The Shentong series geostationary military communication satellite has been operated by the PLA to provide secured voice/data communications services for ground users in Ku-band.
Shentong 1 was based on the Dongfanghong 3 (DFH-3) satellite bus developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), but with heavier payload, increased power supply, and improved better reliability. The development programme took only five years to complete. The satellite carries 4 Ku-band and 8 C-band transponders.
The three-axis stabilised Shentong 1 weights 2,300kg. It features a number of new technologies, including the first Chinese satellite to provide the Ku-band communication; the first to use the advanced multiple steerable spot beam antenna technology to enable ground users to communicate while on the move; the first to use secured uplink transmission for satellite antenna control; and the most powerful onboard data processing capability.
The second-generation Shentong 2 based on the DFH-4 satellite bus was introduced in 2012.
- Chinasat 20 (Shentong 1 No.1) – Role: Military communications. Programme: Shentong. Spacecraft: DFH-3A. Mass: 2,300kg. Contractor: CAST. Operator: PLA. Summary: Known as Shentong 1 in its military name, this was the first-generation strategic military communications satellite to provide secured voice/data communications services. The satellite was positioned in the GEO at 103°E.
- Chinasat 20A (Shentong 1 No.2) – Role: Military communications. Programme: Shentong. Spacecraft: DFH-3A. Mass: 2,300kg. Contractor: CAST. Operator: PLA. Summary: Second Shentong 1 satellite to replace Chinasat 20 launched in 2003, positioned at 103°E in the GEO.
- Chinasat 2A (Shentong 2) – Role: Military communications. Programme: Shentong. Spacecraft: DFH-4. Mass: ? Contractor: CAST. Operator: PLA. Summary: Second-generation Shentong satellite to replace Chinasat 20A.
Last updated: 26 May 2012