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DFH-4

DFH-4

DFH-4
Credit: NigComSat

Large Chinese communications satellite bus using a blend of Chinese and subcontracted European technologies. The DFH-4 was 3-axis stabilized and designed for use in high capacity communications and broadcasting, direct broadcasting, and regional mobile communications satellites.Payloads of up to 600 kg requiring 8,000 W power could be accomodated in the initial version; the DFH-4E enhanced version increased this to 1,000 kg / 10,000 W and introduced electric propulsion. The DFH-4S could accommodate smaller requirements with 450 kg /4000 W requirements.

AKA: Dong Fang Hong; Nigcomsat; Simon; Tian Lian; TKSAT; Tongxing Jisshu Shiyan Weixing; Tupac Katari; VeneSat; Xinnuo. Status: Operational 2006. First Launch: 2006-10-28. Last Launch: 2015-11-03. Number: 15 . Gross mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb).

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. Specifications were as follows:

Dimensions: 2360 mm 2100 mm 3600mm
Payload: 600 kg
Orbit type:GEO and other orbits
Solar array output: 10,500W (EOL)
Payload power: 8,000 W
Station keeping precision: west/east +-0.05 deg; north/south +-0.05 deg
Antenna pointing precision: <0.1 deg (3 sigma)
Design lifetime: 15 years
The DFH-4E Bus was an enhanced version of the DFH-4 with greater capacity. It incorporated advanced technologies, including electrical propulsion, more efficient batteries, and multi-tiered communications module, an increased load carrying structure, more efficient thermal control, and overlap antenna holding and releasing technologies. The new triple-junction gallium-arsenide solar cells generated 65 kw per kilogram. Lithium-ion batteries replaced nickel-hydrogen in the original model, saving 80 kg.

Characteristics were as follows:
Launch Mass: 5000-5300 kg
Dry Mass: 2700 kg
Output power: 13,500 W
Payload Mass: 800-1000 kg
Payload Power: 10,000 W
Lifetime: 15 years
First flight: NigComSat, May, 2007
A further development of the DFH-4 was the the DFH-4S ("Small but Smart"). CAST began developing the DFH-4S in 2006 for an unspecified (probably Chinese military) customer. The bus introduced advanced avionics and lithium-ion batteries, and a plasma propulsion system (PPS).
Launch Mass: 4600 kg
Dry Mass: 1590 kg
Output power: 7800 W
Payload Mass: 450 kg
Payload Power: 4000 W

Family: Communications, Geosynchronous orbit, Military communications sat. Country: China. Launch Vehicles: Chang Zheng 3B, Chang Zheng 3BE, Chang Zheng 3C. Launch Sites: Xichang, Xichang LC2. Agency: CAST, Chinasat, CASC, CNSA. More at: 6453, 12216, 12217, 12218, 12219, 12220, 12221, 12222, 12223, 12224. Bibliography: 2, 4, 424, 530.


Photo Gallery

APStar 9 / MySat 1APStar 9 / MySat 1
Credit: Manufacturer Image


Belintersat 1Belintersat 1
Credit: Manufacturer Image


Nigcomsat 1Nigcomsat 1
Credit: Manufacturer Image


Paksat 1RPaksat 1R
Credit: Manufacturer Image


Sinosat-2Sinosat-2
Credit: Manufacturer Image


SupremeSat 2SupremeSat 2
Credit: Manufacturer Image


Tupac Katari 1Tupac Katari 1
Credit: Manufacturer Image


Simon BolivarSimon Bolivar
Credit: Manufacturer Image


Zhongxing-10Zhongxing-10
Credit: Manufacturer Image


Chinasat 6AChinasat 6A
Credit: Manufacturer Image


Sinosat-2Sinosat-2
Credit: Manufacturer Image



2006 October 28 - . 16:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Sinosat-2 - . Payload: Xinnuo 2. Mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. 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: Chang Zheng 3BE.
  • Nigcomsat 1 - . Payload: DFH-4 Enhanced. Mass: 5,150 kg (11,350 lb). Nation: Nigeria. Agency: NCS. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. 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: Chang Zheng 3C.
  • Tian Lian 1 - . Payload: DFH 76. Mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. 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: Chang Zheng 3BE.
  • Simon Bolivar - . Payload: VeneSat-1. Mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb). Nation: Venezuela. Agency: SISE. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. 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. 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: Chang Zheng 3BE.
  • Zhongxing 6A - . Payload: Chinasat 6A. Mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. 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. C and Ku band communications transponders..

