AGILA: The Bird and the Satellite

Published April 27, 2012 by Justn Obud Dy

AGILA: The Bird and the Satellite

It was in August 20, 1997 during the satellite’s launch that our satellite is christened with the name Agila by no less than President Fidel V. Ramos himself.

“Our choice of the National Bird, which is now the Philippine Eagle is very fortunate one. The Philippine Eagle, as you will know, is the biggest kind of eagle in the world, even bigger than the American Bald Eagle, which is the national bird of the United States. And so, both the eagle symbol, together with the Satellite, is something to be proud of.”

President Fidel V. Ramos
August 20, 1997

Agila series

Agila series of satellites are communication satellites of Philippines and are operated by Mabuhay Philippines satellite corporation. Agila series comprises of two satellites namely Agila-1 and Agila-2. Agila-1, formerly known as Palapa-B2P satellite, was launched in 1987. Agila-2, launched in 1997 provides telecommunication services to the Asia Pacific region and delivers broadcast television, telephone, and data services to Southeast Asian countries including Philippines, Hawaii, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam and China.


Development Agency : Space Systems Loral Company (SSL), USA
Launch :
19 August 1997 from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province, China
Launch Vehicle :
Orbit :
GEO 1460E
Weight :
2820 kg
Payload :
24 standard C-band, 6 extended C-band and 24 Ku- band Transponders
Stabilization :
3-axis stabilization
Operational life :
Design life of 15 years

The satellite was eventually launched into orbit last August 20 at 1:50 a.m., local time from Sichuan Province, China.

Agila-II is owned by the Mabuhay Philippines Satellite Corporation (MPSC) which is composed of local firms that include the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), Pilipino Telephone Corp. (Piltel), Republic Broadcasting System (GMA-7), Philippine Communications Satellite Corp. (Philcomsat), Cable Entertainment Corp. (CEC), and the Philippine Satellite Corp. (PSC) accompanied by foreign companies such as the Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN) of Indonesia and the China Everbright Group Limited (CELG).

It was built in Palo Alto California and was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China aboard a long March 3B rocket. It was originally scheduled to be launched on August 11, 1997 but was postponed twice due to bad weather caused by typhoon Ibiang.

The bird and the satellite.

The control center of Agila-II satellite is located in Subic Bay Freeport Zone. The center is manned by an all-Filipino staff which comprises of engineers, satellite operators, network operators, and other personnel. The staff was trained in the Space Systems/Loral station in California, USA.

Agila-II is capable of transmitting more than 190 channels to cable companies and home satellite dishes, can handle more than 50,000 simultaneous two way telephone conversations, serves as a back-up to the country’s telephone network, and allows a 15 MB/s data access.

Long March 3B or CZ-3B rocket.

GOD created the world, everything else is made in _____.”

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