MSAT, short for Mobile Satellite, is a satellite-based mobile telephony service developed by the National Research Council of Canada. Supported by a number of companies in the US and Canada, MSAT hosts a number of services, including the broadcast of CDGPS signals. The MSAT satellites were built by Hughes (now owned by Boeing) with a 3 kilowatt solar array power capacity, sufficient fuel for a design life of twelve years. TMI of Canada referred to its MSAT satellite as MSAT-1, while American Mobile Satellite Consortium (now Mobile Satellite Ventures) referred to its MSAT as AMSC-1, with each satellite providing backup for the other.


  • April 7, 1995 - MSAT-2 (aka AMSC-1) launched from Cape Canaveral, Launch Complex 36, Pad A, aboard Atlas IIA
  • May 1995 - testing causes overheating and damage to one of eight hybrid matrix amplifier output ports aboard MSAT-2
  • April 20, 1996 - MSAT-1 launched from Kourou, French Guiana aboard Ariane 42P
  • May 15, 1996 - Reported failures of two solid state power amplifiers (SSPAs) and one L-band receiver on separate occasions aboard MSAT-2.
  • May 4, 2003 - MSAT-1 loses two power amplifiers.


MSAT-1 and MSAT-2 have had their share of problems. Mobile Satellite Ventures placed the AMSC-1 satellite into a 2.5 degree inclined orbit operations mode in November 2004, reducing station keeping fuel usage and extending the satellite's useful life.

On January 11, 2006, Mobile Satellite Ventures (MSVLP) announced plans to launch a new generation of satellites (in a 3 satellite configuration) to replace the MSAT satellites by 2010. MSV has said that all old MSAT gear would be compatible with the new satellites.:

  • MSV-1 (U.S.)
  • MSV-2 (Canada)
  • MSV-SA (South America)

Services Delivered via MSAT

The following services are singularly dependent upon the continued operation of the MSAT satellite:

  • CDGPS - a differential correction signal system for improved GPS navigation accuracy
  • Mobile Telephony - by Mobile Satellite Ventures
  • Fleet Dispatch and Trailer Tracking - by Geologic
  • Trailer Tracking - by Vistar (now owned by Transcore and operated as Globalwave)
  • Trailer Tracking - by SkyBitz
  • Fleet Dispatch - by Wireless Matrix
  • Fleet Management and Asset Tracking - by CES Wireless Technologies Corp.,


External links

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