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Superbird-C is a communications satellite launched for Space Communications Corp. (SCC) of Japan. It provides television signals and business communications services throughout Japan, southern and eastern Asia, and Hawaii using Ku-band frequencies. It joined the existing constellation of Superbird-A (158 degrees east longitude) and Superbird-B (162 degrees east), taking position at 144 degrees east longitude.

The three-axis body-stabilized satellite has both fixed and movable antennas and is designed to provide a 13-year mission life. The nearly cube-shaped satellite measures 2.3 x 2.3 x 2.4 m. Fully deployed, it measures 26.2 m across the solar wing span and 7.5 m across the antennas.

Power is provided by a pair of four-panel solar arrays that generate 4500 W of electrical power. During eclipse, electrical power is supplied by a 29 cell nickel-hydrogen battery, with a capacity of 200 Amp-hours.

Final orbital insertion, as well as stationkeeping operations, is provided by the satellite's integrated bipropellant propulsion system. The required impulse was generated by twelve 22 N thrusters and one 490 N liquid apogee motor.

The communication payload is a high-power system that simultaneously achieves high effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) while making available a large number of channels over a vast geographic area. The payload includes the ability for channel bandwidth to be selected from the ground. The satellite carries 24 active transponders powered by 90 W linearized traveling wave tube amplifiers. Two 54 MHz transponders at 90 W each can be combined to provide a single 114 MHz transponder at 180 W.

The two 2.16-m-diameter, highly directional and accurately pointing dual-gridded reflectors were built using shaped beam technology. The east antenna covers Japan and Hawaii, and the west antenna covers northeast and southeast Asia. The Ku-band steerable spot-beam antennas are capable of providing coverage to any location visible from the spacecraft's geosynchronous orbit location.

Alternate Names

  • 24880

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1997-07-28
Launch Vehicle: Atlas-2 AS
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 3100 kg
Nominal Power: 4500 W

Funding Agency

  • Space Communication Corporation (SCC) (Japan)


  • Communications

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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