JCSAT-14 is a new communication satellite designed and manufactured by Space System/Loral (SS/L) for Japan-based satellite operator SKY Perfect JSAT.

The satellite was launched into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, US, in May 2016.

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

“SS/L was awarded the contract to design and manufacture the JCSAT-14 satellite in June 2013.”

Following the launch of the JCSAT-14 satellite, two SKY Perfect JSAT satellites JCSAT-15 and JCSAT-16 were launched at the end of 2016.

JCSAT-14 satellite design and development

SS/L won a contract to design and manufacture the JCSAT-14 satellite in June 2013. The satellite assembly and manufacturing was completed at SS/L’s Palo Alto facility in California.

The company delivered the satellite to SKY Perfect JSAT in March 2016. It underwent pre-launch tests at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The spacecraft is based on the highly reliable SS/L 1300 satellite platform, which offers the flexibility to integrate advanced technologies for a range of applications. The two deployable satellite solar arrays generate 10kW of power throughout the satellite’s life cycle.

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

JCSAT-14 satellite communication features

The JCSAT-14 carries 26 C-band and 18 Ku-band transponders. Broadcast and data networks use C-band coverage. The Ku-band regional beams offer high-speed linkage for vessels, aircraft and resource exploration activities in mining, oil and gas industries.

JCSAT-14 satellite launch vehicle details

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) won a contract to launch the JCSAT-14 satellite in January 2014. The satellite was launched on board a new version of the Falcon-9 rocket 1.2 equipped with upgraded thrust control and engines.

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

Contractors involved

In February 2014, SKY Perfect JSAT contracted Kratos Integral Systems International for the upgrade of the EPOCH IPS satellite fleet management system to serve its JCSAT-14 satellite.

The EPOCH IPS provided SKY Perfect JSAT with the flexibility to integrate the operations of the spacecraft constructed by different manufacturers in a single system.

Ground control station for JCSAT satellites

The Yokohama Satellite Control Center (YSCC) monitored and controlled JCSAT-14 satellite operations at Midori-Ku. The company 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), serve as backup control centres.

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