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Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) has completed integration and testing of the MTSAT-1R satellite and has shipped the spacecraft to Japan's space center in Tanegashima, Japan, where it will await launch on a H-IIA rocket. MTSAT-1R was built for the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) and Japanese Meteorological Agency, both of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT).

"SS/L is proud to deliver the state-of-the art MTSAT-1R multifunctional satellite to our customers in Japan," said C. Patrick DeWitt, president, Space Systems/Loral. "The unique design of this spacecraft combines SS/L's long heritage of building reliable weather monitoring satellites with advanced air traffic control capabilities."

From its geosynchronous orbital position at 140 degrees East longitude, MTSAT-1R will carry aeronautical services and a meteorological payload on one satellite. Operating in L-band, the satellite will provide communications and navigational services for aircraft, and will gather weather data for users throughout the entire Asia-Pacific region -- as far south as Australia and New Zealand.

Japan's Civil Aviation Bureau will use MTSAT-1R to increase the efficiency of aircraft flight routes, provide flexible flight profile planning, enhance air travel safety, and improve the quality of aeronautical communications. The Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) will use MTSAT-1R to deliver observed data to a processing station and provide cloud imagery and continuous weather data from around the region, such as cloud and water vapor distributions, cloud-motion wind vector, sea surface temperature, and information on typhoon, low pressure, and frontal activity.

MTSAT-1R is a version of SS/L's space-proven three-axis, body-stabilized 1300 bus. SS/L's satellites are designed to achieve long useful orbital life through use of bipropellant propulsion and momentum-bias systems for excellent station-keeping and orbital stability. A system of high-efficiency solar arrays and lightweight batteries provide uninterrupted electrical power. SS/L satellites have amassed more than 1000 years of reliable on-orbit service.

MTSAT-1R uses many of the same technologies developed for the most recently deployed U.S. Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite program, called GOES, for which SS/L was the prime contractor. SS/L manufactured five GOES satellites (I-M) under contract to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for delivery to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for operations.

In 2003, SS/L was awarded one of the advanced architecture study contracts for the GOES-R series of spacecraft. The contracts are designed to help NOAA define future GOES-R requirements, by analyzing different, commercially viable architectures. Each has a 12-month term, with a potential option of six additional months. Through these contracts, NOAA plans to acquire research and advanced technology information about end-to-end system alternatives from commercial specialists in the aerospace, communications, and data management fields. GOES-R is scheduled for launch in 2012.

NOAA's GOES satellite provides data products to the commercial, educational, and public sectors to protect lives, property and the environment, and to foster economic growth and promote educational research. The future GOES-R mission is expected to improve the quality and timeliness of environmental (weather and water) forecasts, provide a further understanding of climate variability, help in the management of ecosystems, and allow for the efficient transportation of commerce systems, expanding the safety and economic security of the public.

In addition to its work with NOAA, SS/L is a significant provider of both environmental and telecommunications satellites for the Japanese market. The company has built 15 satellites for Japan, including the first two SUPERBIRD telecommunications satellites and two N-STAR communications satellites for Nippon Telegraph & Telephone (NTT), one of the world's largest telephone companies. Earlier this month, the SS/L-built MBSAT satellite was successfully launched for Mobile Broadcasting Corporation (MBCO) of Japan and SK Telecom of Korea.

Space Systems/Loral, a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications (BULLETIN BOARD: LRLSQ), is a premier designer, manufacturer, and integrator of powerful satellites and satellite systems. SS/L also provides a range of related services that include mission control operations and procurement of launch services. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., the company has an international base of commercial and governmental customers whose applications include broadband digital communications, direct-to-home broadcast, defense communications, environmental monitoring, and air traffic control. SS/L is ISO 9001:2000 certified. For more information, visit

Loral Space & Communications is a satellite communications company. In addition to Space Systems/Loral, Loral, through its Skynet subsidiary, owns and operates a fleet of telecommunications satellites used to broadcast video entertainment programming, and for broadband data transmission, Internet services and other value-added communications services.

For more information, call 212/338-5345 or visit
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Publication:Worldwide Telecom
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:May 1, 2004

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