A second apogee maneuver was conducted which allowed the ARSAT-2 to reach its third orbit located 14,021 km above the sea level at the point in which it was nearest from the earth. A third maneuver has been planned to transport the second Argentine telecommunication satellite even nearer to the geostationary orbit.
The apogee maneuver that allowed the ARSAT-2 to reach its third orbit was conducted from Benavídez Ground Station dependent on ARSAT S.A.
When starting the satellite’s main engine (LAE) the speed of the ARSAT-2 increased to 500.17 m/s, thus, allowing the satellite to reach its third orbit in which it is now moving on with the engine switched off. The third orbit was 14,021 km high at its perigee with an almost Equatorial inclination of 1.57° whereas the second orbit, reached last Friday, was 4,800 km high at its perigee with an inclination of 3.54°. The satellite’s propulsion and auto-control subsystems worked properly. The ARSAT-2 kept on moving around the earth.
The quality of accuracy and follow-up of the Benavídez Ground Station was outstanding in comparison with other experiences. The staff of the German Aerospace Research Agency (DLR, in German) highlighted the excellent performance of the satellite’s control software developed in our country.
The group of technicians of ARSAT S.A. in charge of sending the second Argentine telecommunication satellite into orbit comprised approximately 20 persons who had also conducted the same operation with the ARSAT-1. The work and training carried out prior to this second occasion also involved several launching and service simulations. To send the satellite into orbit the group divided into subgroups which allowed them to work under the system of 7 x 24 —that is to control the satellite 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The operations were carried out from Benavídez Ground Station, belonging to ARSAT S.A., which is the only control center for telecommunication satellite’s missions in Latin America.