VSAT: Radiation Safety

Very small aperture terminal (VSAT) is a two-way satellite ground station that is used to access satellites that orbit the Earth for the purpose of relaying data to other terminals and hubs. Safety issues are a concern for this type of technology since it uses radioactive frequencies as a means to transmit information.

  1. Hazards

    • VSAT transmitters produce hazardous electromagnetic radiation when they transmit radio frequencies into space. Electromagnetic radiation differs from nuclear radiation. Although the harmful long-term effects of transmitter radiation have not yet been determined conclusively, Satcoms U.K. recommends that people avoid transmitter radiation because it has the potential to cause serious health problems.

    Precautions

    • Satcoms U.K. offers some basic safety practices for VSAT radiation safety. They include placing barriers in front of the antennas to keep people from walking directly in front of the transmitting radioactive waves and keeping the public away from areas where the satellites are located. Posting warning signs is another safety measure endorsed by Satcoms U.K.

    Government Safety Guidelines

    • Gibraltar Regulatory Authority is a U.K. government agency that offers important information for VSAT safety, including guidelines for research, maintenance and VSAT operations personnel. GRA recommends that frequencies be set at a range between 30 and 30,000 MHz. Personnel who are in charge of maintenance and operations should not be exposed to intensities greater than 10 milliwatts per square cm. Radiation-intensity measuring equipment should be maintained in good working order.

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