Astra 2E

Astra 2E is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES, launched to the Astra 28.2°E orbital slot on 30 September 2013[2] after a 10-week delay caused by rocket launcher problems. The satellite provides free-to-air and encrypted direct-to-home (DTH) digital TV and satellite broadband services for Europe and the Middle East.[3]

After launch, Astra 2E underwent in-orbit testing at 43.5°E[4] and began commercial operations at 28.2°E in February 2014.[5] At that time, channels broadcast via Astra 1N (temporarily located at 28.2°E pending Astra 1E's launch) were transferred to Astra 2E and Astra 1N relocated to its design position at 19.2°E.[6]

Astra 2E is the second of three 'second generation' satellites for the 28.2°E position to replace the first generation Astra 2A, Astra 2B, Astra 2C and Astra 2D craft originally positioned there between 1998 and 2001.[7] The first, Astra 2F, was launched in 2012[8] and the third, Astra 2G, was launched in 2014 (launched on 27 December 2014[9]).

Unlike other SES/Astra spacecraft, the launch order of Astra 2E and Astra 2F is not reflected in their alphabetical names, with Astra 2F launched 10 months before Astra 2E.

Astra 2E
Mission typeCommunications
OperatorSES
COSPAR ID2013-056A
SATCAT no.39285
Mission duration15 years
Spacecraft properties
BusEurostar-3000
ManufacturerAstrium
(now Airbus Defence and Space)
Launch mass6,020 kilograms (13,270 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date29 September 2013, 21:38 UTC
RocketProton-M/Briz-M
Launch siteBaikonur 200/39
ContractorILS
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeGeostationary
Longitude43.5°E (2013, testing)
28.2°E (2014-)
SlotAstra 28.2°E
Semi-major axis42,163 kilometres (26,199 mi)[1]
Perigee35,783 kilometres (22,235 mi)[1]
Apogee35,802 kilometres (22,246 mi)[1]
Inclination0.1 degrees[1]
Period1436.0 minutes[1]
Epoch21 August 2018, 11:01:02 UTC[1]
 

Market

The Astra 28.2°E position was established in 1998 to provide digital TV, digital radio and multimedia services to the UK and Republic of Ireland, and Astra 2E’s primary mission is to continue this provision as replacement and follow-on capacity to the Astra 2A, Astra 2D and Astra 1N satellites. Along with Astra 2F it delivers programming to almost 13 million satellite homes, over 3 million cable homes, and 700,000 IPTV homes in the UK and Ireland, in particular for channels from the major UK digital satellite TV platforms, BSkyB and Freesat.[10]

ASTRA 2E also delivers broadcast and VSAT services in Europe, Middle East and Africa in Ku-band.[11] and Ka-band capacity will provide internet via satellite with download speeds of up to 20 Mbit/s to Germany.[12]

Broadcasting footprint

Astra 2E has three Ku-band downlink beams covering Europe Americas and The Middle East Register

  • The Europe beam is centred on the English Channel with maximum signal over the UK, Ireland, France, Benelux, and parts of Germany, Austria, and Spain (including a "lobe" specifically designed to serve the Canary Islands), and reception on a larger dish extending to Italy, Poland, North Africa, and the Balkans.
  • The UK Spot beam provides maximum signal (for 45 cm dishes) over the UK, Ireland, Benelux and Northern France with a sharp roll-off of signal level outside this region, in close approximation of the UK Beam of Astra 2D. This enables channels to be broadcast free-to-air but with reception effectively constrained to the British Isles, and has been the basis for the Freesat free-to-air UK platform.[13]
  • The Middle East beam is centred on the Arabian peninsula and extends to Turkey and into eastern Africa, to provide for reception with 50 cm dishes.

The Ka-band footprint for satellite broadband provides full service coverage centred on central Europe and extending to France, Italy, the Balkans, the UK, and southern Sweden and Norway.[11]

The craft is fitted with 60 Ku-band transponders.[12]

Launch delay

The launch of Astra 2E was intended to be by ILS Proton-M rocket on 21 July 2013[14] but the previous launch of this rocket on 2 July 2013, carrying three Russian GLONASS navigation satellites, ended with the rocket exploding shortly after lift off[15] and the Proton launch programme was postponed. The fault with the failed rocket was found to be the incorrect installation of three angular rate sensors, the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) reported,[16] and the launch programme was recommenced in September 2013.

