beams, one providing wide-beam coverage over
Europe, another over North and South America, and a steerable spot beam. Positioning
operations will be conducted by CNES to take the satellite from initial transfer orbit to its final
geostationary orbital slot at 8° West.

The Toulouse Space Centre acquired the satellite and took over orbit control operations after
separation from the launch vehicle.

Operational facilities

Atlantic BirdTM 2 will be tracked by a network of stations across the globe. Communications with
the satellite will be via Ku-band links at Telesat’s stations in Gnangara (Australia) and Allan Park
(Canada), at Hartebeeshoek (South Africa) and at CNES’s station in Kourou, French Guiana.

The Toulouse Space Centre will be coordinating all these stations and performing satellite
control operations and manoeuvres with support from expert industry teams.

CNES has a successful track record in satellite positioning, with 38 geostationary satellites
already to its credit. Atlantic BirdTM 2 is the second satellite to be positioned this year and will
be followed in the first half of 2002 by France’s Stentor technology demonstrator satellite, then
Astra 1K, Stellat 5 and Hispasat 1D for Alcatel Space Industries.

Press Contact

Eliane Moreaux – phone: +33 (0)5 61 27 33 44 – fax: +33 (0)5 61 28 21 47

SpaceRef staff editor.