C&W Brechin Satellite Earth Station (Photo - Jim Colville)Cable & Wireless

Brechin Satellite Earth Station

Brechin Satellite Earth Station is located at Ardovie Quarry, near Brechin, Angus on the east coast of Scotland on a hilltop site that is also home to the ADQ DN, an integral part of the Cable & Wireless national network.

There are three Earth Stations at the site, each operating in the 12-14 GHz Ku-Band and carrying circuits ranging in capacity from 64 kb to 8 Mb. Each antenna has it's own integral tracking system to ensure that the antenna is always correctly pointed at the satellite it is working with. The largest Earth Station, BRE-1, was built by Mercury at a cost of around £2 million and was opened on July 19 1991 by the then Scottish Secretary Mr. Ian Laing.

The BRE-1 Satellite Earth Station (Photo - Dick Barrett)BRE-1 provided the first direct satellite links with North Sea oil rigs and platforms and European destinations from Scotland and continues in this role today. The 11 metre NEC antenna for BRE-1 dominates the local skyline and is clearly visible from Arbroath, some 12 miles away to the south east. Beside being the largest earth station at Brechin, BRE-1 is also the most powerful. Its force air cooled Traveling Wave Tube amplifiers can deliver up to one kilowatt of RF power into the antenna. The antenna tracks the Eutelsat W1 satellite located at 10 degrees East.

The BRE-2 Satellite Earth Station (photo - Rob McDermid
BRE-2 entered service in 1996 in response to oil industry customer demands for cheaper satellite bandwidth. Currently BRE-2 tracks the Intelsat 603 satellite at 335.5 degrees East and carries international traffic for African and South American customers. Until recently the 8.1 metre Vertex antenna tracked the Intelsat 706 satellite at 305 degrees East, a role now carried by BRE-3.


The BRE-3 Satellite Earth Station At a mere 4.6 metres the Andrew built antenna for BRE-3 is the smallest antenna at Brechin, tracking the Intelsat 706 satellite at 305 degrees East. BRE-3 carries traffic for several North Sea customers including Shell's huge Cormorant and Fulmar North Sea oil platforms. BRE-3 entered in to service in 2001 and was built as part of the £13 million expansion of C&W Global International Satellite Communications, driven by increased demand for high speed IP based services. 

Shell's Cormorant Alpha oil platform
The Operations staff are responsible for the day to day running  and maintenance of the three earth stations, the ADQ DN equipment, the hilltop sites at Tay Bridge (DND DN1), Craigowl (CGL) and Bruxie (BXH) and DND CD1 at Dundee Ninewells Hospital.



 Brechin Sunrise (photo - Jim Colville)

Note: This page is not subject to updating. The information contained may no longer be accurate.
Photographs of Brechin Satellite Earth Station are used with permission and are
©Copyright of their respective owners


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