Africa’s NAFISAT back-up becomes reality

South Africa’s air navigation service provider ATNS has inaugurated the NAFISAT master back-up terminal.

The new Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) is capable of providing monitoring and timing functions for the NAFISAT and SADC/2 VSAT networks in the unlikely event that the Master terminal in Johannesburg should fail.

ATNS operates the VSAT network in North East Africa known as NAFISAT, covering the states of Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Yemen.

The VSAT is a two-way satellite that transmits both narrow and broadband data to satellites in orbit. The data is then redirected to other remote terminals or hubs. The NAFISAT Maintenance Management Centre (MMC) Master Back-up Terminal is located at Entebbe, Uganda.

Installation of the terminal was completed in October where on-site training of CAAU (Civil Aviation Authority of Uganda) engineers and technicians was also completed.

The new terminal also prevents sun interference from interrupting the SADC/2 and NAFISAT network services (sun interference occurs twice annually and lasts for about 4–6 minutes). It further acts as a monitoring terminal for the networks – should a problem be experienced in Johannesburg.

The VSAT team of technicians is located at OR Tambo International Airport and is responsible the operation and maintenance of the terminal.

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