Geographic distribution of the “Ground Station”

In an earlier writing explained what was a “ground station”.

In summary, it was said that they were installations on the surface of the earth, that are responsible for capturing the signals coming from the satellites. Processing them and sending the resulting information to an operations center. It was also said that since satellites circumnavigate the planet, to follow them throughout the orbit several ground stations are required.

This time the issue of the geographical distribution of these facilities is addressed. They cover the entire surface of the planet, comprising both poles, the Arctic and Antarctica. Since they are the ends of the axis of rotation earth. In the Arctic is the “SvalSat”, Svalbard Satellite Station, located 1,200 km from the North Pole, at the northern end of the Svalbard archipelago and communicates with Norway.

There are several in Antarctica; We mentioned the Troll Satellite Station in Queen Maud Land. Form, together with the SvalSat part of the KSAT network. Also in Antarctica is the McMurdo Earth Station (MGS), with an antenna 10 meters at 12 ° South Pole, whose image is shown here. It has the ability to withstand polar orbit satellites of all kinds, such as those on NASA missions.

The larger the obstacle-free field such as mountains or large, solid earth masses around the antenna, the longer the satellite signals can be received. Because of this, the islands are a prime location for the ground stations. We list some of them.

In the Canary Islands there are two: La Maspalomas on the island of Gran Canaria, and in Tenerife on the Teide Observatory; which combines the insular advantage with being at a high altitude, having a wider horizon. In the Marshall Islands there is one that is part of the US defense system And, starting in 2015, it operates one on Easter Island. The Marambio Station Base located in the Seymour Islands, Argentina, which is also very south, in the Antarctic Peninsula.

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