Author Topic: Worlds Largest Earth Station to Close  (Read 2194 times)

Offline sbt

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Worlds Largest Earth Station to Close
« on: 09/16/2006 07:21 PM »

BT (the primary telephone provider in the UK) is to close down Satelite Ops at the historic Goonhilly Downs site. The site is currently, in terms of area and number of dishes, the worlds largest Satelite Ground Station.

Operations will move to BTs other Earth Station site at Madley in Herefordshire which is more centrally placed in the network. The subsea cable termination facility and Project Management facility will remain alongside just one of the 60 plus dishes currently on the site.

The dish that will remain is "Arthur", the first dish at the site to be built (in 1962). The 25.9m dish was built to receive signals from the first active communications satelite, Telstar. On July 23 1962 it received the first transatlantic TV transmission and, a little later that day, the first transatlantic telephone call linked by satelite. As a result of its history it has been "Grade II Listed" which prevents its destruction. I don't know if it will be kept operational.

Location Maps:
Within Britain: http://tinyurl.com/hurch
1:1,000,000 - http://tinyurl.com/k7gsx
1:200,000 - http://tinyurl.com/n55cq
1:50,000 - http://tinyurl.com/pv8fo
Arial Photo - http://tinyurl.com/p5nvj

BBC story:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/cornwall/5338622.stm

Visitor Centre:
http://www.goonhilly.bt.com/index.html

Rick
I am not interested in your political point scoring, Ad Hominem attacks, personal obsessions and vendettas. - No matter how cute and clever you may think your comments are.

Offline elmarko

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Re: Worlds Largest Earth Station to Close
« Reply #1 on: 09/17/2006 11:14 PM »
This sucks.

I visited this place when I was 7. I nearly got bitten by an adder in the grassy areas around it :) It's a wonderful place, and I was really enthralled by the technology on show.

Offline hmh33

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RE: Worlds Largest Earth Station to Close
« Reply #2 on: 09/19/2006 12:02 AM »
Sad.  I spent a couple of weeks there on an industrial placement several years ago.  If I remember rightly "Arthur" has been out of operation for some years.

Offline Jim

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RE: Worlds Largest Earth Station to Close
« Reply #3 on: 09/19/2006 12:08 AM »
Quote
sbt - 16/9/2006  3:08 PM
The site is currently, in terms of area and number of dishes, the worlds largest Satelite Ground Station.
Rick

I doubt that it is the largest.  I think I know a larger one.  How many dishes did it have?

Offline sbt

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RE: Worlds Largest Earth Station to Close
« Reply #4 on: 09/19/2006 01:04 AM »

61, from Merlin (Ae 6) at 32m  to Ae 15 at 45 cm, according to the Visitors Centre

Area: 160 acres

Its not closed yet, BTW

Rick
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Offline Jim

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Re: Worlds Largest Earth Station to Close
« Reply #5 on: 09/19/2006 02:04 AM »
45 cm doesn't count.  Buckley AFB is bigger in acreage.  It has 13 large dishes

Offline sbt

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Re: Worlds Largest Earth Station to Close
« Reply #6 on: 09/19/2006 02:59 AM »

How about we agree to stick a 'Civil' in front of 'Earth Station'?

Then I can retire to bed mulling over the question of whether 45 cm 'counts' if it has a specialist role (Its used for tests for Inmarsat)

If we are going to count the number of 'big' dishes then thing could get very silly very quickly. I make it 13 dishes large enough to be individually marked on the site map.

Its certainly the oldest in the UK, the first to receive transatlantic Comsat traffic and various other things.

Its also one of those names, like Calder Hall, Woomera, Fylingdales and Jodrall Bank, that bring to mind a particular era of rapid technological advance in the British mind. Saying 'Goonhilly' to a Brit of any reasonable age and technological savvy will instantly create images of time and place in their mind much as saying 'Muroc' would to an American of similar age and interests.

BTW, if you track directly West from the site you reach Poldhu Point, from which Marconi's men transmitted the first transatlantic radio signal.

Rick
I am not interested in your political point scoring, Ad Hominem attacks, personal obsessions and vendettas. - No matter how cute and clever you may think your comments are.

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