Launched by an Ariane rocket from the Kourou Space Center, Afristar was the first WorldSpace satellite. It will broadcast digital radio over Africa and the Middle East. Small handheld radios were able to pick up the transmissions from its three L-band beams. The satellite carried from 24 to 96 radio channels with on-board processing to allow variable bit rates from mono to CD audio quality transmission. Broadcasters send their programs up to the satellite with a small X-band ground station.
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