Encyclopedia Astronautica
DFH-4



wdfh4.jpg
DFH-4
Credit: NigComSat
Large Chinese communications satellite bus using a blend of Chinese and subcontracted European technologies. Operational, first launch on 2006.10.28 (Xinnuo 2).

Chinese Aerospace Corporation (CASC) announced in July 1998 that it would develop a new large geosynchronous satellite bus which would be used for variety of new generation Chinese satellites in the next century. CASC was to select a foreign company as a partner. All satellites based on this new bus would be designed, assembled and tested in China, and launched by Chinese Long March boosters. Four European companies submitted proposals. The satellite could be equipped with a mixture of C-, Ku-, and even L-band transponders, and multi-beam antenna systems. This would be a step beyond the DFH-3, to satisfy the requirements for direct broadcast services; fixed and mobile communications using very small aperture antennas; and other dedicated special services.

The final DFH-4 platform was 3 axis stabilized and equipped with a bi-propellant propulsion system. It utilized C-band for command and control. It was based on a mixture of technologies from the prior DFH-3 and European satellite technology.

AKA: Dong Fang Hong.
Gross mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb).
First Launch: 2006.10.28.
Last Launch: 2011.09.17.
Number: 8 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • CZ China's first ICBM, the DF-5, first flew in 1971. It was a two-stage storable-propellant rocket in the same class as the American Titan, the Russian R-36, or the European Ariane. The DF-5 spawned a long series of Long March ("Chang Zheng") CZ-2, CZ-3, and CZ-4 launch vehicles. These used cryogenic engines for upper stages and liquid-propellant strap-on motors to create a family of 12 Long-March rocket configurations capable of placing up to 9,200 kg into orbit. In 2000 China began development of a new generation of expendable launch vehicles using non-toxic, high-performance propellants with supposedly lower operating costs. However these encountered development delays, and it seemed the reliable Long March series of rockets would continue in operational use for nearly fifty years before being replaced. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • CZ Chinese orbital launch vehicle. China's first ICBM, the DF-5, first flew in 1971. It was a two-stage storable-propellant rocket in the same class as the American Titan, the Russian R-36, or the European Ariane. The DF-5 spawned a long series of Long March ("Chang Zheng") CZ-2, CZ-3, and CZ-4 launch vehicles. These used cryogenic engines for upper stages and liquid-propellant strap-on motors to create a family of 12 Long-March rocket configurations capable of placing up to 9,200 kg into orbit. In 2000 China began development of a new generation of expendable launch vehicles using non-toxic, high-performance propellants with supposedly lower operating costs. However these encountered development delays, and it seemed the reliable Long March series of rockets would continue in operational use for nearly fifty years before being replaced. More...
  • CZ-3B Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The Long March 3B was the most powerful Long March launch vehicle. It could inject a 5,000 kg payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit. The CZ-3B was developed on the basis of the CZ-3A, but had enlarged propellant tanks, larger fairing, and four boosters strapped onto the core stage. The CZ-3B boosters were identical to those of the CZ-3A. More...
  • CZ-3C Chinese orbital launch vehicle. Launch vehicle combining CZ-3B core with two boosters from CZ-2E. The standard fairing was 9.56 m long, 4.0 m in diameter. On August 23, 2001, the CZ-3C launcher passed its critical design review. CZ-3C development had begun in 1995 but was suspended in 1996-2000 due to the 1996 CZ-3B failure. First launch was in 2008. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • CAST Chinese manufacturer of spacecraft. China Academy of Space Technology, Beijing, China. More...
  • Chinasat Chinese agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Chinasat, China. More...
  • CASC Chinese manufacturer of spacecraft. China Aerospace Corporation, China. More...
  • CNSA Chinese agency overseeing development of spacecraft. China National Space Agency, China. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Report (Internet Newsletter), Harvard University, Weekly, 1989 to Present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Chen Lan, Dragon in Space, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • China's Space Activities, The State Council Information Office, P.R.C., November, 2000.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Xichang China's launch site for geosynchronous orbit launches. Xichang Satellite Launch Centre is situated in Xichang, Sichuan Province, south-western China. The launch pad is at 102.0 degrees East and 28.2 degrees North. The head office of the launch centre is located in Xichang City, about 65 kilometers away. Xichang Airport is 50 km away. A dedicated railway and highway lead directly to the launch site. More...

