Fair Lanes Inc., the Baltimore-based bowling and food services company, is getting into the satellite business.
The company has made a $250,000 investment in Environmental Satellite Data Inc. of Camp Springs, a new firm that will develop satellite data gathering systems. The raw data will be converted into a more refined format for immediate use by commercial customers such as television stations, airlines and weather forecast services. Initially, ESD will use weather satellites.
A Fair Lanes spokesman called the satellite venture "a revolutionary development which, although of a speculative nature, will have broad commercial appeal with enormous upside potential." He added that Fair Lanes is on the lookout for other "attractive investments or joint ventures where the rate of return is acceptable."
The Fair Lanes investment contains a commitment to loan an additional $250,000 under certain conditions. The bowling company will get 22 percent of the shares of the company.
One of the two founders of EDS is Terry Hambrick, a former vice president of the bowling division of Fair Lanes.
Hambrick said that "ESD has developed, through the use of its digital system, multi-colored, high quality, high clarity, sharply focused images of a superior quality which are delivered via the telephone lines to the TV studios in fully finished format for immediate on-the-air broadcast."