Satellite Dish Mounting Angle in Norway

A friend asked why Norwegians point their satellite dishes at the ground. After maneuvering Google Streetview around Vadsø for a while, I found a dish in profile:

TV satellite dish - Vadso Norway
TV satellite dish – Vadso Norway

Turns out geostationary orbit is way low, as seen from the top of the world. A bit of doodling shows it’s only 11° above the horizon at 70° N:

TV Satellite Dish - Horizon Angle at 70° N
TV Satellite Dish – Horizon Angle at 70° N

TV satellite antennas have an offset-fed reflector, with the receiver in the lump at the end of the spine sticking out from the bottom of the dish, so as to not obstruct the signal entering the dish. Even though the plane of the reflector points downward, the signal reflected to the receiver comes in from above.

Ain’t science trigonometry grand?

7 thoughts on “Satellite Dish Mounting Angle in Norway

    1. They’re well north of the Arctic Circle, where solar panels seem like a hard sell. I doubt the 100% summer duty cycle makes up for basically no sun at all during the winter months, but I’ve been wrong about that kind of thing before.

      1. And it would be a challenge to take advantage of that 100% sun. Tracking mounts have fallen out of favor, but one could set some panels to get sunlight from the north. I’d guess that off-grid power would be most useful during winter, but that’s another kettle of lutefisk.

        I set one tiny system’s panel at 60 degrees, because it’s used most during the winter. The ranchers with grid tie systems use arrays favoring summer angles (and the wind loads are a lot better),

        1. Shame that the whole building wasn’t on a pivot to let the panels track the sun around the horizon!

          I like the whole geothermal heating thing, even though it sort of requires living close to a volcano …

Comments are closed.