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Fairbanks Command and Data Acquisition Station (FCDAS)

Image of Fairbanks Alaska
Antenna locations at Fairbanks CDA Station. 4.06 METER KA not shown; it is between 13 METER 2/C and 3/C. Also not shown; MEOLUT 1 & 2, and SAR 2.4-Meter: located between 13M-1/A and 5M/LEOT

The Fairbanks Command and Data Acquisition Station (CDAS), along with the Wallops CDAS, acquires, maintains, and distributes a continuous flow of environmental satellite data, and executes spacecraft commands, 24/7. While the Wallops CDAS focuses primarily on geostationary satellites, the Fairbanks CDAS is NOAA’s primary satellite ground station for downloading data from and sending commands to polar-orbiting satellites. Additionally, the station acts as a backup for the Wallops CDAS located on Wallops Island, Virginia. The Fairbanks station also supports the Deep Space Climate Observatory, a satellite in deep space used to track conditions on Earth and monitor the particles streaming from the Sun.

The Fairbanks station has nine antennas in active use and is one of the busiest and most capable satellite ground stations in the world. The station has a 99.99% capture success rate for 2022.

The Fairbanks CDAS is located on 7,200 acres (29 square kilometers) of federal land.

As of 2022, the Fairbanks station supports 17 satellites that are part of 10 satellite missions. Most are U.S. missions, though the station also frequently supports foreign missions through partnerships, often with the National Weather Service.The station uses the Space-Ground Link Subsystem to support U.S. Air Force weather satellite operations and has multiple connections to high-bandwidth fiber networks.

Some federal employees and many contracted staff operate the Fairbanks CDAS 24/7. In the event of an electrical outage, the station could operate for three weeks using generators that draw on 60,000 gallons of stored fuel.

Since 1962, the station has been supporting NASA and NOAA missions, including the first U.S. weather satellites, the Television Infrared Observation Satellites (TIROS), and the early Landsat missions.

The Fairbanks CDAS is also a long-term contributor to geodesy, the branch of math dealing with the shape and area of Earth. Its 26-meter very long baseline interferometry antenna once helped establish important properties of Earth in support of navigation and earth science. Currently, the station hosts a global navigation satellite system reference station for NASA’s global geodetic network that contributes to NOAA’s Continuously Operating Reference Station system, which helps surveyors and those operating with a need for precision navigation, such as airlines.


Antenna Receive Bands Gain/Temp (dB/K) Transmit Bands Latitude (N) Longitude (E) Elevation (m)
26 METER VHF/L/S 27dBi/24/28 None 64° 58' 36.176" 12° 28' 56.803" 316.1
13 METER 1/A L/S/X 20/24/38 L/S     64° 58' 26.400" 212° 29' 24.396" 378.4
13 METER 2/B L/S/X 19/24/37 L/S     64° 58' 25.716" 212° 29' 39.300" 396.7
13 METER 3/C L/S/X 20/23/36 L/S     64° 58' 24.492" 212° 29' 53.412" 415.7
21 METER L/S 31/33 S 64° 58' 21.9" 212° 29' 56.04" 447.3
5 METER MALIBU S/X  16/28 S 64° 58 23.834" 212° 28' 59.067" 352.4
5 Meter LEO-T S/X 17 S 64° 58' 24.96" 29' 2.17"    347.5 347.5
MEOLUT 1 406 MHz n/a None 64° 58' 25.590" 212° 28' 58.220" 444.1
MEOLUT 2 406 MHz n/a None 64° 58' 25.180" 212° 28' 56.070" 444.7
4.06 METER KA Ka 28 None 64° 58' 23.200" 212° 29' 38.200" 384.9

Barrow (Utqiaġvik)

Antenna Receive Bands Gain/Temp (dB/K) Transmit Bands Latitude (N) Longitude (E) Elevation (m)
BARROW 5 METER S 17 S 71° 19' 25.0" 203° 23' 20.85" 14.8
BARROW 2.4 METER L/X 7/24 None 71° 19' 24.0" 203° 23' 22.0" 4.8



Image of a satellite Receiver
FCDAS 13-meter antenna 1/A
Image of a satellite Antenna
FCDAS 26-meter antenna
Image of a satellite antenna
FCDAS 21-meter antenna
Image of a satellite Receiver
FCDAS 5-meter Malibu antenna
Image of antenna
FCDAS SAR antenna
Image of an antenna
FCDAS Barrow antennas
Image of Fairbanks antennas from 1967
FCDAS in 1967; 26-meter antenna


1300 Eisele Road
Fairbanks, Alaska 99712