Satellite TV dishes for LEO satellite signal reception?

Hello everyone. New member. I was discussing on the Arocket list for amateur rocketeers whether the DirecTV or DISH Network antennas could be used to pick up signals from low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. I’m particularly interested in the case of cube-sats.

The problems mentioned on the list were that the satellite TV signals they were meant for were at high transmitter power, thousands of watts of power, since they are from high altitude satellites in GEO.

Also low Earth orbit satellites would only pass over one of these fixed (non-tracking) dishes for a few seconds.

Then there is also the problem the satellite TV transmissions are at the high frequency K-band to be able to transmit hi def TV. The LEO satellites and especially the cube-sats would be transmitting at lower frequency.

Still has anyone been able to detect LEO satellite transmissions using one of these satellite TV dishes? Has anyone detected cube-sat transmissions using them?

Bob Clark

The problem with those dishes and satellites is not going to be power, but rather which band/frequency LEO cubesats use vs which bands those dishes (and LNBs) are supposed to work on. LEO Cubesats are mostly in VHF/UHF Ham freqs which is not a match for those dishes.

Tracking will indeed be a blocking issue for those dishes (but in theory you can construct a tracker to do that)