Sometimes I get so used to the ease by which my SIRIUS setup works that I forget that there is a lot of wicked science behind it.
I just got reminded...
SIRIUS is launching a new satellite, this time a geostationary one. SatelliteRadioTechWorld dug up this cool tidbit from an FCC filing. Be sure to check out the main article, but in the meantime, here is a synopsis:
- Sirius hereby requests authority to launch and operate Sirius FM-5, a geostationary satellite, to provide satellite digital audio radio services to our subscribers and to Sirius Canada's subscribers in the 48 contiguous states and Canada
- The satellite will be compatible with current and next generation radios
- Only two of the four satellites will be used at any given time. All four will be used
- The geostationary satellite as well as their present satellites will use an "overlay modulation" technique, which will add an additional 1.35 Mb/s throughput
- FM-5 can operate as a true "hot spare" to backup all other satellites
- Construction begins 4Q2008
All this translates into increased reliability and a 30% increase in bandwith. SatelliteRadioTechWorld speculates that the extra bandwith could be necessary for the rumored upcoming SIRIUS video.