I Got Negative Aura — What Color is Your Aura?

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Big Bang Monday: Very Strange Object

According to CERN, the LHCb confirms existence of something strange:

The Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) collaboration today announced results that confirm the existence of exotic hadrons – a type of matter that cannot be classified within the traditional quark model.

Hadrons are subatomic particles that can take part in the strong interaction – the force that binds protons inside the nuclei of atoms. Physicists have theorized since the 1960s, and ample experimental evidence since has confirmed, that hadrons are made up of quarks and antiquarks that determine their properties. A subset of hadrons, called mesons, is formed from quark-antiquark pairs, while the rest – baryons – are made up of three quarks.

But since it was first proposed physicists have found several particles that do not fit into this model of hadron structure. Now the LHCb collaboration has published an unambiguous observation of an exotic particle – the Z(4430) – that does not fit the quark model.

This is like finding a four-leaf clover, but really geeky.

WBMSAT News Bits 04/11/2014

An Atlas 5 launched a classified satellite from Cape Canaveral April 10 after a 16-day delay caused by technical issues at the launch range. [Space News - 04/11/2014]

SpaceX and United Launch Alliance more than double lobbying expenses in recent years, as launch competition looms. [Space News - 04/11/2014]

The U.S. commerce secretary says current weather satellite development programs are on track but nonetheless she continues to worry about a future gap in coverage. [Space News - 04/11/2014]

Metop SG – Credit: ESA artist’s concept – Space News

European Space Agency’s Industrial Policy Committee approved 820 million Euros for Airbus Defence and Space to build two to six polar-orbiting METOPS meteorological satellites. [Space News - 04/11/2014]

Telespazio of Rome will provide the operations and maintenance services for the data-access system to manage Europe’s Copernicus network of environment-monitoring satellites. [Space News - 04/11/2014]

Soyuz at European Spaceport – Credit: Arianespace
photo – Space News

Arianespace is negotiating with the Russian space agency on a block buy of Soyuz rockets to be operated from Russia’s Baikonur spaceport. [Space News - 04/11/2014]

Avanti’s HYLAS 2, with 100% coverage over South Africa, is used by Reuters for 24/7 SNG coverage of Oscar Pistorius trial. [SatNews - 04/11/2014]

Ofeq 9 launch – Credit: Israel Aerospace
Industries photo – Space News

Israeli rocket launches Ofeq 10 radar reconnaissance satellite into orbit aboard a Shavit rocket. [Space News - 04/10/2014]

Europe’s just-launched Sentinel-1A dodges dead space weather satellite. [Space News - 04/10/2014]

Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP) is in the lead to buy Loral Space & Communications Inc’s Canadian satellite communications company Telesat Holdings Inc for about $7 billion. [Bloomberg - 04/10/2014]

SES books SpaceX Falcon 9 for launch of SES-9 and SES10, hybrid satellites carrying a mix of chemical and electric propulsion. [Space News - 04/10/2014]

Recent MarketsandMarkets report projects that M2M satellite communication market will be woprth $4.763 billion by 2019. [infoTECH - 04/10/2014]

Ariane 5 upper stage – Credit: ESA artist
concept by D. Ducros – Space News

A new French space law designed to reduce orbital debris risks posing problems for commercial launch services provider Arianespace of France. [Space News - 04/10/2014]

Globalstar is moving to the NY Stock Exchange. [Washington Examiner - 04/10/2014]

Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) is building out a fresh fleet of satellites that it hopes will propel the company into the industry’s top five. [Via Satellite - 04/10/2014]

Hispasat expands 4K offerings, prepares for more transatlantic broadcasts. [Via Satellite - 04/10/2014]

SES signs multiple Occasional Use (OU) capacity deals with broadcasters to deliver coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. [Via Satellite - 04/10/2014]

Gogo starts its first transatlantic connectivity service with SES satellite capacity, using SES-1, SES-4, and SES-6. [SatNewqs - 04/10/2014]

Ball Aerospace completes a series of environmental tests on its commercial remote-sensing satellite, WorldView 3. [Via Satellite - 04/10/2014]

Canada’s SkyTrac Systems Ltd. has been in the business of flight-following, monitoring flight data, and supporting aviation businesses for over twenty years. [Broadcaster Magazine - 04/10/2014]

Panasonic Avionics provides IcelandAir with its FlightLink solution. [Satellite Evolution Group - 04/10/2014]

SES Broadband Services has signed an agreement with German Internet Service Provider ORBITCOM to market its Astra Connect service. [Satellite Evolution Group - 04/10/2014]

Emerging Markets Communications announces satellite connectivity solution for Star Clippers sailing vessels. [4-Traders - 04/10/2014]

Arqiva obtains C-band capacity on AsiaSat 5 to deliver sports coverage to Asia-Pacific. [Via Satellite - 04/10/2014]

SatLink launches new DVB-S2 platform on Eutelsat’s Hot Bird. [Via Satellite - 04/10/2014]

Skycasters announces its newest and largest Mobile Satellite Trailer (MST) with a 1.8-meter satellite dish and a host of enhancements. [StreetInsider - 04/10/2011]

Global satellite broadband communications market in public safety set to increase by 8.5% CAGR during 2013 to 2018. [pr-inside - 04/09/2014]

