ACTS Comes Down To Earth

As you can imagine, all this was quite an event at the hotel. The local television station even showed up to cover it, bringing not only a camera operator but even an on-air reporter, as well! Since Scott was also taping scenes of the arrival and off-loading, it was dueling “Betacams” out on the helipad for a while. The Brazilian television people got to leave, however—Scott had to eventually put down the camera and help carry things!

Finally, all the boxes were unloaded, the rooms filled, and John and Greg go out to assemble what will be the most visible element of the Live from the Rainforest production: the 1.2 m antenna dish, complete with sturdy metal tripod pedestal and on- board radio frequency transmitter and receiver equipment. After the long, difficult trip, one final indignity: John and Greg have to finish setting up the antenna in the pouring rain.

Setting up a satellite earth station in the middle of the rainforest isn’t exactly like setting up a satellite TV dish in your backyard, however. Our terminal not only receives video but can transmit it, as well, along with telephone and data channels. And unlike satellite TV, where any number of users can watch at the same time, the ACTS earth station must share time with other ACTS earth stations which are transmitting and receiving completely different data through the same satellite. And to make it just a little more complicated, the satellite must be specifically directed to point an antenna at just our location; a few fractions of a degree off and the antenna beam could be mispointed a few hundred miles away!

Ann’s Journals ACTS Comes Down To Earth    1     2     3     4     5