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The evolution of scientific technology and study of terrestrial world has seen significant boosts in our understanding of the earth. I believe there has been tremendous exploration progress made in an aid to discover what constitutes the space outside our planet. This has of course been the fundamental drives that pushed us to land in the moon and discover the existence of other planets.

Usually, the communication uses satellites sent to space that communicates back the information to earth-based infrastructure. These earth-based terminals are what are referred to as earth stations or radar earth station. They are terrestrial earth-located terminal stations that send signals to satellites and receive the transmissions sent back.

The stations are located in specific coordinates on the earth’s surface and consists of various parts that track and initiate communication with the satellites. They can be fixed or mobile and communicate with both manned and unmanned space-stations. Some earth stations are configured to achieve only one direction of communication; either receiving or transmitting signals.

Earth station sub-systems and characteristics

There are various components that radar earth stations use to achieve effective and accurate communication with satellites orbiting far away in space. Some of the major systems include the following;

  1. Transmitters and receivers – These systems send signals to the satellites and their complexity vary depending on the carrier frequencies satellite numbers simultaneously handled by the station in question. The receivers systems basically pick up signals sent by satellites.
  2. Antenna systems – This is simply a single or double parabolic antenna used to achieve transmission and reception of simultaneous connections. They are configured to a multiplex arrangement to allow communication of different frequencies from the satellites.
  3. Tracking systems – These are basically systems put in place to ensure the antenna is always pointing to the right direction which is the satellite. They calculate how the earth and satellite orbits and keeps the antenna faced where it will achieve quick telecommunications.
  4.  Power system – This is usually a primary power source that runs the earth station and is not interrupted by blackouts or any other power failure.
  5. Other systems include test and maintenance that conduct routine assessments on the station and all its terrestrial interfaces. They are used for maintenance of the station.


The main operational characteristic of these earth stations is frequencies through which communication is made possible. The frequency bands such as 14/12 GHz and 6/4 GHz are assigned for different satellites. Other distinctions include polarization, which can either be linear or circular, modulation type, EIRP (effective isotropic radiated power), antenna gain and access methods (TDMA, FDMA).

Advantages of radar earth terminals

As mentioned above, these communications are very fundamental to our understanding and exploration of the space and other planetary bodies. In my own opinion, it is fairly justified to credit the study to future survival of mankind and further exploration of space. They hold our hope of locating other inhabitable planets or astronomical bodies.

Besides, a radar earth station provides meticulous information, including metrological data used in forecasting weather and climate changes. The information can be used to anticipate inevitable disasters long enough to prepare for them.

These stations are also used to monitor the earth’s atmosphere and space boundaries for different countries. There are many earth stations in various countries and their installation is governed by certain cording standards. The most efficient stations are found in developed countries.

Classification and Communication

Earth stations can be categorized depending on their use into single function, teleports and gateway stations. This classification is referred to as functional grouping. The main categories however include FSS (fixed satellite service), BSS (broadcast satellite service) and MSS (mobile satellite service). Radar earth stations are designed to achieve extra-planetary telecommunications using radio waves from space astronomical sources or sent spacecrafts. They can be located on the earth’s surface or within its atmosphere.

Conclusion

Earth stations are some of the incredible innovations of the 21st century and offer a great foundation for future cosmetologist to explore space. There are many theories and discoveries currently under study and unraveling the mysteries will be expected much sooner with the rapid advancements in technology. I think stronger, more efficient satellites and station technology integrated with latest enhancements of computers will certainly lead to new discoveries. Currently though, their main work is to enable telecommunication with spacecrafts, satellites and astronomical bodies capable of transmitting radio frequencies.

Author

Robert Gombos

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