Optus satellite facility tour: photos

Optus satellite facility tour: photos

Summary: ZDNet Australia goes behind the scenes at Optus' satellite facility in Belrose just north of Sydney to see how the telco manages its five satellites currently in orbit.

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  • (Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

    Two main operation centres keep control of the satellites and the data they transmit. The satellite control room is operated by two controllers 24 hours a day, with two 12-hour shifts from 7am to 7pm and 7pm to 7am. The controllers are tasked with ensuring the satellites remain in position and perform routine checks on a daily basis. The satellites are powered through solar panels, and one of the more busy times of the year is during Equinox, when there is a solar eclipse for one hour a night. According to Optus, the satellites store up solar power in their batteries to ensure that the systems do not go down while the sun is blocked by the Earth.

    The second room is the broadcast operations centre. This centre monitors the customer feeds being broadcast over the satellites.

    Unfortunately, due to security concerns, ZDNet Australia was unable to take photos in either of the control rooms.

  • (Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

    The facility first opened over 25 years ago when the then-government-owned company Aussat launched its A1 satellite in 1985. As part of the deregulation of Australia's telecommunications industry, Singtel, as the first competitor to Telstra, was required to buy Aussat which then became Optus.

  • (Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

    A D series satellite model.

Topics: Telcos, Emerging Tech, Optus

About

Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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