Emanuel Fthenakis in 1981 – Credit Gerald Martineau/TWP
– Washington Post

Emanuel Fthenakis, who helped develop early satellite communication systems for military and commercial use, died April 3 at a hospital in Rockville, Md. He was 86. [The Washington Post - 04/09/2014]

Northrop Grumman ships payload module for fourth advanced EHF protected communications satellite two months early. [The Wall Street Journal - 04/09/2014]

KazSat 3 – Photo courtesy of magenta-studio.ru – Tengri News

KazSat-3 delivered to Baikonur, for April 28 launch. [Tengri News - 04/09/2014]

SES is working with over 30 manufacturers to create SAT>IP products that take Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) data and transfers it to IP format, allowing it to be transported over in-home IP networks. [Via Satellite - 04/09/2014]

L-3 and Intelsat demonstrate anti-jam technology for military satellites. [Defense Systems - 04/09/2014]

Gogo to Partner with Air Canada to Bring Wi-Fi to its North American Fleet. [Market Watch - 04/09/2014]

KVH Industries, Inc. has come to an agreement with IMG Media to distribute video content of the 2014 FIFA World Cup ™ to merchant ships. [Market Watch - 04/09/2014]

Inmarsat’s east London control room – New York Times photo

Flight 370 search brings satellite company Inmarsat an unaccustomed bit of fame. [NY Times - 04/09/2014]

The latest Hollywood blockbusters will soon be available to commercial shipping companies across the world, delivered directly to vessels at sea via Inmarsat’s global satellite network. [The Maritime Executive - 04/09/2014]

TechNavio’s analysts forecast the Global Satellite-based Earth Observation market will grow at a CAGR of 11.34 percent over the period 2013-2018. [PR Newswire - 04/08/2014]

The CubeSat revolution of the past decade has placed satellite technology within reach of private companies, universities and even unaffiliated individuals. [PHYS-ORG - 04/08/2014]

Lockheed Martin and NewSat Limited successfully complete a comprehensive technical review of Jabiru-1, Australia’s first commercial Ka-band satellite. [Digital Journal - 04/08/2014]

The Australian Navy ship HMAS Success (front) performs a Replenishment
at Sea evolution with the Royal Malaysian Navy ship KD Lekiu - Reuters pic – The Malay Mail Online

Satellite data analysis suggests MH370 flew inverted to site of acoustic signals. [Malay Mail Online - 04/08/2014]

With questions about the challenge of locating Flight 370, Secure World Foundation will host a panel discussion Thursday, May 8, 2014, that will examine the challenges of combining multiple sources of ground-, air- and space-based data. [SatNews - 04/08/2014]

Gogo’s new “2Ku” technology solution for inflight internet, to be launched on international airlines in 2015, uses two antennas and has achieved 70Mbps download speeds. [Forbes - 04/08/2014]

Through its recent acquisition of ARINC and following a MOU with Inmarsat, Rockwell Collins will bring the newest generation of Ka-band satellite communications to airline customers across the world. [Aviation Media - 04/08/2014]

ThinKom’s ThinSat300 ultra low profile Ka-band antenna transmits at rates in excess of 8 Mbps at sustained speeds in excess of 140 kmph (85 mph) during SNG on-the-move test. [SatNews - 04/08/2014]

Photo courtesy of Intellian Technologies – Marine Link

Intellian wins contract to supply Hanjin Shipping of South Korea, with FleetBroadband FB500 terminals for a fleet of 38 container ships [MarineLink - 04/08/2014]

All of the 24 GLONASS satellites that make up Russia’s equivalent of the GPS system failed at once on April 7, confirming urgent need for terrestrial backup system per Locata. [MarketrWired - 04/07/2014]

Military communications market projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.2% to $30.12B by 2019 in new research report at RnRMarketResearch.com. [PCB Design 007 - 04/07/2014]

Iridium NEXT satellite artist’s conception – Courtesy Iridium – Aviation Week

Iridium aims for increasing share of aviation market, focusing on satcom applications beyond the cabin. [Aviation Week - 04/07/2014]

Arqiva selects Eutelsat satellite capacity to expand DTH broadcasting in the UK. [Satellite Spotlight - 04/07/2014]

SpeedCast to host first product demo of its new ReadyCONNECT(TM)TA12, a mobile VSAT solution that combines portability and rapid deployment equipment, at this year’s APPEA Conference and Exhibition. [TMCnet - 04/07/2014]

CNN adopts newest BGAN terminal from Cobham, improving streaming rates via Inmarsat. [PR.com - 04/07/2014]

Airbus Defence and Space has launched XChange v3 to further improve the flow of operational data between ship and shore through sophisticated voice and connectivity service management. [IIFL - 04/07/2014]

 WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

WBMSAT News Bits 04/04/2014

Isro successfully launches navigation satellite IRNSS-1B.
[The Times of India - 04/04/2014]

Sentinel-1 – Credit: ESA/ATG medialab – RedOrbit

Sentinal-1A satellite, successfully launched on Thursday, is expected to provide regular access to key environmental data for European citizens, policymakers and service providers.
[RedOrbit - 04/04/2014]

RD180 engine in Atlas 5 rocket – Credit: NASA photo by Jack Pfaller – Space News

U.S. lawmakers press defense officials on use of Russian-made rocket engine.
[Space News - 04/04/2014]

