Press Release

SES World Skies Readies Orbital Maneuver to Avoid Interference from Troubled Intelsat Satellite

By SpaceRef Editor
May 17, 2010
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SES World Skies Readies Orbital Maneuver to Avoid Interference from Troubled Intelsat Satellite

SES WORLD SKIES, a division of SES S.A. (Paris:SESG) (LuxX:SESG), today announced plans for an intricate set of orbital maneuvers later this month aimed at steering its AMC-11 satellite and its customers clear of interference from Intelsat’s troubled Galaxy 15 spacecraft, referred to in recent media coverage as the “Zombie” satellite.

As the stray satellite nears AMC-11’s orbital location at 131 degrees west, SES WORLD SKIES plans to have AMC-11 match the eastward drift of Galaxy 15 in order to maintain a minimum separation between the two satellites. This synchronized drift is designed to protect AMC-11 services from interference caused by Galaxy 15.

At the same time, SES WORLD SKIES will move its new SES-1 satellite to the opposite side of Galaxy 15, thereby enabling some customers, including cable television networks, to leapfrog their broadcasts over interference caused by the wandering spacecraft. Customers will either be able to maintain services on AMC-11 during its drift, or repoint antennas to SES-1 in order to best protect their services.

For those customers who will stay on AMC-11 throughout the mission, their television programming will be delivered over a large 19-meter antenna capable of minimizing potential disruptions. SES WORLD SKIES expects to initiate the synchronized eastwards drift of AMC-11 on May 25, and estimates that the risk of interference will end on June 7 when Galaxy 15 exits the area about 22,000 miles above the earth’s surface.

“This extraordinary technical initiative underscores our commitment to finding innovative solutions to minimize the impact of an unexpected event like this on our customers,” said Alan Young, Chief Technology Officer for SES WORLD SKIES. “A team of our best engineers and scientists is working around the clock to ensure the success of this unprecedented mission.” Young also noted that the company has been in regular close contact with its customers in order to brief them on the operation and prepare them for the necessary maneuvers.


SES WORLD SKIES is the new division of SES, created through the combination of the former SES NEW SKIES and SES AMERICOM. The company operates a fleet of 27 satellites – part of the 43 spacecraft of the SES group – delivering services as diverse as television distribution and broadcast, internet access, data transmission and business and government communications to customers worldwide. SES WORLD SKIES currently has four additional satellites under construction. The company’s unique customer-focused approach allows it to offer the best satellite solutions for a host of business and government requirements, with a view toward helping customers meet their short-term challenges and realize their longer-term goals. SES WORLD SKIES comprises a world-class team of customer care and technical professionals located in Princeton (NJ), The Hague, Washington, D.C., Singapore, Beijing, London, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Sydney, Accra and Johannesburg. Visit for more information.

About SES

SES (Paris:SESG) (LuxX:SESG) wholly owns the market-leading satellite operators SES ASTRA and SES WORLD SKIES, and participations in Ciel in Canada, QuetzSat in Mexico as well as a strategic participation in satellite infrastructure start-up O3b Networks. SES provides outstanding satellite communications solutions via a global fleet of 43 satellites in 26 orbital locations. For further information:

SpaceRef staff editor.