US satellite company develop ground station in Kilingi-Nõmme

Photo: ERR

United States satellite company Globalstar developed a ground station in the vicinity of Kilingi-Nõmme, which will allow for data exchange with satellites. The investment came to Estonia because of its economical and political stability.

The antennas are six meters in diameter and look like gigantic cabbages, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Thursday. The station in Kilingi-Nõmme is Globalstar's second in Europe with the first one having been in operation in France for some time.

The company is developing one more ground station in Europe, but will not unveil where and how many more they will build. The Kilingi-Nõmme ground station cost the company €3.5 million.

"We found Kilingi-Nõmme when we needed to locate another ground station in Europe to round out our coverage here, we needed a ground station in the Baltic region and we wanted a place that was politically and economically stable," Globalstar VP Barbee Ponder said.

"We looked at locations in four separate countries and after much consideration and good work with the Estonian Investment Agency (EAS), we decided to accept a proposal from the town of Kilingi-Nõmme," Ponder added.

The ground station was developed by Merko and AA-Sat. The station is ready and a testing period will be initiated in a few weeks with two people manning the station at first. The company began looking for a location last week and they sent an inquiry to the Estonian Investment Agency's foreign investments center.

"We found that this location has been defined by them as between the Gulf of Finland and the Latvian-Lithuanian border. So we know we were competing with the Latvians. I thought this area near Kilingi-Nõmme is a very suitable location. In cooperation with Saarde municipality, the offer was made very quickly and Globalstar is now the owner of this property," said EAS foreign investment consultant Sulev Alajõe.

"We call them antennas ensuring satellite communication. They connect to low-orbit satellites from a horizon with a radius of 10 degrees and send that satellite to the other end of the sky and monitor all of the many satellites Globalstar is operating," Alajõe added.

Watch the video attached to the article for more views on the station and the interview with Barbee Ponder - ed.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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