With much more than the ISS at stake, Europe stays the course on Russian space partnerships.
[Space News - 04/04/2014]

Confrontation between SES and European Commission over a June launch slot on Arianespace seems to have been avoided by delay in delivery of Europe’s next Galileo GPS spacecraft.
[Space News - 04/04/2014]

Avanti and Quortus achieve world first in delivery of 4G over satellite.
[Satellite Spotlight - 04/04/2014]

Metop – Credit: ESA artist’s concept – Space News

Airbus is selected over Thales Alenia-OHB for billion-dollar ESA weather satellite contract.
[Space News - 04/04/2014]

Intelsat, BT, Ericsson, Newtec and Sony demonstrate next steps to make 4K UHDTV a commercial reality.
[Smart Grid - 04/04/2014]

After two-year hiatus following filing of bankruptcy, LightSquared has resumed cash payments to Inmarsat to reactivate an agreement on reorganization of L-band spectrum.
[Space News - 04/04/2014]

Optus signs $19.5 million deal with Australian Department of Defence to continue providing managed satellite services until 2018.
[Delimiter - 04/04/2014]

U.S. Air Force hopes to use Operationally Responsive Space (ORS)-5 mission as space surveillance gap filler and pathfinder for future SBSS satellite technologies.
[Space News - 04/04/2014]

Weather satellite launch, Vandenberg – Fox News

$518 million military weather satellite, Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Flight 19, is successfully launched after 15 year wait.
[Fox News - 04/03/2014]

U.S. Air Force identifies six candidate payloads, half from civilian agencies, that could be matched with commercial host satellites in its soon-to-be -awarded Hosted Payload Solutions contract.
[Space News - 04/03/2014]

Large Iridium shareholder calls for sale of company, saying management has consistently ignored interests of shareholders and cannot estimate cost of second-generation satellite constellation.
[Space News - 04/13/2014]

Avanti Communications is selected by Turkish telecom operator ESEER Telekom to deliver its satellite broadband coverage in the Middle East Region.
[4-traders - 04/03/2014]

Arab States Broadcasting Union picks EUTELSAT 21B as broadcast exchange gateway between North Africa, Middle East and Europe.
[TMCnet - 04/03/2014]

Small eruption of Mount Rinjani in Indonesia. Credit: Oliver Spalt, Wikipedia – PHYS-ORG

Satellite view of volcanoes finds the link between ground deformation and eruption.
[PHYS.ORG - 04/03/2014]

KVH increases its lead in the maritime VSAT market according to latest report from Euroconsult, reaching a 26% share of the industry’s 11,000 activated maritime VSAT terminals.
[SatNews - 04/03/2014]

Comtech Telecommunications receives $3.7 million in orders from an international OEM for High Power Amplifiers to be used for jamming communications.
[Satellite Spotlight - 04/03/2014]

U.S. Air Force requested demonstration by Northrup Grumman shows Global Hawk can used additional satellite link to transfer command and control signals separately from mission data.
[Yahoo Finance - 04/03/2014]

Captain Judy Rice with Think Global Flight students – BlueSky

Inmarsat will provide satcom hardware and airtime to the Think Global Flight mission flying to 25 countries and 31 U.S. states to highlight importance of science, technology, engineering and math education.
[BlueSky Business Aviation News - 04/03/2014]

Australian satellite broadband provider NBN adds capacity for 9000 more users.
[The Sydney Morning Herald - 04/03/2014]

Asianet Satellite Communications expects to grow its broadband subscribers by 50% due to its migration from Docsis 2.0 to Docsis 3.0.
[Television Post - 04/03/2014]

Israel-based NovelSat is offering to provide broadcasters with free bandwidth, per se, through its newest product: FreeBand.
[Via Satellite - 04/03/2014]

GT-SAT  deploys MaxLinear MxL862 SoC in its new DLNB, allowing European and Latin American satellite operators to migrate to digital channel stacking.
[Business Wire - 04/03/2014]

Reference design from MaxLinear and STMicroelectronics to speed multi-channel Ultra HD HEVC satellite STB and gateway deployments.
[Financial Content - 04/03/2014]

Example of hyperspectral satellite imaging that STORM will provide. – Via Satellite

Tempus Global Data to use Utah State University-built STORM instrument to provide space-based weather data to commercial and government customers.
[Via Satellite - 04/03/2014]

Azerspace 1 satellite to broadcast Ukrainian TV channels.
[Via Satellite - 04/03/2014]

Skyline Communications announces new office for the Americas in Miami, Florida.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 04/03/2014]

Euroconsult report “Profiles of Government Space Programs” reveals decline in global budgets for space programs for first time in nearly 20 years.
[Via Satellite - 04/02/2014]

Ultra-secure communications payload on third AEHF satellite activated for first time, and user testing begins.
[4-traders - 04/02/2014]

The launch of Ukraine’s first-ever communications satellite has been delayed by the Russian annexation of Crimea.
[Broadband TV News - 04/02/2014]

China delivers communications satellite project to Bolivia.
[Global Times - 04/02/2014]

As U.S. and coalition forces draw down in Afghanistan, a suitcase-sized satellite communications kit will help keep communications disruptions to a minimum.
[ECN - 04/02/2014]

