Astra 2D Satellite
The Astra 2D satellite was launched on 19th December 2000. Astra 2D 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 2D satellite was designed with 16 Ku band transponders.
Astra 2D satellite was designed with an operational life of 12 years.
Astra 2D satellite was the first spin-stabilized satellite in the SES fleet, based on the popular Boeing 376HP spacecraft.
Astra 2D was designed to carry the main Free To Air UK TV channels for the UK. Astra 2D has one broadcast beam with horizontal and vertical polarisation. This beams is called a “narrow beam” or “spot beam”, and is tightly focused on the UK, however there is some signal overspill into Europe.
During Astra 2Ds operational life, the UK TV channels on Astra 2Ds “narrow beam” or “spot beam” were somewhat difficult to receive in Spain. In many areas, like the Valencia and Costa Blanca North areas reception of channels on the Astra 2D “narrow beam” or “spot beam” required a large 1.8m or 2.4m satellite dish.
From February 2012, some UK TV channels have been removed from Astra 2D, and placed onto another satellite, Astra 1N. This is due to Astra 2D coming to the end of its useful life, and is due to be replaced during 2012 – 2014.
With Astra 2D coming to the end of its mission life, a temporary satellite, Astra 1N was deployed to 28.2° east. Astra 1N started operations November 2011, with some UK TV channels on Astra 2D started to transfer be to Astra 1N. Over the next few months the remaining UK TV channels from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 on Astra 2D were switched off and started transmission from Astra 1N.
Astra 2D remained in position at 28.2°E, with no transponder activity. Astra 2D was then moved and positioned at Astra 5°E in July 2015. In October 2015, Astra 2D was moved to 57°E.