IT Glossary

Earth Station

An earth station is a collection of equipment installed on the earth’s surface that enables communications over one or more satellites. Earth stations consist of a reflector antenna (or parabolic dish), a feed system to send and receive the RF carrier, data handling equipment and mechanical tracking equipment to keep the satellite within the antenna’s data send/receive area. Earth stations are typically owned by the company receiving the data from the satellite network, thus must operate within certain specified parameters to maintain the network’s stability. Earth stations are part of a satellite network’s ground segment, which consists of all earth stations operating in a satellite system. These can be connected to the end user’s equipment directly or via a terrestrial network.

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