Goldin Associates acquires communications advisory firm Summit Ridge Group.
[Digital Journal - 04/02/2014]

The global M2M satellite communication market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8% from 2014 to 2019 in new Research and Markets report.
[Satellite Spotlight - 04/01/2014]

Wikipedia photo – Via Satellite

Recent talks between Charlie Ergen of Dish and Mike White of DirecTV reignite discussions on whether a merger is possible – familiar FCC and DOJ objections likely remain in place.
[Via Satellite - 04/01/2014]

Ball Aerospace and Aerojet Rocketdyne green propellant test results surpass expectations.
[Via Satellite - 04/01/2014]

Emerging Markets Communications establishes new location in Aberdeen, Scotland.
[PR Web - 04/01/2014]

RRsat is selected as key delivery partner of DFH Network for North American distribution in $6 million deal.
[Via Satellite - 04/01/2014]

NASA Data Systems partners with Avanti Communications to deploy satellite broadband in Middle East.
[Yahoo Finance - 04/01/2014]

EM Solutions gets grant from Australian government under the Defence Science and Technology Organisation’s Capability and Technology Demonstrator Program.
[SatNews - 04/01/2014]

NSR’s Energy Markets via Satellite, 4th Edition provides the industry-leading, dedicated analysis on the energy markets – from pipeline SCADA applications to semi-submersible drilling platforms.
[NSR - April 2014]

“NAB 2014 to Highlight the New Multiplatform Media Environment” by Virgil Labrador, “Trends in Broadcasting” by Elisabeth Tweedie, “Direct-to-Home Satellite Trends” by Dmitri Buchs, “Back and Forth with Jorge Villareal, Tomaz Lovsin and Eric Greenberg” by Lou Zacharilla, and “The Road to Sprint/T-Mobile Merger Goes through DISH” by Armand Musey.
[Satellite Exeutive Briefing - April 2014]

Sea Launch advises Eutelsat Communications to postpone the scheduled launch of its Eutelsat 3B satellite on April 15 due to installation discrepancy.
[Wall Street Journal - 03/31/2014]

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISROI) scientists believe the failure of imported components for the satellite power supplies may be the cause of INSAT-4B glitches.
[SatNews - 03/31/2014]

Latest leak from Snowden – the NSA and GCHQ hacked into the systems of three German satellite communication providers.
[The Register - 03/31/2014]

Capacity on nine Eutelsat satellites mobilised for worldwide high definition coverage of canonisation of John XXIII and John Paul II.
[The Wall Street Journal - 03/31/2014]

Image: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center – R&D Magazine

Data on photosynthesis activity teased from current satellite data shows high productivity in U.S. corn belt.
[R&D Magazine - 03/31/2014]

Saft satellite battery. Photo: Saft – Via Satellite

Battery technology company Saft looks to discoveries across multiple industries in order to improve pace of development for space-specific batteries.
[Via Satellite - 03/31/2014]

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announces it has completed in-orbit delivery of TURKSAT-4A to Turksat.
[Financial Content - 03/30/2014]

WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

WBMSAT News Bits 03/28/2014

Inmarsat engineers worked out probable path of flight MH370 using Doppler effect of signals from the plane to their satellites.
[asia one Malaysia - 03/28/2014]


An artist’s image of a robotic refueler (left) approaching an orbiting satellite –
Credit: NASA – Space.com

Advocates say robotically refueling and maintaining satellites in Earth orbit will allow government agencies and private companies to dramatically extend their lifetime.
[Space.com - 03/28/2014]

CFOSat – Credit: CNES artist’s concept by Oliver Sattler – Space News

French and Chinese space agencies confirm joint venture to build ocean-surface radar satellite carrying instruments from both nations.
[Space News - 03/28/2014]

Thousands of VSAT operators left in lurch by failure of India’s Insat 3 satellite.
[Space News - 03/28/2014]

Research and Markets has added “Global Satellite Communication in the Oil and Gas Industry 2014-2018″ to their offering, discussing the expected growth of UDW rigs and role of satellite communication for UDW exploration.
[Digital Journal - 03/28/2014]

New Euroconsult research assesses distribution mechanisms within the Earth Observation value chain.
[Satellite Markets & Research - 03/28/2014]

Third AEHF satellite begins transmitting using its protected communications payload, joining two other satellites undergoing system test in orbit with a suite of user terminals.
[AZO Sensors - 03/28/2014]

F-15E – Credit: Boeing artist’s concept – Space News

Boeing Defense Space and Security, targeting 66% reduction in launch cost, wins three way competition for Pentagon contract to build and demonstrate low-cost airborne satellite launching system.
[Space News - 03/28/2014]

New U.S. military weather satellites could launch on Minotaur rockets.
[Space News - 03/28/2014]

Arianespace’s medium-lift Soyuz launch with the Sentinel-1A Earth observation satellite is moving into its final preparations for an April 3 liftoff from French Guiana.
[Space Mart - 03/28/2014]

Sentinel 5 – Credit: ESA artist’s concept – Space News

ESA orders nearly $200 million spectrometer from Airbus for polar-orbiting meteorological satellite to be launched in 2021.
[Space News - 03/28/2014]

Commercial-off-the-shelf consumer components are now just as reliable as hardware specifically developed for satellites, driving the small satellite revolution, according to Surrey founder.
[Space News - 03/28/2014]

