In the analogue days why were most sats at western positions?

norm360

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-http://www.selkirkshire.demon.co.uk/analoguesat/dbsfreqs.html

If you look at this table most of the orbital positons were in the western skies, Marco Polo being at 31w (the first UK satellite). Why was this? Why did they since change to eastern positions?

I thought the optimum position for any satellite relative to a country would be at the highest part of the southern sky. So the UK for example would be 5w to 1E.

And what dictated Sky moving to the 28.2e position, is there a technical reason for this?
 

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norm360 said:
-http://www.selkirkshire.demon.co.uk/analoguesat/dbsfreqs.html

If you look at this table most of the orbital positons were in the western skies, Marco Polo being at 31w (the first UK satellite). Why was this? Why did they since change to eastern positions?

I thought the optimum position for any satellite relative to a country would be at the highest part of the southern sky. So the UK for example would be 5w to 1E.

And what dictated Sky moving to the 28.2e position, is there a technical reason for this?

Ah I think I might know who ran that site :-rofl2

Well Sky moved to 28E as there simply wasnt sufficient capacity at 19E - which was more than half filled with German analogues :D

The DBS concept was a miserable failure because the high power satellites could only transmit a handful of channels - if you look at Marco Polo 1 & 2 it took TWO satellites to transmit FIVE channels at full power.

Most of those DBS slots were never activated - someone was really hoping San Marino Liechstenstein & Andorra could fill a craft between them - 20 years later only San Marino is on satellite (with one channel..)
 

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Analoguesat said:
The DBS concept was a miserable failure because the high power satellites could only transmit a handful of channels - if you look at Marco Polo 1 & 2 it took TWO satellites to transmit FIVE channels at full power.

Commercially it was yes but technically I still think it was amazing that those 5 channels could be received on a tiny 35cm dish even through a double glazed patio door.
 

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Analoguesat said:
Ah I think I might know who ran that site :-rofl2

Very interesting it is too, been reading a fair few articles up there, the ill fated launch of Astra 1K I didn't know about. That was an impressive bird 6 meters long.

Analoguesat said:
Well Sky moved to 28E as there simply wasnt sufficient capacity at 19E - which was more than half filled with German analogues :D

Yeah I know Sky needed the capacity. My question was really concerned about what decides the orbital position, why did Astra decide upon 28.2e, seems very specific. As far as the UK is concerned 5w to 1e have to be better orbital positions as they satellite sits higher in the sky, so less chance of obstruction interfering with reception.
 

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I believe that easterly satellite positions are also preferred because when the biennial (that's twice a year!) solar outages occur it'll happen early in the morning when fewer peopple are watching and so there'll be fewer phone calls.
 

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Not wishing to be a pedant Paul, but thought biennial was every two years, with bi-annual being twice a year.
 

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Hmmmm, have I got it the wrong way round? Must check...

EDIT

Bugger - mea culpa.
 

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I always thought (although I am no expert) that we got 28 East as it was the best way to share the available range, UK/Ireland are the most easterly part of Europe we were allocated the most usable East satellite position as things filled up.

I still remember when I got reignited my interest in the hobby, I spent ages looking for UK sly on 19E.
 

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UK and RoI are the most Westerly part of Europe .......
 

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Tivù said:
UK and RoI are the most Westerly part of Europe .......
Iceland is sometimes included as part of Europe although it is over the horizon for 28E.

As it sits astride the Atlantic ridge it can, of course, claim to be part of North America as well. Does it have a satellite directed towards it it any way? Does 1W supply what's needed Nordically?
 

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PaulR said:
Iceland is sometimes included as part of Europe although it is over the horizon for 28E.

It's low on the horizon under the ideal 10° elevation but it's not too bad if the signals are strong enough and there are no buildings in the way. At one point there were Icelandic channels on Astra 2D.
 

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Off topic, won't Iceland be covered by 40west as remember that Austrian guy with 4.5m getting greenland channels in Cband.

how did BSB decide to operate at 33west then, If the ideal position is 1e to 5west ?
 

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PaulR said:
Iceland is sometimes included as part of Europe although it is over the horizon for 28E.

RUV-Sjonvarpid used Astra 2D for some tests about 10 years ago because of the coverage into Iceland

Hers the video loop they played out for weeks - the video got speeded up a bit by the YT transfer but its still watchable

[video=youtube;ManIKNoJKOM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&v=ManIKNoJKOM[/video]
 

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timo_w2s said:
It's low on the horizon under the ideal 10° elevation ...
I was guilty of oversimplification as I hadn't realised that the cutoff on the footprints was 10°, not the horizon. Must pay more attention...
 

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norm360 said:
I thought the optimum position for any satellite relative to a country would be at the highest part of the southern sky. So the UK for example would be 5w to 1E.

From a population coverage point of view it makes sense as there will will less chance of systems getting blocked by neighbouring obstacles, however from a financial point of view, whichever orbital slot offers the most appropriate satellite technology, the ability to uplink from other parts of the world, and the eventual price of leasing the transponders will often make more sense for a broadcaster.

Your original point about the UK coverage slot shift from West to East relies on all three of the above, with the last being the most poignant.
 

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Tivù said:
UK and RoI are the most Westerly part of Europe .......

Oops, excuse me, had a bit of a senior moment!
 

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ANother maybe more technical reason. Draw a line along the axis of the UK, where does it cross the equator around 28 degree area i think froma rough look on the atlas.

Maybe this makes things easier with footprint control on the UK spots
 

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how did BSB decide to operate at 33west then, If the ideal position is 1e to 5west ?
BSB Marcopolo 1 & 2 Operated at 31w Wod :D

I'm also guessing that 1e to 5w positions were in use.

Nano
 

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Or even 1W to 5E :D

There was additionally a slot available for testing (19W ?) with the Olympus satellite - and TDF 1 and 2 - parked there for a couple of years with MAC broadcasts before something went pear shaped.
 

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My uncle (professor of communication at a large UK university) says that gravity is not constant along the equator, and you in effect have troughs and peaks of gravity. It uses more fuel to keep the birds on the "peaks", so they would prefer them in the troughs where they have a tendency to stay.

.
 
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