I live in a small valley, surrounded on three sides by 200-300 foot ridges. I'm trying to figure out where to place an antenna mast to receive 1280 MHz video from a long range aerial vehicle (20-30 mile radius).
At this frequency, how important will line-of-sight transmission be in this situation? Will it be worth it to haul a 50-foot mast to the top of one of the ridges, and set it up there? (requires a solar panel / battery, and possibly a wireless relay to my shack).
My current plan is a mast at my station; in the middle of the valley, which would get above the surrounding trees, but not above the ridges. Does it matter that aforementioned valley is populated with pine trees, which, as I understand it, will wreak havoc on the signal? What about a 433 MHz transmission from the valley floor to the aerial vehicle?
P.S.: Please presume that there isn't any HOA / building code in the area; this is a problem of physics, not legality.