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Located right at the floor of the Rift Valley is one less talked about sites in Kenya. Infact many trekkers of Mt.Longonot will briefly mention it or perhaps see it in the distance, not giving it much thought either.

The station is located South of Mt. Longonot which is 60kms from the capital, Nairobi.

The Longonot Earth Station is a specialised terrestrial terminal used to communicate with satellites in space. The two large satellite sites were built in 1970 and 1990 respectively and were used by the East African countries under the then East African Exchange Telecommunications (Extelcoms). The two stations are named Logonot I and Longonot II

  • Longonot I - 1970
  • Longonot II - 1990

The Longonot 1 came into operation on 1971. This communication link is via a geo-stationery satellite which is located at 22,000 miles above a point on the equator off the Indian Ocean and the frequency used to relay signals is at 400Mhz, this is 400x more than the normal rate for broadcasting radio signals.

The antennae were used for data and voice communication long before the fibre cable landed on the Kenyan coast. The 2 stations are now obsolete, used for teaching and research.

I tend to reason that there is a co-relation to the loction of the Longont Earth Stations and the Luigi Broglio Space Center, aka San Marco which is an Italian-owned spaceport near Malindi. They are both located at or close to the equator.

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The 2 stations are owned by Telkom Kenya. Telkom Kenya was previously a part of the massive Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC) which was the sole provider of both postal and telecommunication services. The company was established as a telecommunications operator in April 1999, after the split of KPTC into the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), the Postal Corporation of Kenya (POSTA) and Telkom Kenya.

This post is by no means the complete info about the Eath Stations, the more I find interesting scientific info I shall update it here.

References