The Sky Mexico-1 communications satellite was built by Orbital ATK (formerly Orbital Sciences) for operation by Sky Mexico, a company owned by DirecTV and Televisa. Sky Mexico provides subscription based TV services, produces TV content and operates several TV channels as one of Mexico’s largest pay TV providers. The company was founded in 1996 and by 2005 was absorbed by DirecTV, but keeping the original Sky name.
The Sky Mexico-1 satellite is based on Orbital’s GeoStar-2 platform that was first flown in 2002 and is capable of hosting mid-sized communications payloads. The satellite bus has extensive flight heritage in Geostationary Satellites and is capable of hosting medium-power communication payloads including hybrid systems up to 5kW.
Sky Mexico-1 has a launch mass of around 3,000 Kilograms supporting a payload power of 5 Kilowatts. The satellite is outfitted with two four-panel solar arrays wings that host Utra-Triple-Junction Gallium-Arsenide solar cells delivering power to the Power Distribution Units that also control the state of charge of two 4P9S Li-Ion batteries. Navigation and attitude data is provided by state of the art systems while attitude and precise Earth-pointing is accomplished by reaction wheels part of a zero momentum system and a chemical attitude control system using Hydrazine monopropellant.
The main propulsion system is a bipropellant system featuring the IHI BT-4 engine that consumes Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine fuel and Nitrogen Tetroxide oxidizer. BT-4 was developed by IHI Aerospace, Japan and has a dry mass of 4 kilograms and a length of 0.65 meters. The engine provides 450 Newtons of Thrust. The propellants are stored in spherical tanks that are pressurized with Helium.
The Sky Mexico-1 satellite hosts 24 Ku-Band transponders and two active Reverse-Band transponders that permit the uplink in frequency ranges used by Direct Broadcast Satellites. Two 2.5 x 2.7 meter single shell super elliptical deployable reflectors are installed on the satellite.
Sky Mexico-1 will be stationed at a position of 78.8 degrees West in Geostationary Orbit to provide coverage to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The satellite will ensure the continuation and expansion of Sky Mexico Direct to Home Television Services, operating for at least 15 years.