03.26.2008 12:00 AM
Eutelsat Pays Tribute to Sir Arthur C. Clarke: 1945 Satellite Article Available Online
Eutelsat Communications has paid tribute to Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the writer and scientist whose expertise and imagination ushered in the age of satellite communications, and who died earlier this month in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
It was Sir Arthur C. Clarke's article published in the British Journal 'Wireless World' in October 1945 that mapped out the potential of the geostationary orbit for satellite communications (see www.eutelsat.com/news/pdf/ClarkeWirelessWorldArticle.pdf
Clarke's theory was that at an altitude of 36,000 km above the earth a satellite would make one revolution every 24 hours; i.e., that it would remain stationary above the same spot. 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.
Giuliano Berretta, Eutelsat Communications CEO said: "Sir Arthur C. Clarke's departure is a sad day for all satellite operators, and also for me personally. 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. As recently as February this year Eutelsat sent a film crew to interview him in what may be his last interview."