DFH-4 Chronology


2006 October 28 - . 16:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3B CZ3B (93).
  • Xinnuo 2 - . Payload: Sinosat-2. Mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 29516 . COSPAR: 2006-048A. Apogee: 35,911 km (22,314 mi). Perigee: 35,675 km (22,167 mi). Inclination: 0.0600 deg. Period: 1,436.44 min. First DH-4 heavy Chinese communication satellite with communications equipment provided by Alcatel Alenia. Mission failed when solar panels and antennae failed to deploy in geosynchronous orbit. This was a blow to China's prestige, since the satellite was an important part of the 2008 Beijing Olympics coverage plans. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 91.80E drifting at 0.093W degrees per day.

2007 May 13 - . 16:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3B CZ3B (98).
  • Nigcomsat 1 - . Mass: 5,150 kg (11,350 lb). Nation: Nigeria. Agency: NCS. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 31395 . COSPAR: 2007-018A. Apogee: 35,789 km (22,238 mi). Perigee: 35,782 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Second DFH-4 communications satellite; China's first commercial payload sale, and Nigeria's first commercial communications satellite. Positioned at 42.5 deg E. Payload consisted of 4 C-band, 14 Ku-band, 8 Ka-band, and 2 L-band transponders. The antenna subsystem consisted of seven antennas.

2008 April 25 - . 15:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3C. LV Configuration: CZ-3C s/n CZ3C1.
  • Tian Lian 1 - . Payload: DFH 76. Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 32779 . COSPAR: 2008-019A. Apogee: 35,806 km (22,248 mi). Perigee: 35,768 km (22,225 mi). Inclination: 0.4000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. China's first in a series of new data relay satellites, and the first launch of the CZ-3C, a variant of the Long March with two liquid strap-ons. The satellite will relay data from Chinese manned and military satellites, beginning with the Shenzhou mission, from geostationary orbit at 77 deg E. Configuration unknown, but possibly based on the DFH-4 platform.

2008 October 29 - . 16:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B. LV Configuration: CZ-3B s/n CZ3B11.
  • Simon Bolivar - . Mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb). Nation: Venezuela. Agency: SISE. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 33414 . COSPAR: 2008-055A. Apogee: 35,797 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,777 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.2000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Venezuela's first satellite, a Chinese-built DFH-4 communications satellit with C-band and Ku-band transponders..

2010 September 4 - . 16:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B.
  • Chinasat 6A - . Payload: Zhongxing 6A. Mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 37150 . COSPAR: 2010-042A. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,778 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: C and Ku band communications transponders..

2011 June 20 - . 16:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B. LV Configuration: CZ-3B(E).
  • Zhongxing-10 - . Payload: Chinasat 10. Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: China. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 37677 . COSPAR: 2011-026A. Apogee: 35,812 km (22,252 mi). Perigee: 35,764 km (22,222 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Summary: Chinese communications satellite, stationed over 103.5 deg E. AKA ChinaSat 10, Xinnuo-5, and Sinosat-5..

2011 August 11 - . 16:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B.
  • Paksat 1R - . Mass: 5,120 kg (11,280 lb). Nation: Pakistan. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 37779 . COSPAR: 2011-042A. Apogee: 35,793 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,779 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min. Summary: Communications satellite to replace Paksat 1, the former Palapa C1..

2011 September 17 - . 16:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3B.
  • Chinasat 1A - . Nation: China. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 37804 . COSPAR: 2011-047A. Apogee: 35,794 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,781 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 0.5000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Military communications satellite..

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