History of development of satelite broadcasting

In 1945 a young, at that time still unknown English engineer called Arthur Clark (later known as science fiction writer), in his article « Extraterrestrial retransmitters » («Extra-Terrestrial Relays»), published in October number of magazine «Wireless World», has proposed the idea of creation of satellite communication global system. He has suggested to arrange the satellite in such orbit when its speed coincide with the speed of Earth rotation so that the satellite from the ground would seem motionless. Such orbit has been named geostationary or Clark’s belt. For that a satellite should be precisely above equator at a height of 35,784 km. The location above equator is necessarily, otherwise, because of the Earth flatness from poles, the satellite for the terrestrial observer will not be motionless. That is the geostationary satellite has only one coordinate – a longitude, and its breadth is always equal to zero.

However, this idea could not be realized quickly. On August, 12th, 1960 NASA and Bell Laboratories (AT&T) have started satellite Echo-1 which practically had no equipment, and was only a mirror-reflector. Quite later – on July, 11th, 1962 AT&T experience has been used for the creation of satellite Telstar-1 from which was carried out test broadcasting between USA and France. It was possible to reach Clark’s belt only in 1963 by satellite Syncom (Synchronous Communications Satellite), but it was not yet acommunication satellite.

On April, 6th 1965 the international consortium Intelsat (International Telecommunication Satellites) the started satellite Intelsat Early Bird which could transmit through ocean up to 240 telephone conversations simultaneously.

The first television geostationary satellite Anik A has been started on November, 9th, 1972 by rocket Delta from cape Canaveral. The satellite has been constructed by Hughes Aircraft Company (today this is a division of Boeing) under order of Telesat Canada – the company created by the Canadian government. The satellite had 12 channels and could transmit 7000 telephone conversations or 12 channels of color TV. It actually has been started for telesignals transmittance through the territory of the huge country.

On April, 13th 1974 from cape Canaveral the new satellite – WESTAR-I has been started, constructed under the order of private American company Western Union. The satellite practically repeated Anik A. HBO company has started to use WESTAR-I from 75-th year for delivery of a signal in cable networks.

Since that moment the construction and start of communication satellites became usual business.

The first system of satellite television broadcasting in the USSR became created in the middle of 60th years; it was the “Orbit” system. Its basis was made with satellites of Molniya series. First such satellite “Molniya-1 ” has been started on April, 23rd, 1965. Its orbit has been strongly extended, with apogee almost 40 thousand kilometers at a perigee of only 500 km. The inclination of an orbit plane was 64.4 degrees. At this television broadcasting duration was about 10 hours, therefore for round-the-clock transmission needed 3 satellites. The transmitter with capacity 40 Вт broadcasted the first program of the Central TV on territory of the Union and the socialist countries of the East Europe. The transmission range was within the limits of 800-1000 MHz.

It should be noted, that the system of satellite broadcasting of the USSR has started to work practically simultaneously with the similar American system Intelsat the first satellite of which has been started just half a month earlier – on April, 6th of the same year. It was as well capable to broadcast only one telecast or 240 telephone channels.

By the end of 1967 the reception network of stations “Orbits” of the first batch, consisted already of 20 stations and served TV broadcasting regions of the Far North, the Far East and Central Asia.

Later on the Molniya system and satellites were improved. In 1971 «Моlniya-2» was started. It already worked on frequencies of 4-6 GHz. Then all Orbita stations ground equipment has been replaced by a new, more perfect one. And in 1974 the system “Моlniya-3 ” began to work.

Network efficiency was high, and the number of terrestrial stations quickly grew: to the beginning 1982 it has reached approximately 100 on territory of the USSR. In the USSR these stations are located mainly in the areas bordering the coast of Arctic ocean from Murmansk up to Anadyr and the southern borders of the Soviet Union from Caspian sea up to Sakhalin.

The new system of a satellite broadcasting “Moscow” began to be developed in the second half of 70th years in parallel with the system “Orbit “. Its orbital part was made of geostationary satellites of a series “Horizon”. Subsequently this system was intended to replace “Orbit”. In it provided transfer on the ground antenna with a diameter of only 2.5 meters with a weight about 400 kg. In addition to television programs, on the system ” Moscow ” radio programs were also broadcasted.

In 1980 have started multibarrelled artificial satellite “Horizon” having special powerful (40-watt) transmitter of a range of 4 GHz for transfer of TV signals on rather simple terrestrial reception stations of the ” Moscow ” system, installed together with retransmitters of various capacity

The ” Moscow ” System allowed to receive television programs not only in the USSR, but also behind its limits, to the countries of the Near East, Africa, Southeast Asia, etc. In total about 10 thousand ground receivers of this system have been developed.

On an artificial satellite “Horizon” there was also one trunk of a range of 11 GHz (FSS), applied for TV programs broadcasting.

However because of low population density in Siberia and in the Far East the creation of a continuous broadcasting network in those areas was unprofitable. For this purpose was required new, cheaper system of a television broadcasting.

And such system has been created. It became the first-ever system of a direct television broadcasting – “Ekran”.

It is necessary to specify, that “Ekran” was not system of individual reception. Here transfers from the satellite carried out on low-power receivers-retransmitters which carried out translation to settlement. However, owing to the small sizes of reception aerials and the equipment, “Ekran” became a rather inexpensive system accessible in small settlements and villages. That in general is the optimal solution to the given problem.

This system difference is that satellites, entering to its orbital component, were placed on a geostationary orbit. The possibility of antenna equipment creation and receivers of small sizes was given with the powerful transmitter having an output of 200 Вт.

The first satellite of the “Ekran” system has been launched into a geostationary orbit on October, 26th, 1976. Later had begun the production of collective reception stations Ekran-КR-10, Ekran-КR-1. Transmitters-relayers capacity was accordingly of 10 and 1 Вт, and radius of action – of 6-7 km and 2-2.5 km. It gave flexibility in installing such system, in fact the area of relaying could differ considerably in different cases.

In addition there was also a simple reception station Ekran intended for work in a distributive network of a cable television with a quantity of subscribers up to 8. Actually the first individual receiver of satellite TV.

The following task was the development of local broadcasting, including regional.

At the end of 1990 in Kazakhstan was launched a network of a television satellite broadcasting “Zharyk” in which with the help of 12 transponders КА “Horizon”, 80 в.д., was distributed a program of national TV. It is necessary to note, that the Zharyk system became the first satellite telecasting network in the USSR in a Ku-range.

On the territory of Kazakhstan more than 1000 Zharyk reception satellite stations together with television retransmitters have been installed. Practically on the whole territory there was the possibility to broadcast “Kazakhstan” television channel.