JCSAT-14 is a new communication satellite designed and manufactured by Space System/Loral (SSL), for SKY Perfect JSAT, a satellite operator based in Japan. The satellite is scheduled to be launched into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) atop SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in April 2016.

The satellite will replace the capacity of the JCSAT-2A (JCSAT-8) in geostationary orbit at 154°E longitude and will offer broadcast, data networks and mobility services across Asia, Russia, Oceania and Pacific Islands.

"SSL was awarded the contract to design and manufacture the JCSAT-14 satellite in June 2013."

The JCSAT-14 satellite will be followed by two more satellites of SKY Perfect JSAT, including JCSAT-15 and JCSAT-16, which are being prepared for launch later in 2016.

Design and development of JCSAT-14 satellite

SSL was awarded the contract to design and manufacture the JCSAT-14 satellite in June 2013. The satellite assembly and manufacturing was completed at SSL’s Palo Alto facility in California.

The satellite was delivered to SKY Perfect JSAT in March 2016. It is currently undergoing pre-launch tests at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The satellite is based on the highly reliable SSL 1300 satellite platform, which offers the flexibility to integrate advanced technologies for a range of applications. The two deployable solar arrays on the satellite will generate 10kW of power throughout its life.

The satellite has a designed lifespan of more than 15 years to provide service for broadcast, data networks and internet connectivity for maritime and aviation applications.

Communication capabilities of JCSAT-14 satellite

The JCSAT-14 carries 26 C-band and 18-Ku-band transponders. The C-band coverage will be utilised by broadcast and data networks, while the Ku-band regional beams will offer high-speed linkage for vessels, aircraft, and resources exploration activities in mining, oil and gas industries.

JCSAT-14 satellite launch vehicle details

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) was awarded the contract to launch the JCSAT-14 satellite, in January 2014. The satellite will be launched atop new version of Falcon-9 rocket 1.2 equipped with upgraded thrust control and engines.

The launch will be performed from the Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) in the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Contractors involved

SKY Perfect JSAT placed a contract with Kratos Integral Systems International in February 2014 for the upgrade of the EPOCH IPS satellite fleet management system to serve its JCSAT-14 satellite.

The EPOCH IPS will provide SKY Perfect JSAT the flexibility to integrate the operations of the spacecraft manufactured by different manufacturers in a single system.

Ground control station for JCSAT satellites

The operations of the JCSAT-14 satellite will be monitored and controlled by the Yokohama Satellite Control Center (YSCC) at Midori-ku, which is also responsible for managing all access to the JCSAT series satellites.

The sub-control stations, including Superbird Platform East (SPE), Superbird Platform West (SPW) and Gunma Satellite Control Station (GSCS), will serve as back-up control centres.

The control centre oversees the spacecraft operations and also controls the position and altitude of the satellite. It also monitors the functionality of instrument and performs station-keeping manoeuvres if the spacecraft deviates from its trajectory.