Earth Station Site Layout Planning
Choosing the antenna(s) site.
The primary criteria is that the antenna has a clear and unobstructed view of the sky in the direction of the satellite. Given that at some future time the service may switch to another satellite, the antenna should be capable of moving to cover the new satellite without engineering changes to the foundation or having the view obstructed by buildings or trees.
Earth Station size antennas are typically motor driven and operated by the remote antenna control electronics. The control cables need conduit from the operations center to the antenna and this must be planned carefully, because the layout of the waveguide carrying the transmit and receive signal from the operation center to the antenna is a considerable cost factor. If the amplifiers are rack mount, expensive elliptical or rigid waveguide must carry the RF signal to the antenna feed. Normally waveguide is carried in trays mounted several feet above the ground, the shorter the distance the better.
Long waveguide or cable runs attenuate the strength of the final signal when it reaches the antenna feed. In extreme cases half the power of the amplifier can be lost by poor layout.