One of Africa's smallest states, The Republic of The Gambia, is about to join the satellite age.
One of Africa's smallest states, The Republic of The Gambia, is about to join the satellite age. Later this month (25 April) a new satellite earth station will be opened in the country giving it direct access to world-wide space communication systems.
SYNOPSIS: The new earth station, build at Abuko, took only seven months to complete. It was constructed by the international communications company, Cable and Wireless Limited, who last century were responsible for connecting the Gambian area to England by submarine cable.
Many earth stations are used to monitor and receive television signals from other parts of the world, But as The Gambia does not have a television Broadcasting system, its new station will be used for communications. It has been equipped with a total of eight channels capable of receiving and transmitting telephone, telegraph, telex and other communications traffic. However once the Gambian Government decides to start TV broadcasts, the new station will be capable of handling television pictures. This, in fact, will be demonstrated at the opening with a direct broadcast from London.
A "dish" antenna 40 feet (13 metres) wide is what makes the station work. It picks up and transmit signals from a specialised communication satellite which is stationed more than 22,000 miles (36 thousand kilometres) over the Atlantic Ocean. t's not really stationary. It's orbiting. But the satellite travels at the same speed as the earth so is keeps the same relative position.