Monday, 3 September 2012

Satellite and internet

Someone asked about the satellite dome at Halley - here it is, even with such a large dish (inside the dome, over 2m diameter) Halley only gets 256K bandwidth in both directions, its pretty much saturated all the time. The incoming bandwidth is more or less used up by the station staff keeping in touch with the outside world, and the outgoing bandwidth is saturated by science data being sent out. We actually collect far, far more data than can be transmitted out by satellite so we tend to send just summaries that let the scientists see what is happening and if they see an interesting event then the data for that event can be transmitted, the vast bulk of the data come out of Halley by plane at the end of the year on backup tapes.

The Communications Dome at Halley in the summer


  1. Awesome photo Mike. Nice pristine sky.

    I bet shipping that was a challenge and a half (I see a few dents on the surface). :)

    I honestly didn't expect the dish to be shrouded by a dome. I suppose that's to protect it from the winds as well as the snow.

    Is there a technical reason why you can't get faster tx/rx speed, or is it financial reasons, I know a dedicated satellite internet connection can be expensive.


    1. It was shipped in sections and put together on station, because of the accumulation at Halley we have to move it each year so it does get the occasional knock.

      The satellite uses C band, we could get more speed by paying more money, but not much more before we need a bigger dish too.

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