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  • A new generation of small satellite communication earth stations suited to transportable, emergency and disaster response applications

    Paper ID



    • A.E. Winter








    In Canada, the Southern population belt is served by terrestrial and satellite communications facilities, and Northern communities are provided communications by satellite. However, there are vast, sparsely-populated areas of Canada which do not presently have communications facilities. With the increase in resource exploration and development globally, and specifically in these areas, there are increasing requirements for transportable and emergency communications via satellite. Telesat Canada has recently developed a new generation of small portable earth stations capable of providing voice and teletype circuits in a complete electronics package less than one-half of a cubic metre in size. The paper describes the requirements, design, implementation, testing and operation of the earth stations. The stations operate via Telesat's commercial Anik satellites at 6/4 GHz, but are also designed to be capable of limited global operation via other 6/4 GHz satellites. In Canada, the stations are suitable for operation by such agencies as the Department of National Defence during major search and rescue operations or exercises, by the Emergency Measures Organization for communications during emergencies or disasters or by the resource companies during exploration or disaster events such as major oil spills. The paper also describes the operation of an earlier version of the transportable earth station during the investigation and clean-up of the nuclear-powered Cosmos satellite which crashed in Northern Canada in 1978,