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Communications and Science

The space cable offers an attractive alternative to satellites for many applications. The Hubble Space Telescope has brought enormous benefits to astronomy and has enriched many of our lives with the dazzling images it brings, but it is very expensive to maintain and replace. A similar instrument placed high on the space cable will be outside the earth’s atmosphere but still readily accessible. Other applications include broadcasting, communications, positioning and earth observation.

A major benefit of placing equipment on the space cable is that there will be ready access for maintenance and upgrade, either by sending engineers up to it or by lowering it to the ground and raising it again. The altitude of 140 km gives line-of-sight coverage to an area about 3000 km in diameter, ideal for broadcasting to western Europe and much cheaper than a geostationary satellite. Some earth observation applications are also suitable for such a footprint (e.g., monitoring of crops, land use and weather).

Wide-area mobile telephone (cellphone) coverage is feasible. A single installation on the space cable will be able to handle calls over several hundred miles, given sufficient electronic capacity. In many places, this will eliminate the need for the increasingly unpopular masts in residential areas, provided suitable sites can be found for the space cable’s stations on the ground or at sea.

    
Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble Space Telescope


Communications Satellite
Communications Satellite