TV Channels on Astra 2E

Below is a list, as of October 2018, of the TV and radio channels broadcast from Astra 2E on its UK Beam and European Beam (the UK Beam is the most difficult to receive outside the British Isles):[17]

In the list, TV channels broadcast with a one-hour delay are shown Channel +1hr. Where both the original and the delayed channel are broadcast from the same transponder, this is shown in one entry as Channel [also +1hr].

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "ASTRA 2E Satellite details 2013-056A NORAD 39285". N2YO. August 21, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  2. ^ "ASTRA 2E successfully launched" (Press release). SES. September 30, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
  3. ^ Astra 2E Footprints] SES. Accessed September 17, 2018
  4. ^ "Astra 2E at REAL TIME SATELLITE TRACKING AND PREDICTIONS". Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  5. ^ "SES's ASTRA 2E SATELLITE GOES LIVE at 28.2/28.5 DEGREES EAST OVER EMEA" (Press release). SES. January 31, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  6. ^ Changes to BBC satellite transponders in 2013 December 12, 2012. BBC Distribution blog. Accessed July 16, 2013
  7. ^ "SES Orders Four New Satellites From ASTRIUM" (Press release). SES. 30 November 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  8. ^ "SES SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES ASTRA 2F SATELLITE" (Press release). SES. October 1, 2012. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  9. ^ "ASTRA 2G SATELLITE ROARS INTO ORBIT" (Press release). SES. November 28, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2015.
  10. ^ ASTRA 2F arrives at the Guiana Space Centre, Kourou August 23, 2012. SES blog. Accessed August 26, 2012
  11. ^ a b Astra 2E factsheet on www.ses.com Accessed October 30, 2013
  12. ^ a b Ten things about ASTRA 2E Archived 2013-07-22 at the Wayback Machine July 1, 2013. SES blog. Accessed July 16, 2013
  13. ^ Bains, Geoff. "Flight of the Big Birds" What Satellite & Digital TV February 2012 pp29
  14. ^ "SES' ASTRA 2E SATELLITE SHIPPED TO BAIKONUR COSMODROME FOR JULY 21 LAUNCH" (Press release). SES. June 16, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  15. ^ Russian Proton-M rocket crashes, erupts in ball of fire July 2, 2013. Russia Today website report. Accessed July 26, 2013
  16. ^ Incorrect installation of angular rate sensors behind July 2 Proton-M crash - commission findings July 18, 2013. Interfax. Accessed September 30, 2013
  17. ^ "Astra 2E at 28.2°E". LyngSat. Retrieved May 31, 2018.

External links

Astra (satellite)

Astra is the brand name for a number of geostationary communication satellites, both individually and as a group, which are owned and operated by SES S.A., a global satellite operator based in Betzdorf, in eastern Luxembourg. The name is also used to describe the pan-European broadcasting system provided by these satellites, the channels carried on them, and even the reception equipment.

At the time of the launch of the first Astra satellite, Astra 1A in 1988, the satellite's operator was known as Société Européenne des Satellites. In 2001 SES Astra, a newly formed subsidiary of SES, operated the Astra satellites and in September 2011, SES Astra was consolidated back into the parent company, which by this time also operated other satellite families such as AMC, and NSS.Astra satellites broadcast 2,600 digital television channels (675 in high definition) via five main satellite orbital positions to households across Asia, Australia, Africa, Americas, Europe, New Zealand, Middle East and North Africa. The satellites have been instrumental in the establishment of satellite TV and the introduction of digital TV, HDTV, 3D TV, and HbbTV in Europe.

A book, High Above, telling the story of the creation and development of the Astra satellites and their contribution to developments in the European TV and media industry, was published in April 2010 to mark the 25th Anniversary of SES.

Astra 1N

Astra 1N is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES and is positioned at the Astra 19.2°E orbital slot. It was launched in 2011 and is the fourth satellite to be built for Astra by Astrium (now Airbus Defence and Space) and the 46th SES satellite in orbit, and entered commercial service at 28.2°E on 24 October 2011.

