Last Friday, XM filed for an immediate 60 day Special Temporary Authority (STA) to drift XM2 to the 85.2 orbital location near XM3. The measure is to mitigate any service outage such as XM experienced on Monday, May 21.
XM uses the east coast satellite XM3 to feed its repeater network. On Monday, May 21, things went awry and XM3 was temporarily out of service. Not only was the satellite signal lost, but the repeater network went down, because XM3 is used to feed the repeaters.
As you may recall, XM had to replace the original satellites, XM1 and XM2, affectionately known as Roll and Rock, because their solar panels began to fail prematurely. XM 3 and XM4 are now fully operational. XM3 is orbital location 85.1. XM4 is at 115. The crippled satellites, XM1 and XM2, are presently at 115.1 degrees, near XM4.
XM intends to use XM1 and XM2 to replace XM3 in the event of a failure. Therefore, XM 1 and XM2 both eventually will be drifted to the 85.2 degree orbital location. XM already has an STA to drift XM1.
The original plan was to have XM1 andXM3 together and XM2 and XM4 together, such that XM3 and XM4 would each have a backup. They apparently decided it was better to have XM1 and XM2 together, such that they could fully replace XM3 in the event of a failure. XM3, as they found out, is much more critical.
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