Inmarsat is supporting the Think Global Flight mission to highlight the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
[Incentive Travel - 03/28/2014]

Image taken by the Thaichote satellite on March 24, 2014 –
Source: Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency – Bloomberg

Thai satellite images of more than 300 objects in the south Indian Ocean produced another lead in the hunt for Malaysian Air Flight 370.
[Bloomberg - 03/27/2014]

Opening new assembly line, Orbital Sciences Technology announces it is manufacturing 81 new satellites for Iridium at its Gilbert Arizona factory.
[Business Wire - 03/27/2014]

Asian satellite fleet operators and service providers are counting on the growth of high-definition (HD) television in the region to offset any drop in prices for C-band capacity due to oversupply.
[Space News - 03/27/2014]

ISRO announces April 4 launch for new Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System 1B satellite.
[Via Satellite - 03/27/2014]

ETL Systems has been chosen by Boeing to support Inmarsat’s GX services for high speed maritime communications.
[Satellite Spotlight - 03/27/2014

Commercial vessel equipped with KVH’s TracPhone V7. Photo: KVH – Via Satellite

RHL Hamburger Lloyd Tanker selects KVH Mini-VSAT broadband to provide global broadband service for tankers.
[Wall Street Journal - 03/27/2014]

Novelsat claims that its newly introduced FreeBand solution gives broadcasters “free” bandwidth for video contribution.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 03/27/2014]

Gogo receives certification for in-flight connectivity in Europe.
[Via Satellite - 03/27/2014]

Japan Airline has selected Panasonic Avionics for an expansion of in-flight Wi-Fi for its international fleet, including 787′s, 777-200ER’s, and 767-300ER’s.
[Via Satellite - 03/27/2014]

According to SVP of marketing and strategic planning at KVH, all the major sectors of the maritime industry are pushing for greater connectivity.
[Via Satellite - 03/27/2014]

Evolve Broadband deploys Globecomm Systems’ hybrid 4G LTE solutions.
[Via Satellite - 03/27/2014]

More than 1,000 satellites are in orbit.
[The Washington Post - 03/27/2014]

LandSat 8 images of mudslide area before (bottom) and after – SatNews

Landsat 8 uses Operational Land Imager (OLI) to observe fatal mudslide in Washington State.
[SatNews - 03/26/2014]

Recent deals may signal that civil government uptake could present tangible opportunities, thus softening the blow from milsatcom decline in most markets in the short/medium term.
[NSR - 03/26/2014]

GPM Image of March 10 cyclone – Photo: NASA/JAXA – Via Satellite

NASA and JAXA release first images from the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory.
[Via Satellite - 03/26/2014]

Singer’s NML Capital, seeking to enforce $1.7 billion in judgments over Argentina’s defaulted bonds, sues SpaceX over Argentina launch contracts
[Space News - 03/26/2014]

The National Broadband Network Company of Australia institutes a “fair use” policy and deploys additional capacity to allow its interim satellite service to function more effectively.
[Delimiter - 03/26/2014]

Yahsat and Thuraya co-host annual satellite industry reception in Washington D.C.
[Zawya - 03/26/2014]

Delta Air Lines will be launching Gogo’s Wi-Fi service on international flights of Ku-band-enabled Boeing 747-400′s.
[Via Satellite - 03/26/2014]

New report by MarketsandMarkets puts value of M2M satellite communication market at $4,763.4 million by 2019.
[TMC News - 03/25/2014

Glonass M satellite – Photo: JSC “Academician M.F. Reshetnev”
Information Satellite Systems – Via Satellite

Russia’s Glonass M satellite successfully separates from “Fregat” stage and reaches orbit.
[Via Satellite - 03/25/2014]

JAXA chooses Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as prime contractor for development of new flagship launcher with greater commercial focus.
[Via Satellite - 03/25/2014]

Communication Technology Satellite – Credit: NASA – Space.cm

Space history photo – Communication Technology Satellite launched in 1976, after five years of cooperation between Canada and the U.S.
[Space.com - 03/25/2014]

Boeing meets key production milestones on initial 702 Small Platform (SP) all-electric propulsion satellites, with late 2014 or early 2015 delivery expected.
[Via Satellite - 03/25/2014]

C-COM increases its sales presence in the Middle East and Africa.
[Reuters - 03/25/2014]

Profen establishes Turkish Gateway Earth Station to manage internet traffic in Turkey provided on Avanti’s HYLAS 2 satellite.
[Satellite Spotlight - 03/25/2014]

F-35A – Credit: Matt Short/Lockheed Martin – Aviation Week

South Korea is likely securing an offset deal that will include a new military communications satellite along with its F-35A purchase.
[Aviation Week - 03/24/2014]

TV5MONDSEW HD chooses MEASAT for Asia-wide distribution.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 03/25/2014]

Federal agencies are learning that with recent developments, the tools of commercial satellite communications (COMSATCOM) are becoming increasingly efficient and effective.
[Federal Times - 03/24/2014]

ViviSat, a satellite-servicing startup developing life-extension vehicles for end-of-life commercial communications satellites in geostationary orbit, has booked two customers for three missions, and expects to start building its specialized spacecraft by the end of 2014.
[Aviation Week - 03/24/2014]