2011 June 20 - . 16:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3BE.
  • Zhongxing 10 - . Payload: Chinasat 10. Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: China. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. 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. 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: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Paksat 1R - . Mass: 5,120 kg (11,280 lb). Nation: Pakistan. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. 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. Communications satellite to replace Paksat 1, the former Palapa C1..

2011 September 17 - . 16:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Zhongxing 1A - . Payload: Chinasat 1A / Feng Huo 2-1. Mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb). Nation: China. Program: Chinasat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. 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. Military communications satellite. First of the Feng Huo 2 series for secure digital data and voice tactical military communications..

2011 December 19 - . 16:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3BE.
  • Nigcomsat 1R - . Mass: 5,200 kg (11,400 lb). Nation: Nigeria. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 38014 . COSPAR: 2011-077A. Apogee: 35,788 km (22,237 mi). Perigee: 35,785 km (22,235 mi). Inclination: 18.4900 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Replacement for failed NigComSat-1, launched in 2004..

2012 May 26 - . 15:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3BE.
  • Zhongxing 2A - . Payload: Chinasat 2A / Shentong 2-1. Mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 38352 . COSPAR: 2012-028A. Apogee: 35,794 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,780 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. First of the second generation of the Shentong series, operated by the Chinese Army to provide secure voice and data Ku-band communications to the ground forces..

2013 May 1 - . 16:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3BE.
  • Zhongxing 11 - . Payload: Chinasat 11. Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 39157 . COSPAR: 2013-020A. Apogee: 35,794 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,780 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.5500 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Communications satellite operated by China Satcom with 45 C-band and Ku-band transponders..

2013 December 20 - . 16:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Pad: xxx. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3BE.
  • Tupac Katari 1 - . Payload: TKSAT 1. Mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb). Nation: Bolivia. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 39481 . COSPAR: 2013-075A. Apogee: 35,802 km (22,246 mi). Perigee: 35,773 km (22,228 mi). Inclination: 0.0700 deg. Period: 1,436.13 min.

    Bolivia's first communications satellite, named after the historical Bolivian leader Julian Apasa Nina (Tupac Katari, 1750-1781). The satellite was built by China's CAST using a DFH-4 bus. It was controlled by Chinese-trained Bolivian engineers at the Amachuma ground station.


2015 September 12 - . 15:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Tongxin Jisshu SW1 - . Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 40892 . COSPAR: 2015-046A. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,777 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.0800 deg. Period: 1,436.05 min.

    Tongxing Jisshu Shiyan Weixing yi hao (Communications Engineering Test Satellite No. 1). Military satellite; speculation was that it was the first in a constellation of ballistic missile early warning satellites. The booster's upper stage reached a 208 km x 635 km x 27.1 deg parking orbit 10 minutes after launch and coasted to the equator, where a second burn at 16:01 GMT sent the stage and payload to a 195 km x 35,814 km x 27.1 deg geotransfer orbit.


2015 October 16 - . 16:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Apstar 9 - . Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 40982 . COSPAR: 2015-059A. Apogee: 35,763 km (22,222 mi). Perigee: 35,727 km (22,199 mi). Inclination: 0.0900 deg. Period: 1,433.98 min. Communications satellite for Hong Kong-based APT Satellite, with C- and Ku-band payloads..

2015 November 3 - . 16:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: Chang Zheng 3B.
  • Zhongxing 2C - . Payload: Chinasat 2C / Shentong 2-2. Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: China. Class: Communications. Type: Communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: DFH-4. Spacecraft: DFH-4. USAF Sat Cat: 41021 . COSPAR: 2015-063A. Apogee: 35,793 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,780 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.5500 deg. Period: 1,436.09 min. Second of the second generation of the Shentong series, operated by the Chinese Army to provide secure voice and data Ku-band communications to the ground forces..


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