2 Space Link Center in Dubna Russia

Space Link Center in Dubna Russia

Posted on November 22, 2015 by tim


Lot of us have the satellite dishes that receive TV or internet signal from space. However rarely we think how the signal actually gets into the satellites? There is no cable to feed the signals to space. For these space link stations are used like this one in Dubna, Russia. Thanks to Dmitry who went there and made those awesome photos we can see how it looks like inside.. and its huge! Over than sixty of large diameter space transmitting dishes pointed toward satellites and much more is inside. This installation was top secret during Soviet times and still is a very restricted access area, but Dmitry got the chance to get inside and we are lucky he did!

Dubna is a city known in Russia as a “city of physicist”. Lots of scientists live here near this space link station.  Also, Russia’s “collider” was located here.

Dmitry says that this is the biggest space link station in Russia and also one of the biggest in Europe. It also supports the so called “fixed satellite connection” or satellite phones. It works in 52 countries of the world and is number one space link operator in Russia. It has twelve satellites to make all those sat phones to work.

Here are all the satellites the company used. Also the most popular Russian sat tv called “Tricolor TV” receives its HD signal.

As we mentioned before, more than sixty large sat dishes are working here.

So the territory of the complex is large so they don’t interfere with each other and also free of the trees which could obstruct the signal.

Local scientists don’t like when their antennas are called “dishes”. “It’s incorrect, it’s not a dish, its a flashlight that shines onto a satellite, this is what it is!”, says one worker of the complex to Dmitry.

All the dishes are pointed onto different fixed points in space. Each satellite stays on its fixed orbit and this orbit is corrected each day to insure it stays in the same place.

And this huge dish is for top-secret “governmental” link.

This dish farm is almost fifty years old. These dishes were used to broadcast signals from the Russian Olympics in 1980.

On the fields of the complex there are a lot of control stations testing the quality of the signal.

Some of them look like these small huts.

Sometimes they are large houses filled with servers.

This complex connects more than 52 countries throughout the world.

Dmitry says its hard to show how vast are fields and shows how small a human appears for scale when walking from one dish to another.

Sometimes it looks like this.

We are all  used to the traditional “dish” shape of sat antennas, however new contemporary antennas don’t look any more like dishes, hard to say what they look like now, spider webs?

Here is an old and a new one side by side.

Here are some more people for scale.

Here is a funny name Dmitry noticed – some inspector’s last name is “Borsch”.

Inside the buildings are filled with servers and displays.

Operators and systems all the way thru control the quality of the signal and the quality of the picture being fed onto the satellites.

Here is a funny thing – a text-only interstellar satellite chat. An operator in Dubna asks an operator in mysterious “Fort X”: “How do you get our signal? Signal is fine thanks!”.

Here is an operator checking the Tricolor-TV signal quality. It uses 4K resolution or “Ultra-HD” to send to satellites and then into residential receivers.

They say that many “HD” sat operators use a trick “upscaling” when the signal is not really HD or Ultra-HD but then they digitally enhance it “faking” real HD. Here in this station this is not a case – they use the real 4K to send to satellites.

And here how it looks from above.

Thanks a lot to Dmitry for having this awesome photos! His website is above:

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2 Responses to “Space Link Center in Dubna Russia”

  1. john says:

    Great posting,it was very interesting.

  2. Asmodeus says:

    All right, this is an intersting post.

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