With the rapid pace of growth of our network, we quickly ran into a capacity issue. After just over a year in service we had maxed out our upstream service provider. We were told we could not get more bandwidth, so we had to roll up our sleeves. We decided we would build our own dish.
We found a high wind rated 11m bolt-together antenna in Houston, Texas. We literally dug the antenna out of the weeds, refurbished it, and put it to work in Unalaska. Reclaimed technology at its best.
To build the antenna we had to procure land and all the necessary permits needed. We worked with local contractors for the engineering, construction and to set the antenna on its pedestal.
We hired satellite professionals to help design the tx and rx chains as well as to help us install the actual antenna structure.
When we set the antenna it was a beautiful sunny February day in the Aleutians. It has been snowy and cold the entire time up until that day. On that day as the crane was approaching the site we were throwing rock in front of the tiers to stop it from sliding on the compacted snow and ice. The very next day it blew over 160 mph and snowed several feet of wet snow, immediately testing our dish for us. We spent that day driving around pulling people out of ditches and helping people make their way home.
The antenna is what they consider a “dinosaur” because it has an old mounting style. But you know what they say, “they don’t make them like they used to”. It has been delivering service to the island since 2017, and as we continue to add more capacity to the network, we are confident it will continue to serve us for many years to come.