file:///C|/Eigene Dateien/Sat-ND/97-08 Sat-ND/970829.htm
29.08.97 -- My budgie's going mental
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lift Hot Bird 3, Meteosat 7
LAW & ORDER
ARD, ZDF go
Owing to some ongoing trouble
with StarOffice (has the message been sent? has it not?,) the last two
issues weren't delivered to the subscribers of this mailing list. Sorry
for the delay, and my apologies should anything have been sent more than
once. BTW: you have to ask Netscape why it inserts something like "file:///C|/Eigene
Dateien/Sat-ND/97-08 Sat-ND/970829.htm" into the email body (I think it
does, I never tried sending email with this program before :-)
Ariane to lift
Hot Bird 3, Meteosat 7
The 99th Ariane launch (V99) is scheduled
to take place on September 2 at 07:14 p.m. Kourou time (10:14 p.m. GMT;
00:14 a.m. CEST on September 3.)
The European Space Agency ESA
said in a statement that the Ariane 44 LP version (equipped with 2 solid
and 2 liquid strap-on boosters) will lift off from the Guiana Space Centre,
i.e. the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The launcher will
place into geostationary transfer orbit the telecommunications satellite
Hotbird 3 for Eutelsat, and Meteosat 7 for the European Meteorological
Satellite Organisation Eumetsat. Hot Bird-3 will provide digital and analogue
broadcasts to Europe from 13 degrees East. Meteosat-7 will provide meteorological
services from 0 degrees longitude.
The launch window opens at 07:14
p.m. and closes at 07:57 p.m. (10:14 p.m. - 10:57 p.m. GMT; 00:14 a.m.
00:57 a.m. CEST on September 3.) Coverage of the 99th Arianespace launch
will begin at 5:45 p.m. ET on Galaxy 4/11 C band. Unfortunately, I don't
have any details for Europe, but if you're working at ESA's HQ in Evry,
you are invited to contact Ms Colombier-Sist (Ext. 7427) should you wish
to attend the transmission :-)
For the second time in less than a
month, a Pegasus XL rocket built by Orbital Sciences successfully launched
a satellite into its targeted low-Earth orbit (LEO.)
Orbital deployed the U.S. Department
of Energy's (DOE) Fast On-Orbit Recording of Transient Events (Forte) satellite
in today's Pegasus mission.
The Forte satellite, weighing
in at 227 kg, is the first satellite in space that utilises an all-plastic
platform. To be exact: it was built by snapping together parts of graphite-epoxy,
a composite carbon material. That makes the satellite not only lighter
but also cheaper. The material's manufacturer, Composite Optics, said all
major satellite manufacturers have contacted Composite Optics about working
together on satellite design.
Forte was originally designed
as a test-bed spacecraft for treaty-monitoring technology for use as part
of the United States' nuclear detection system. The spacecraft will also
serve in another capacity by assisting scientific researchers with their
investigations into the Earth's ionosphere and the physics of lightning.
The Forte satellite will record optical flashes and radio-frequency emissions
generated by lightning storms. This same data will also give scientists
a new tool for climate modelling and weather prediction.
Long March Insurance
Subsidies come in many disguises. China
will subsidise its fledgling commercial satellite launch business by setting
up an insurance consortium.
China's indigenous Long March
rocket so far has not been able to totally convince the rest of the world
that it was as reliable as others, to put it in a nice way. This led, of
course, to rising insurance rates that diminished the price advantage of
a Long March launch (launch provider Great Wall Industries was said to
offer launches at half the price of Western competitors but also with just
half the reliability rate.)
The new Consortium, which will
specialise in [Chinese] satellite launches, includes the People's Insurance
Co of China (PICC), China Pacific Insurance Co, Pingan Insurance Co and
six other insurance companies. It will be headed by PICC general manager
LAW & ORDER
SkyBridge, a project led by Alcatel
Alsthom of France, has applied to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) to operate 64 LEO satellites under its previously announced plan
for a space-based telecommunications network.
The FCC said in a statement
that SkyBridge had acknowledged that some of its proposed frequency bands
did not conform with current domestic or international allocations. As
a consequence, the FCC warned changes to the company's application might
be necessary to conform with rules for transmissions in the bands SkyBridge
wants to use. SkyBridge has told the FCC that operating restrictions will
ensure there is no interference with existing users of the spectrum.
Last June, Loral Space &
Communications Ltd. and Alcatel Alsthom of France announced that they have
formed a strategic partnership including cross investments in Loral's geostationary
(GEO) satellite CyberStar project and Alcatel's SkyBridge project. Alcatel
has said it plans to launch the first satellite in the network in 2001.
by Dr Sarmaz
Japan's Fuji Television Network Inc.
has signed an agreement with Japan Sky Broadcasting Co. (JSkyB) that will
open Fuji's comprehensive TV programme library to Mr Murdoch's planned
Fuji TV will purchase a 25 percent
equity in JSkyB for ¥5 billion (US$42 million), becoming an equal partner
with the other three owners, Mr Murdoch's News Corp., Softbank Corp. and
Sony Corp. Fuji TV says it will have executives on the board of JSkyB.
As reported, BSkyB has recently
agreed to share a common digital platform with its Japanese rival PerfecTV.
Observers noted that Mr Murdoch's latest Japanese move is yet another effort
to rein an ill-advised move into digital satellite TV -- so far, he has
not been able to repeat the success he experiences with the UK's (analogue)
satellite pay-TV service BSkyB.
TV hackerz and
Almost immediately after it went on
air, DirecTV, the first digital DTH service in the U.S., had to realise
that the encryption technology provided by Mr Murdoch's News Datacom wasn't
as safe as claimed (Sat-ND, 26.03.97.) Others have since discovered that
North American readers, and
others with an interest, may want to take a look at an MSNBC Web posted
article entitled "Hacking the Dish" at http://www.msnbc.com/news/105840.asp
which quotes, amongst others, old TVRO friend Jim Shelton. There is some
good background information and links to an online discussion of the subject.
MSNBC says that DirecTV "spent
an estimated US$40 million over the last year to upgrade security and 'kill'
compromised descrambler boxes. Less than a month after the project's completion,
pirate Web sites were selling new and improved hacks enabling customers
to watch satellite programming for free."
ARD, ZDF to go
* * *
German public broadcasters ARD and
ZDF unveiled their digital television plans yesterday -- not really, most
of it was known anyway.
In a move to keep up with their
commercial competitors' foray into digital, ARD as well as ZDF will offer
digital bouquets as well. They won't consist of original programming though,
just more of the same -- they have do that kind of recycling to in order
to get noticed in a multichannel landscape anyway. At least, that's the
misconception the pubcasters' officials cling to: "The future belongs without
question to digital TV," ARD general manager Udo Reiter was quoted as saying.
However, there's neither any proof nor the slightest indication that digital
TV will replace the common TV distribution channels over the next 10 or
"ARD Digital" will offer 30
free digital channels over satellite, while ZDF plans to offer five digital
TV channels under the name "ZDF.Vision." Both services will initially be
available on satellite only as the pubcasters haven't managed to strike
cable distribution deals so far. Commercial competitors have
critisised the ARD/ZDF move, saying they would misuse TV license fees for
digital offerings without any additional value.
by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.
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