Optus C1 at 156° East
In 2003, satellite operator SingTel Optus successfully launched the world’s largest hybrid commercial and military communications satellite Optus C1, together with the Australian Defence Forces. The satellite is carrying a total of 16 antennas that will provide 18 beams across Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as global beams covering from India to Hawaii. Optus C1 is located an orbital slot of 156° East Longitude.
Optus C1 is the Australian hotbird with 24 commercial Ku-band transponders operating in beams covering Australia, New Zealand, the nearby offshore islands, Papua New Guinea, Hawaii and South-East Asia. The satellite carries subscription tv-services and Aurora Free-to-Air radio and television services to remote areas in Australia.
The military Ka-band payload has four 33 MHz active transponders and one spare. It will provide medium to high data rate defense theatre coverage and duplex video, along with voice and data communications. This Ka-band communications service is a new capability for the Australian Department of Defense.
Optus C1 was constructed by Mitsubishi Electric Corp. (MELCO) as prime contractor and Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) responsable for the SSL-1300 space bus. The satellite was launched on an Ariane 5G launcher operated by Arianespace launch operator on June 12th, 2003, in a dual launch with BSat-2c for satellite operator B-SAT from Japan.