Astra 28.2°E

Astra 28.2°E is the name for the group of Astra communications satellites co-located at the 28.2° East position in the Clarke Belt that are owned and operated by SES based in Betzdorf, Luxembourg. It is one of the major TV satellite positions serving Europe (the others being at 19.2° East, 13° East, 23.5° East, and 5° East).

The Astra satellites at 28.2° East provide for services downlinking in the 10.70 GHz-12.70 GHz range of the Ku band.

Astra 2A

Astra 2A is one of the Astra communications satellites owned by SES. Launched in 1998 into the 28.2E orbital position, half its expected end-of-life capacity of 28 transponders were pre-booked by BSkyB, who utilised it to launch their new Sky Digital service. In March 2015, the satellite has been deactivated and relocated to 113.5°E.

Astra 2B

Astra 2B is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES. Launched in 2000 to join Astra 2A at the Astra 28.2°E orbital slot providing digital television and radio broadcast services to the UK and Republic of Ireland, the satellite has also served at the Astra 19.2°E and the Astra 31.5°E positions.

Astra 2C

Astra 2C is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES. Designed to join Astra 2A and Astra 2B at the Astra 28.2°E orbital slot providing digital television and radio broadcast services to the UK and Republic of Ireland, the satellite was first used after launch in 2001 at 19.2°E for pan-European coverage.

The satellite provides one broadcast beam with horizontal and vertical polarisation, across a single footprint covering the areas of Central and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, the Iberian peninsula and Canary Islands.TV signals can be received with a 50 cm dish across the majority of the British Isles with a 60 cm dish required in the extreme north and west. Astra 2C can also provide backup capacity, substituting for one or more transponders across the 10.70 GHz-12.20 GHz broadcast range used by Astra satellites in the Astra 19.2°E and Astra 28.2°E orbital positions.

Astra 2D

Astra 2D is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES, and located at 28.2° east in the Clarke Belt till June 2015. It is a Hughes HS-376 craft, and was launched from the Guiana Space Centre in December 2000 to join Astra 2A and Astra 2B at 28.2°E, where it remained for its active life.

As of February 2013, Astra 2D has carried no regularly active transponders.

Astra 2F

Astra 2F is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES, launched in September 2012 to the Astra 28.2°E orbital slot. The satellite provides free-to-air and encrypted direct-to-home (DTH) digital TV and satellite broadband services for Europe and Africa.

Astra 2F is the first of three ‘second generation’ satellites for the 28.2°E position which replace the first generation Astra 2A, Astra 2B and Astra 2D craft previously there. The second, Astra 2E, was launched in 2013 and the third, Astra 2G, was launched in 2014 (launched on December 27, 2014). Some parts of the construction of Astra 2F by Astrium (now Airbus Defence and Space) in Stevenage, UK could be seen in the BBC2 documentary programme, How To Build… A Satellite broadcast on November 27, 2011.

Astra 2F was successfully launched from Kourou in French Guiana on September 28, 2012. and underwent in-orbit testing at 43.5°E. Commercial operations at 28.2°E began on November 21, 2012.

Astra 2G

Astra 2G is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES, launched to the Astra 28.2°E orbital slot in December 2014, at 03:37:49 Baikonur time.Astra 2G is positioned at 28.5°E (part of the Astra 28.2°E orbital slot) and is the last of three 'second generation' satellites launched to this slot to replace the first generation Astra 2A, Astra 2B, Astra 2C and Astra 2D craft originally positioned there between 1998 and 2001, and it joined Astra 2E and Astra 2F launched in 2013 and 2012, respectively.

Astra 5B

Astra 5B is one of the Astra communications satellites owned and operated by SES. It was launched as SES' 56th satellite in March 2014, to the newest of the Astra orbital positions for direct to home (DTH) satellite TV, at 31.5°E for DTH, DTT and cable use in Eastern Europe,.The satellite will replace the Astra 1G satellite currently at 31.5°E, which is itself filling in at that position after the loss of the Astra 5A satellite (originally called Sirius 2) in 2009 Astra 2C was first used at 31.5°E to replace Astra 5A, with Astra 1G positioned there in 2010.Astra 5B is the third satellite to be launched of four ordered together by SES from Astrium (now Airbus Defence and Space) in 2009. The similar Astra 2E and Astra 2F were launched to Astra 28.2°E before Astra 5B in 2013 and 2012, respectively, and the fourth, Astra 2G was launched later, in 2014.

