Express-AM6 payload in-orbit flight testing begins
The telecommunications satellite Express-AM6, designed and built by ISS-Reshetnev Company, has finally arrived at its specified orbital position to begin in-orbit flight testing of its payload.
The satellite is currently stationed at 50.45 degrees East in the geostationary orbit. Express-AM6 was placed into a useless orbit (with deviations in height, inclination and eccentricity) on October 21, 2014 following a malfunction of its launch vehicle. With the help of ISS-Reshetnev specialists the satellite moved itself to the intended orbital position using its own electric propulsion thrusters. While Express-AM6 was delivered, the company team conducted the main in-orbit flight tests on the satellite’s platform.
On arrival at the new orbit, the satellite’s payload testing began. Apart from ISS-Reshetnev Company which is the prime contractor under this project, among those taking part in payload testing there also are specialists from the Scientific Research Institute NII Radio which is responsible for the satellite’s payload, and the Canadian subcontractor MDA.
Express-AM6 is equipped with 72 transponders and 11 antennas operating in Ka-, C-, Ku- and L-bands.
Upon completion of payload in-orbit flight testing the satellite will be stationed at 53 degrees East and commissioned to the customer to begin commercial operation.
Express-AM6 is intended to provide digital television and radio broadcasting, mobile presidential and government communications, multiservice communications services. The satellite is designed for a lifetime of 15 years.
The Express-AM6 telecommunications satellite was built for a national operator Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC). It is based on ISS-Reshetnev’s heavy-class Express-2000 satellite platform. With mass estimated at
Express-AM6 used its own electric propulsion subsystem to move itself to the designated geostationary orbital position. This approach enables in-orbit delivery of heavy satellites whose weight exceeds a launch vehicle’s lift capabilities.