Mexico’s satellite systems are threatened by lack of investment

The lack of investment prevents Mexsat from implementing preventive and corrective maintenance to its systems

Mexico’s satellite systems are threatened by lack of investment
Mexsat has been assigned no resources for two years - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 02/09/2020 15:21 Carla Martínez Mexico City Actualizada 15:21
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The Mexsat System requires an investment of MXN $2.3 billion from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2025, otherwise, it will lose control of its satellites which could cause an accident, and operation centers will not receive the required maintenance.

According to the Guarantees and Maintenance Program of the Mexican Satellite System (Mexsat), of which EL UNIVERSAL has a copy, there is a lack of budget to implement both preventive and corrective maintenance to the fixed and mobile satellite communications systems of the Control Centers of the Mexican Satellite System Mexsat as well as for the payment of the guarantees linked to it.

If the M doexsates not have the required resources, it will be in danger of “losing control of geostationary satellites, which could cause a catastrophic accident in case of a collision with other satellites, causing third-party damage,” as asserted by the document.

It adds it would unable to “send equipment to the Control Centers for repairment, which would represent the loss of the equipment guarantees, as well as the obsolescence of the software used for controlling the satellites at the expense of the system itself and the services it provides.”

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It adds that without the investment project, it would have to hire services from multiple suppliers.

“Which would increase secrecy risks, the loss of sovereignty, in case of losing the control of the satellites, it would compromise the orbit positions 113.5° East, 114.9° West assigned to Mexico, along with the coordination of the L band; increasing the investment stemmed from the variety of required suppliers and compatible terminals with each one of the leased technologies.”

Lifespan
The Mexsat System is comprised of two control centers, one in Iztapalapa, Mexico City, and another one in Hermosillo, Sonora, as well as of the satellites Bicentenario and Morelos 3, both of them with a lifespan until the first quarter of 2034.

Mexsatprovides satellite communications services to National Security Instances (ISN) such as the National Defense Ministry, Mexico’s Navy, the National Guard, Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office, and the National Intelligence Center.

The K095 Investment Budget Program Mexican Satellite System Mexsat was created in 2010 to provide resources to the Project under Mexico’s Telecommunications.

Nevertheless, at the 2019 and 2020 budget, there were no resources assigned to the K045 Program, so the deputy secretariat of Communications has had to constantly request for resources to be able to comply with the current contractual obligations of the system.

“With the resulting extraordinary and complex expenditures pressure of managing in the current global and national economic context,” as stressed by the document.

In the text, the agency mentions that by the end of the yeat, according to the Portfolio Register before Mexico’s Finance Ministry (SHCP), “there would be an investment of MXN $3.3 billion, the total amount of the budget granted to the K095 Mexican Satellite System Mexsat.”

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