Last night we tried to image the ISS (International Space Station) without success. We didn’t get a sharp image of the station but we will retry during the other passes that will occur in the next days. While we were setting up our system to track the ISS, we did some tests on visible satellites and one of the targets was the HotBird 13° System.
HotBird 13° system is a group of satellites operating in geosynchronous orbit, 13 degree to the east of the Greenwich meridian and over the equator. The group consists in 3 active satellites (HotBird 13B, HotBird 13C and Hotbird 13D) orbiting in 150x40km window and rotating at the same angular speed as earth (that’s why they appear fixed if seen from earth).
These satellites provide the broadcast link for televisions and radio all across Europe. Most of the satellite dishes that are installed in the European countries are pointing to this spot. The three satellites are seen as single point from the dishes which can receive signals from all the three satellites.
In Italy, the satellite broadcaster Sky Italia uses these satellite to spread contents all over the nation using 26 transponders installed as follow (18 transponders on HotBird 13B, 7 transponders on HotBird 13C, 1 transponder on 13D) each transponder provide a 38/65Mbps downlink bitrate.
These satellites are fixed for the observers on the earth