Airbus Defence & Space launches new AuroraGlobal satellite communications package that collates Ka-band, Ku-band and L-band services, integrating offerings from Inmarsat, Iridium, Intelsat, Eutelsat, Telenor, Thuraya and SES.
[Seatrade Global - 03/24/2014]

Inmarsat launches IsatPhone 2, with longest battery life in the industry, capable of receiving incoming call alerts with antenna stowed.
[Morning Star - 03/24/2014]

Kratos has been selected by Turksat Satellite Communication to deliver a full-motion antenna system for installation at its Gölba ?, Turkey site.
[Wall Street Journal - 03/24/2014]

Satcom Direct earns initial STC from the FA for installation of its Satcom Direct Router (SDR) in Lear 60 aircraft.
[Digital Journal - 03/24/2014]

OG2 satellite under construction – Photo: Sierra Nevada Corporation – Via Satellite

With the launch of the first six OG2 satellites coming up at the end of April, Orbcomm is planning to offer two new services that the company hopes will greatly expand its share of the M2M market.
[Via Satellite - 03/24/2014]

Lockheed Martin awards General Dynamics contract for U.S. Air Force GPS 3 satellite program.
[Via Satellite - 03/24/2014]

Ariane 5 ECS launch – NASA photo – NASA Spaceflight.com

Arianespace successfully lofted Astra 5B and Amazonas 4A into orbit via their Ariane 5 ECA rocket on Saturday, March 22.
[NASA Spaceflight.com - 03/22/2014]

At Mobile Deployable Communications Conference adaptability, agility, and scalability seen as key requirements, with a continued extant requirement for bandwidth and operability even as budgets tighten.
[iDirect Blog - 03/22/2014]

Inmarsat’s Relevancy

Inmarsat’s been around since 1979, operating geosynchronous communications spacecraft using the S-band. Compared to the GPS system, not overly glamorous. In the maritime satcom market, they’re the biggest fish in the pond.

With the current attention focused on how this old satellite company using standard physics to help locate the lost Malaysian airliner, they should become better known.

They’re on it, mate.

Here’s the story in The Malaysian Insider

Britain’s Inmarsat used a wave phenomenon discovered in the 19th century to analyse the seven pings its satellite picked up fromMalaysia Airlines Flight MH370 to determine its final destination.

The new findings led Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to conclude on Monday that the Boeing 777, which disappeared more than two weeks ago, crashed thousands of miles away in the southern Indian Ocean, killing all 239 people on board.

The pings, automatically transmitted every hour from the aircraft after the rest of its communications systems had stopped, indicated it continued flying for hours after it disappeared from its flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

From the time the signals took to reach the satellite and the angle of elevation, Inmarsat was able to provide two arcs, one north and one south that the aircraft could have taken.

Inmarsat’s scientists then interrogated the faint pings using a technique based on the Doppler effect, which describes how a wave changes frequency relative to the movement of an observer, in this case the satellite, a spokesman said.

The Doppler effect is why the sound of a police car siren changes as it approaches and then overtakes an observer.

Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch was also involved in the analysis.

“We then took the data we had from the aircraft and plotted it against the two tracks, and it came out as following the southern track,” Jonathan Sinnatt, head of corporate communications at Inmarsat, said.

The company then compared its theoretical flight path with data received from Boeing 777s it knew had flown the same route, he said, and it matched exactly.

The findings were passed to another satellite company to check, he said, before being released to investigators on Monday.

The paucity of data – only faint pings received by a single satellite every hour or so – meant techniques like triangulation using a number of satellites or GPS (Global Positioning System) could not be used to determine the aircraft’s flight path.

They did a fine job with their corporate video, too. Standard concept of a “timeline” script, yet executed brilliantly.

Big Bang Monday: Milky Way 360º

spitzer 360

Very cool, yet incomprehensible. A 360º view of the Milky Way galaxy, composed of more than 2 million images. Not very pretty, is it? Well, you can win them all — but the sheer magnitude of this piece of work is pretty wild.

That’s astronomy for you: deeper than your deepest imagination. Never ceases to amaze most of us: there are more galaxies out there than there are stars in the Milky Way.

W T F ?!?

OK, now get this. You can put some of this “WTF?!?” up on your wall. Go check out BigBangPrints.com and order some for yourself, or your spouse, boss, kids, etc. Go ahead: make their day!

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 03/21/2014

High winds delay launch of Astra 5B and Amazonas 4A.
[Broadband TV News - 03/21/2014]

Satellites pick up two significant objects in the southern Indian Ocean southwest of Australia, one estimated at 78 feet long, and ships are steaming quickly toward both.
[Hot Air - 03/20/2014]

Malaysia Airlines Jet – NDTV file photo

Missing flight MH370 puts spotlight on satellite technologies that could ensure tracking and communicating with aircraft over water and uninhabited areas.
[NDTV Gadgets - 03/20/2014]

Congress acknowledges need for new acquisition models for DOD to obtain needed satellite bandwidth – recorded Federal News Radio panel discussion with SES GS CEO and
government officials and consultants.
[Federal News Radio - 03/20/2014]

NewSpace Global releases 2014 SmallSat report examining global industry leaders, major investors, and sources of revenue in this sometimes obscure market.
[SatNews - 03/20/2014]

