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Re: How to build a Satellite

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Eric Johnston
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Nov 28th, 2011 at 3:13pm  
An excellent TV programme. Do watch it.

I am pleased to see TV programms like this, being made about "How things are made" as many school kids in the UK these days seem to lack awareness of how anything is made.  Instead of wanting to become professional engineers their ambitions are to become a footballer or celebrity.  It's probably due to heath and safety keeping kids out of the real world and being locked behind school fences all day, never meeting adults or visiting manufacturers' facilities.

The "How to build a satellite" programme claimed that the propagation delay over satellite had improved over the years since Telstar, with the new larger satellites.  I would have said that what has improved is the echo suppression on voice calls, so that the satellite delay is now less noticable.  The delay, due to the distances involved and the speed of light,  is still there; in fact slightly increased due to digital processing.

I really enjoyed my time as a satellite communications engineer and would recommend the career to youngsters looking to do something interesting and worthwhile in life.  Maths, Physics and Chemistry are the recommended basic subjects to study at school. The University of Surrey runs some good courses.

If you miss out on a job building satellites try making Formula 1 racing cars!

Best regards, Eric.
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