BBC Look North (East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire)

BBC Look North is the BBC's TV news service for East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, produced by BBC Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. The programmes are produced and broadcast from the BBC Broadcasting Centre at Queens Court in Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire, with reporters also based in Lincoln.

Peter Levy is the main presenter/newsreader on the 18:30 and 22:35 weekday bulletins, whilst lunchtime and early morning bulletins are presented by different journalists including: Leanne Brown, Amanda White, Sarah Walton, Gemma Dawson, Caroline Bilton, Crispin Rolfe

or Victoria Holland.

The programme can be watched in any part of the UK (and Europe) from Astra 2E on Freesat channel 967 and Sky channel 957, and in select areas on Virgin Media channel 858. The latest edition of Look North is also available to watch on the BBC iPlayer.

BBC Look North (Yorkshire and North Midlands)

BBC Look North is the BBC's regional television news service for West, South and North Yorkshire and northern parts of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. The service is produced and broadcast from the BBC Broadcasting Centre at St. Peter's Square in Leeds with district newsrooms based in Bradford, Sheffield and York.

Look North can be watched in any part of the UK (and Europe) from Astra 2E on Freesat channel 966 and Sky channel 956. The latest edition of Look North is also available to watch on the BBC iPlayer.

BBC Two Northern Ireland

BBC Two Northern Ireland (Irish: BBC Thuaisceart Éireann a Dó) is a television station operated by BBC Northern Ireland. It is broadcast via digital terrestrial transmitters and from the SES Astra 2E satellite (transponder 48) at the 28.2° East orbital position.

The channel was branded onscreen as 'BBC Two NI' from October 2006 until February 2007, though not referred to as such by continuity announcers. Unique idents for Northern Ireland featuring the robotic figure 2 were used during this time, showing the Giant's Causeway and the feature eating an Ulster Fry.

Until 28 October 2006, there were two separate services – 'BBC Two Northern Ireland"', an analogue-only service, referred to as "BBC Two", both in idents and continuity, and a digital-only opt-out, 'BBC Two NI', (the successor to BBC Choice Northern Ireland) which carried extra regional programming and continuity between 6pm and midnight. This has all now ended and the two Northern Ireland services have been merged.

Briz (rocket stage)

The Briz-K, Briz-KM and Briz-M (Russian: Бриз-К, КM and M meaning Breeze-K, KM and M) are Russian liquid-propellant rocket orbit insertion upper stages manufactured by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center and used on the Proton-M, Angara A5 or Rokot, one of Russia's smaller launchers.

Eutelsat 33C

Eutelsat 33C (formerly Eurobird 1 and Eutelsat 28A) is a Eutelsat operated Eurobird satellite, used primarily for digital television. It was launched in March 2001, and after a short period testing at 33°E, joined Eutelsat 2F4 at 28.5°E in the Clarke Belt, just within the range of satellite dishes pointed at SES' Astra 2 satellites at 28.2° east. It moved to 33° east and joined Eutelsat 33B in July 2015.

List of free-to-air channels at 28°E

This is a list of all of the free-to-air channels that are currently available via satellite from SES Astra satellites (Astra 2E/2F/2G) located at 28.2 °E. These are the same group of satellites used for the Sky pay-TV platform and the Freesat free-to-air platform, therefore existing installations for these platforms would not require a realignment of the satellite dish or the purchase of any additional equipment.

Midlands Today

Midlands Today is the BBC's regional television news service for the West Midlands. It was launched in 1964 and is presented on alternating nights by Mary Rhodes or Nick Owen.

Viva (UK and Irish TV channel)

Viva (stylised as VIVA) was a music television channel in the United Kingdom and Ireland, owned by Viacom International Media Networks Europe. The channel launched on 26 October 2009, replacing TMF, and ceased broadcasting on 31 January 2018.

YourTV

YourTV is a television channel owned by Disney Media Networks. It began broadcasting on 1 October 2015 in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

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