KazSat-3 at the testing and assembling division of Baikonur cosmodrome. ©RIA Novosti

KazSat-3 being readied for shipment to Baikonur.
[Tengri News - 03/20/2014]

Orbital drops antitrust lawsuit against United Launch Alliance.
[Space News - 03/20/2014]

Es/HailSat solicits bids for second satellite.
[Space News - 03/20/2014]

RRsat plans expansion in US market, opening a new office in the United States.
[Via Satellite - 03/20/2014]

Exelis installs its satellite communications on-the-move technology into the U.S. Army Stryker vehicle during the Army Expeditionary Warfighting Experiment at Fort Benning, GA.
[Executive Biz - 03/20/2014]

M7 group selects EUTELSAT 9A to launch its new pay-TV platform in Hungary.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 03/20/2014]

Speedcast strengthens it leadership position in the Asian maritime market with new facilities in Singapore.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 03/20/2014]

SES reaches 291 million TV homes around the world, with 151 million in Europe; sees room for growth in Latin America.
[Via Satellite - 03/19/2014]

DMSP-19 encapsulation within the Atlas V launch vehicle payload fairing represents an important milestone for the DMSP-19 launch campaign.
[Los Angeles AFB - 03/19/2014]

Arianespace launch – Satellite Evolution Group file photo

Arianespace calls for opening of U.S. government market to international launch services competition.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 03/19/2014]

Head of Germany’s space agency urges ESA to scrap the favored Ariane 6 plans.
[Space News - 03/19/2014]

Gogo receives supplemental type certificate from FAA to install Ku-band satellite connectivity service on Airbus A330 aircraft.
[Yahoo Finance - 03/19/2014]

Inmarsat signs contract with Hughes Network Systems to manufacture the new Low Profile BGAN terminal.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 03/19/2014]

Globecomm Maritime forms a strategic relationship with Future Care, Inc, to create Future Care Live, a video-enabled telemedicine solution.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 03/19/2014]

Gilat introduces StealthRay 300X-M Low-Profile Ultra-Compact X-Band Satellite-on-the-Move Antenna.
[ThomasNet News - 03/19/2014]

RSCC and Thales Alenia Space successfully launch two new Russian communications and broadcasting satellites, Express At1 and At2.
[Via Satellite - 03/18/2014]

Former Arianespace chief says SpaceX has advantage on cost in testimony to French Senate.
[Space News - 03/18/2014]

GeoStar 3 platform – Space Daily file photo

Orbital introduces the GEOStar-3 commercial communications satellite platform.
[Space Mart - 03/18/2014]

Pentagon weaning itself from controversial bandwidth lease with Hong Kong firm.
[Space News - 03/18/2014]

Ball Aerospace powers on bus of the first Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-1) satellite for the first time.
[Yahoo Finance - 03/18/2014]

File photo CCL3 – MarineLink.com

An alliance between France’s Orolia, and Transas Group aims to integrate Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) and Search and Rescue (SAR) functionality into enhanced marine communication solutions.
[MarineLink - 03/18/2014]

Harris Broadcast splits into two separate companies: Imagine Communications and Gates Air.
[Via Satellite - 03/18/2014]

Gogo’s business group Aircell unveils its ST 4300, a new in-flight communications system for business aircraft.
[Via Satellite - 03/18/2014]

Elektrobit completes a multi-year study with European Space Agency (ESA), analyzing the benefits of using multiple antennas (MIMO) in satellite communications.
[CIOL - 03/18/2014]

Airbus Defense and Space launch new high throughput satcom services featuring Ku-, X-, and Ka-bands without need to change antenna systems.
[Space Daily - 03/18/2014]

Gilat SkyEdge II-c Capricorn IP Router offers throughput exceeding 200 Mbps.
[Thomas Net - 03/18/2014]

Moscow accuses Ukraine of electronic attack on satellite.
[Free Beacon - 03/17/2014]

M2M satellite communication market to grow at a CAGR of 9.8% to 2019 according to RnRsMarketResearch report.
[Satellite Spotlight - 03/17/2014]

Global Satellite Communication market in the Oil and Gas industry is to grow at a CAGR of 5.74 percent over the period 2013-2018.
[Live - PR - 03/17/2014]

Arab satellite pay-TV market expected to grow at steady pace from 2014 to 2017, with room for more entrants into the market.
[Via Satellite - 03/17/2014]

Azerbaijan and Argentina to cooperate in outer space.
[azernews - 03/17/2014]

kangshutters/shutterstock.com – CGN

GSA renews satellite-based training network contract with Hughes Network Systems.
[GCN - 03/17/2014]

Orange Business Services joins European Union to assist in development of cloud-based ship management platform.
[Via Satellite - 03/17/2014]

Satellite signals can confirm plane’s identity.
[KETV - 03/17/2014]

PlanetLabs small satellite – New York Times

Start-up Planet Labs aims to conquer space market, launching dozens of small satellites to provide near constant observation of Earth.
[New York Times - 03/16/2014]

Arabsat issues an RFP for four new satellites, to be designated HS3, HS4, AR6E and AR6A.
[Broadband TV News - 03/16/2014]

Gilat Satellite Networks chosen by Inmarsat as Gobal Xpress services partner for new fixed land VSAT opportunities.
[Space Ref - 03/16/2014]

