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Azerbaijan gets its orbital position in space

12 January 2024 15:11 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan gets its orbital position in space
Abbas Ganbay
Abbas Ganbay
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On 11 January 2024, the management of the C and Ku frequency bands, which is served by the Azerspace-1 satellite located in the orbital position of 46° East, was registered in the name of the Government of Azerbaijan, Azernews reports.

According to the Space Agency under the Ministry of Digital Development and Transport (Azercosmos), the registration has been approved by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Earlier, the Azerspace-1 telecoms satellite, launched in 2013 and located in the orbital position of 46° East, operated in the C and Ku frequency bands of the orbital position belonging to the administration of Malaysia. The registration of these bands in Azerbaijan's name means that Azerspace-1 is already operating in Azerbaijan's orbit, not Malaysia's.

The transfer of the orbital position to Azerbaijan began on 8 December 2020 with the submission of the necessary documents to the ITU. It is not easy to achieve its orbital position in the world practice, this process usually covers seven years of activity.

But Azerbaijani specialists have completed the whole process in just three years. During this period, the Azerbaijani side completed negotiations on coordination of 265 satellite networks of 34 governments and reached relevant agreements.

It should be noted that the orbital position located at 46° east longitude is the first and only orbital position that Azerbaijan has in the geostationary belt. This, in turn, will allow Azerbaijan to place telecommunication satellites independently of any state on its orbital position in the future.

The Geostationary Belt, which has become a limited space for satellites working in telecommunications, radio broadcasting, and weather forecasting, is located at about 36,000 kilometers above the equator. The main significance of this altitude is that satellites here rotate at the same speed as the Earth's surface.

This enables both satellite operators and customers, as well as those who use television and radio from home via satellite, to receive a continuous signal from the satellite without changing the direction of their antennas. States formally apply to the ITU for the use of vacant orbital positions in the geostationary belt by themselves or by private companies that have applied to them.

Satellites to be located in these positions are currently being assembled or awaiting launch. When a satellite in geostationary space reaches the end of its 15-20 year life, the country that owns the orbital position has the option of replacing it at that position. This regulatory principle effectively allows countries to maintain their positions indefinitely.

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