Encyclopedia > Goonhilly

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Goonhilly almost always refers to the large telecommunications site, Goonhilly Earth Station, located on Goonhilly downs near Helston[?], Cornwall in the Lizard peninsula.

Currently owned by British Telecom, it is the largest satellite earth receiving station in the world with over 25 communications dishes in use - they provide a significant proportion of Britain's satellite connectivity and the site also links into undersea cable lines. The first dish, Antenna One (dubbed 'Arthur'), was built on the site in 1962 to link with Telstar, it was the first open parabolic design and is 29.5 metres in diameter and weighs 1,100 tonnes. The largest dish is the 32 metre diameter 'Merlin' (other dishes are named Guinevere, Tristan and Isolde).

Close to the earth station is a wind generator farm which provides some of the power needs of the station.

A good visitor center makes the site well worth a visit.


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