LONDON Eutelset SA (Paris, France) has paid tribute to science fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke as the "father of the geostationary orbit."
In October 1945, long before he broke through as a fiction writer Clarke published an article in the U.K. journal Wireless World that mapped out the potential of the geostationary orbit for satellite communications.
As well as detailing the altitude of orbit Clarke considered solar and atomic power as means of powering such satellites. Clarke's theory was that at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers above the earth a satellite would make one revolution every 24 hours and would therefore remain stationary above the earth's surface and in a suitable position to act as communications relay station.
Today, over 300 satellites are located in the 'Clarke Belt', providing broadcasting, broadband and telecommunications services around the world and forming a vital component of the Information Society.
"I was a great admirer of his science-fiction work at an early age, and even more so later in my professional life working in telecommunications and television satellites. I was regularly in contact with him, and in 2000 Eutelsat dedicated to him our SESAT1 satellite which is the nearest in longitude from his home in Sri Lanka," said Giuliano Berretta, Eutelsat Communications CEO, in a statement. "As recently as February this year Eutelsat sent a film crew to interview him in what may be his last interview."
Click here to read Sir Arthur C. Clarke's article in Wireless World.
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