Washington - Sep 6, 2006 - Sirius Satellite Radio has filed an application for authority to launch and operate an additional satellite to enhance its services. The new satellite is being referred to as Sirius FM-5. It would be placed into a geostationary orbit.
Sirius currently has three satellites in orbit in highly elliptical orbiting patterns. A fourth backup satellite, Sirius FM-4, is kept in storage on the ground.
Sirius FM-5 would be placed in orbit at 96 ° west longitude in tandem with the existing three satellites to create a hybrid constellation that, according to Sirius, "will provide subscribers with unparalleled redundancy, enhanced coverage and exceptional performance."
Sirius notes that FM-5 would primarily enhance its current coverage, but that it could also fill any coverage that could be lost if one of the existing three failed. Sirius FM-4, the on-ground spare, has been ground-tested and can be launched if needed, but doing so could take as long as six months.
Read the application filing at the FCC website at svartifoss2.fcc.gov/servlet/ib.page.FetchAttachment?attachment_key=-115654.