A satellite primer

A satellite primer

Basically, there are three parts to this satellite delivery thing:

The uplink or earth station.  This is what transmits the signal up to the satellite.  We have a great big, 10-meter, dish outside our Jefferson City office. There is associated transmitter equipment in a small building near the dish which takes the signal and delivers it to the uplink.  The wide “petals” concentrate the signal so these get there with gusto.  We own this equipment.

The satellite itself It is in geostationary orbit around the earth, which means it doesn’t move relative to the earth — it stays exactly in the same place over the earth, at the equator.  It receives the signal, boosts it, turns it around and resends it back to earth in a much wider pattern (the entire USA!) .  We lease space from GE’s SES.

The receive antennae. The smaller dishes at radio stations around the country; usually 3-meters across.  They receive the signal, concentrate it and send it to audio equipment inside.  Some we own and service, some are owned by the radio station or others.

This picture is signing day — when we selected GE to be our satellite provider.  Mr Big from New York came out here — he’s sitting at the table with me.  Standing are Fred Cain, the sales guy, and two Learfielders: Virginia Lee Williams and Charlie Peters.

Now that I’ve taught you something about satellite delivery, I next need to tell you to forget it.  It is but one way to get something from here to there; the the delivery vehicle isn’t near as important as the “software” we’re sending.  Get it?  I’ll say it differently: All we have is what we produce in our news rooms, in our broadcast booths, in our pre-game programming, etc.  How we get it from here to there is simply economics.  So forget it; let me and others worry about that. Stay focused on what is really important:  how we serve the listeners!