AVS Forum Addicted Member
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Stop making curved screens
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So the satellite gets moved into place by having it's normal geosynchronous orbit intentionally thrown out of whack. This then causes the satellite to slowly drift from its old position to its new one as it orbits the earth.
Normally, the satellite orbits the earth in a manner such that it stays, quite literally, over the very same spot on the equator despite the fact that it is moving through space at many thousand miles per hour.
Well, this intentionally wobbly orbit has to be "righted" once the satellite comes to it's correct location and "geosynchronicity needs to be re-established at the right location.
Then there is the matter of the fact that the "attitude" or orientation of the satellite also must be pretty precise as the transmission beam has a shape that is designed to roughly conform to hitting the continental U.S. (and sometimes Alaska and Hawaii). The transmission beam is not supposed to spew American satellite over a much larger range than is necessary to avoid interference elsewhere.
[n.b. It is possible to pick up all "our" satellites in parts of Canada and Mexico and sometimes elsewhere, but the satellites are supposed to be good citizens and the idea is to keep the beam primarily over the U.S.]
My sneaking suspicion is that 6 has a narrower beam than 1 did, as well as having more power to work with. What probably happened is that when the initial "stop" was achieved, the beam was a little skewed such that it was essentially missing the northeast and is probably doing an equisitely fine job of serving a few pleasure boats that are looking to replicate the journey of the S.S. Minnow. :)
A very subtle use of the thrusters may be in order here (unless the transmission beam is electrically steered, which might be possible ?!?) to get the beam "painting" the U.S. as tightly and strongly as possible.
If all goes well -- once everything is done -- it's still possible the stronger signal, or EIRP, might allow a lower FEC (forward error correction) and therefore a higher-bit rate, i.e. less pixelation, et al.
But we'll see.
For all of you in New England, et al., who have lost your channels temporarily... I am truly sorry for you. They will likely fix it soon!
There's a saying about "everything in moderation". If only it was applied to well, you know...