Astra 2B Satellite
The Astra 2B satellite was launched on 14th September 2000. Astra 2B was deployed at was located at 28.2° east, the main orbital position for direct-to-home satellite TV services in the UK and Ireland, mainly the broadcast of Sky TV and the other UK TV satellite channels.
Astra 2B satellite was designed with 30 Ku band transponders, although this would be reduced to 28 as the satellite aged.
Astra 2B satellite was designed with an operational life of 12 years.
The Astra 2B satellite has two beams – a North beam and a South Beam. The satellite provides two broadcast beams, each with horizontal and vertical polarisation, across two footprints – 2B North (covering central Europe and Scandinavia) and 2B South (covering Central Europe and the Iberian peninsula and Canary Islands). In Spain, the satellite TV channels that are transmitted from the north beam frequencies may not be available on all satellite dishes 24/7. In fact, even on big 2.4m satellite dishes, these north beam frequencies can be difficult to receive all day.
A third, steerable beam provides 8 transponders for Internet and telecommunications services in West Africa.
During January 2013, the UK TV channels on the Astra 2B satellite were moved to Astra 2A and Astra 1N. This is to enable Astra 2B to be moved to another location (19 east) to be used as “back up”. In February 2013 Astra 2B started its planned move from that position to Astra 19.2°E, to serve alongside Astra 1KR, Astra 1L, Astra 1M, and Astra 2C, arriving in position by February 27, 2013. In January 2014, Astra 2B moved to the Astra 31.5°E slot as back-up.