Antennas and basebands
The North Pole Satellite Station is owned and operated by SSC Space U.S. It includes several independent antennas with capabilities for Telemetry Tracking & Command (TT&C) and data downlink services. The ground station supports multiple frequency bands including S-Band (up and down), X-Band (down only) and SGLS (uplink). The ground station also includes an operational office which houses system electronics and data processing equipment.
The station is located in North Pole Alaska, which is 16 kilometers south east of Fairbanks. The station is located at 64º 48' North latitude and 147º 30' West longitude and is situated 149 m above sea level.
The location is particularly advantageous for accessing high-inclination orbiting satellites. The station is frequently used for LEO missions for both orbit raising and daily pass supports for polar orbiting satellites. It complements our Esrange Satellite Station in Kiruna, Sweden, by providing additional contact opportunities for ground coverage on every polar orbit.
When utilized in conjunction with our Universal Space Network stations in Kiruna, Chile, Hawaii and Australia, and with collaborative stations in Europe and Africa, it offers customers unprecedented coverage for high inclination missions.
Fairbanks is located in the Tanana Valley, in the interior of Alaska. It has a distinctly continental climate, with large variation of temperature from winter to summer.
During winter, with temperatures of -20º F (-29º C) or colder, ice fog frequently forms in the city. The sun is above the horizon for 18 to 21 hours during June and July. During this period, daily average maximum temperatures reach the lower 70º F (21º C). In contrast, from November to early March, when the period of daylight ranges from 10 to less than 4 hours per day, the lowest temperature readings normally fall below zero (-18º C). Low temperatures of -40º F (-40º C) or colder are sometimes possible during winter. Winds in Fairbanks are above 20 miles an hour less than 1 percent of the time and the climate is rather dry relative to other Alaska locations.
North Pole Alaska is serviced by Fairbanks International Airport which is roughly 30 minutes’ drive from the ground Station. Car rental agencies and major hotels and resorts are located in and around Fairbanks, making the North Pole station accessible year round.