Superbird-C, also known as Superbird-3  or Superbird-A3, was a geostationary communications satellite ordered and operated by Space Communications Corporation (SCC) that was designed and manufactured by Hughes Space and Communications Company (now Boeing Satellite Systems) on the HS-601 satellite bus. It has a pure Ku-band payload and was used fill the position at 144° East longitude. It provided television signals and business communications services throughout Japan, South Asia, East Asia, and Hawaii.
|Operator||SKY Perfect JSAT Group|
|COSPAR ID||1997-036A |
|SATCAT no.||24880 |
|Mission duration||13 years (planned)|
18 years (achieved)
|Launch mass||3,130 kg (6,900 lb)|
|Dry mass||1,416 kg (3,122 lb)|
|Dimensions||26.2 m × 7.5 m × 4.9 m (86 ft × 25 ft × 16 ft) with solar panels and antennas deployed.|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||28 July 1997, 01:15:01 UTC|
|Rocket||Atlas IIAS (s/n AC-133)|
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral, LC-36B|
|Contractor||International Launch Services (ILS)|
|End of mission|
|Reference system||Geocentric orbit|
|Band||4 Ku-band × 54 Mhz|
4 × 36 Mhz and 16 × 27 Mhz
|Coverage area||Japan, South Asia, East Asia, Hawaii|
|TWTA power||90 watts|
The spacecraft was designed and manufactured by then Hughes Space and Communications Company (now Boeing Satellite Development Center) on the HS-601 satellite bus. It had a launch mass of 3,150 kg (6,940 lb), a dry mass of 1,416 kg (3,122 lb) and a 13-year design life. When stowed for launch, it measured 4 m × 3.8 m × 2.4 m (13.1 ft × 12.5 ft × 7.9 ft). It had two wings with four solar panels each, that generated 4.5 kW at the end of its design life. When fully deployed, the solar panels spanned 26.2 m (86 ft), with its antennas in fully extended configuration it was 7.5 m (25 ft) wide. It had a 29-cell NiH2 battery with a power charge of 200 Ah.
Its propulsion system was composed of an R-4D-11-300 liquid apogee engine (LAE) with a thrust of 490 N (110 lbf). It also used had 12 22 N (4.9 lbf) bipropellant thrusters for station keeping and attitude control. It included enough propellant for orbit circularization and 13 years of operation.
Its payload is composed of two 2.2 m (7 ft 3 in) dual-gridded reflectors and twenty four Ku-band transponders powered by a traveling-wave-tube amplifier (TWTA) with and output power of 90 watts. It can configure two 54 MHz transponders into one 114 MHz with an effective 180 watts.
The Ku-band footprint covered Japan, southern and eastern Asia, and Hawaii.
Space Communications Corporation (SCC) was founded in 1985, the same year as the original companies that later formed JSAT. SCC switched satellite suppliers and on 1995 ordered a satellite from Boeing, Superbird-C.
On 28 July 1997 at 01:15:01 UTC, Superbird-C was put into orbit by an Atlas IIAS launched from Cape Canaveral LC-36B.
Superbird-C was replaced by Superbird-C2 during 2008, in 2015 it was decommissioned.