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 at 19.2 E for pan-European coverage.
The satellite provides two broadcast beams, each with horizontal and vertical polarisation, across two footprints 2C North and 2C South covering substantially the same 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, and was first deployed after launch in 2001 at 19.2 E.
The satellite was moved to 28.2 E in August 2007, transmitting digital TV and interactive services for Sky Digital and Freesat. Only two transponders were active during this time.
Temporary use at 31.5 E
In March 2009, SES announced that in April, Astra 2C was to be moved from 28.2 east to Astra 31.5 E to temporarily replace the failed Astra 5A until Astra 3B was launched to Astra 23.5 E, when another craft currently there could be released to Astra 31.5 E. The move of Astra 2C was started in early May 2009 and completed on 11 May, with the first transponders coming into use at the new position in the subsequent two weeks.
In June 2010, Astra 3B (launched May 2010) came into operation at Astra 23.5 E and Astra 1G was moved from that position to Astra 31.5 E, where it could release take over all broadcasting activity from Astra 2C. Astra 2C left 31.5 E in September 2010.
Temporary use at 19.2 E
Astra 2C was first positioned at 19.2 E after launch in 2001, to provide pan-European capacity at the primary Astra position pending the launch of Astra 1L (in May 2007) and was moved to 28.2 E in August 2007.
The satellite was returned to 19.2 E in September 2010 while Astra 1N, which was intended for positioning at Astra 19.2 E, was used at Astra 28.2 E. As of July 2012, there are 16 transponders actve, in particular six for the Spanish Canal+ pay-TV platform and five for Sky Deutschland.
Astra 2C is expected to return to its originally intended position at Astra 28.2 E by 2014, when the launches of Astra 2E, Astra 2F, and Astra 2G to 28.2 E will have released Astra 1N for duty at its design slot of 19.2 E.
- Astra 19.2 E orbital position
- Astra 31.5 E previous orbital position
- Astra 28.2 E previous orbital position
- Astra 1G co-located satellite
- SES satellite operator
- Astra satellite family
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