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Low down on the low angle from the Arctic refuge

Last June, LiveOnSite in Washington, D.C., and ENG FTP, in New York City, provided transmission services for the first-ever Satellite Media Tour from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

From the Village of Kaktovik on Alaska's North Slope, Boyd Matson, a former National Geographic Explorer, met with local and national television outlets complete with a flyaway video satellite link at the refuge that’s been at the center of national debate over whether to allow drilling for gas and oil.

Using LiveOnSite's Continental Microwave 1.5m antenna, the remote crew saturated the 9MHz digital slot on PanAmSat's Galaxy 10R with less than 100W of power. According to tour satellite engineer Chuck Ranney, the only significant change required to transmit from that latitude was the antenna’s elevation. Other than a 10 degree elevation to the antenna, the satellite shot “was not much different than doing a transmission from Boston,” he said.

Fog almost played a factor but not with signal attenuation. According to ENG FTP’s Bruce Wilkinson, who worked as co-executive producer, the tour was preceded by days of fog, which lifted just in time for Matson “to show viewers Peregrine Falcons and Caribou with their young calves nursing."

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