TECOM antenna – Avionics Intelligence

Ka-band tail-mounted satellite communications antenna for in-flight Internet connectivity introduced by TECOM.
[Avionics Intelligence - 03/16/2014]

VSAT Auto-commissioning systems enable accurate VSAT pointing, crosspol, and power adjustment, providing feedback to the installer from a carrier monitoring system over the VSAT link.
[SatMagazine - March issue]

WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

WBMSAT News Bits 03/14/2014

Continuing satellite system handshake signal after other communications had been turned off leads to conclusions that someone on Malaysian flight deliberately altered its flight path to one of two corridors.
[Fox News - 03/15/2014]

Inmarsat says it had recorded electronic “keep alive” ping signals from the missing Malaysia Airlines jet after it disappeared.
[NY Times - 03/14/2014]

Survey by MarketsandMarkets puts worth of M2M satellite communications market at $4.763 billion by 2019.
[Yahoo Finance - 03/14/2014]

Arieanespace launch – Credit: Arianespace photo – Space News

SES threatens to cease future dealings with Arianespace unless SES’s O3b Networks broadband satellites are given a spring launch slot also coveted by the European Commission for the commission’s Galileo spacecraft.
[Space News - 03/14/2014]

Jury trial to begin March 26 to determine whether satellite broadband provider ViaSat Inc. is right in claiming $800 million in patent-infringement damages from satellite builder Loral Space and Communications.
[Space News - 03/14/2014]

SpaceX delays its next supply run to the international space station after discovering an oily residue on thermal blankets that protect the trunk of the Dragon cargo capsule.
[Space News - 03/14/2014]

Inmarsat is negotiating with fleet operator Arabsat on the placement of an Inmarsat S-band payload aboard Arabsat’s Hellas Sat 3 satellite.
[Space News - 03/14/2014]

PhoneSat 2.5 – Phys-Org file photo

NASA prepares to launch fifth in a series of smartphone-controlled small spacecraft into orbit; PhoneSat 2.5 to be carried into orbit sunday, March 16 as part of SpaceX cargo for International Space Station.
[Phys-Org - 03/14/2014]

Cobham Satcom, an Inmarsat Global Xpress partner, announces two new maritime terminals and three new land mobile terminals for Inmarsat’s new satellite network.
[Via Satellite - 03/14/2014]

DRS is awarded $30 million contract to operate control and maintain satellite communications between the continental U.S. and worldwide locations.
[AFCEA - 03/14/2014]

Nearly a week after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished U.S. investigators say based on an analysis of satellite signals from the Boeing 777, it may have landed at some point.
[Examiner - 03/13/2014]

Chief of the space services department at the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau expresses surprise to hear satellite executives brag about their prowess in playing fast and loose with the rules.
[Space News - 03/13/2014]

Credit – Arianespace photo – Space News

Commercial launch service providers raise the possibility of Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket becoming American, the international Sea Launch becoming Russian and the high-cost Japanese H-2A rocket becoming cost competitive.
[Space News - 03/13/2014]

Malaysian airliner disappearance highlights need for Aireon’s satellite air traffic system.
[Seeking Alpha - 03/13/2014]

Northrup begins integrating new 20 GHz high-speed phased array antenna into fourth Advanced EHF communications payload.
[Satellite Spotlight - 03/13/2014]

Credit – Excelis artist’s concept – Space News

Lockheed Martin solicits info on alternative navigation payload similar to the one that has delayed the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation GSP-3 system.
[Space News - 03/13/2014]

Panasonic Avionics Corporation expects to double the size of its connectivity-equipped fleet by the end of 2014 following FAA certification of a bird strike compliant radome for B777-200 aircraft.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 03/13/2014]

Intelsat enters agreement with Airbus Defense & Space bridging maritime VSAT services to Intelsat’s High Throughput Ku-band Satellite (HTS) EpicNG platform.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 03/13/2014]

Gilat introduces new X-band antenna.
[Via Satellite - 03/13/2014]

Arquiva to provide exclusive distribution of Al Jazeera Media Network channels on two of the Es’hailSat satellites.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 03/13/2014]

Crystal Solutions will be launching Crystal Solutions Connect™, a content substitution tool for multiple distribution paths, at the National Association of Broadcasters Show (NAB).
[Satellite Evolution Group - 03/13/2014]

SES signs a capacity deal with Alruya, a leading system integrator and VSAT operator based in Libya, to deliver connectivity to oil and gas fields in the country.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 03/13/2014]

Boeing 702 – Credit – Boeing artist’s concept – Spaceflight Now

Boeing reveals an order last year by a U.S. government customer for three light-class geostationary satellite platforms with all-electric propulsion.
[Spaceflight Now - 03/12/2014]

The importance of high-quality satellite earth station installation and maintenance is being reinforced in the energy, maritime, military and other key markets through recognition of Harris CapRock Communications as a “GVF Accredited Organization.”
[SatNews - 03/12/2014]

Boeing and TrustComm to sell satellite bandwidth to government and commercial users.
[Satellite Spotlight - 03/12/2014]

Gilat Satellite Networks selected by Inmarsat as Global Xpress services partner for new fixed land VSAT opportunities.
[Yahoo Finance - 03/12/2014]

Elektrobit (EB) develops a Multiple Antenna (MIMO) test environment for next generation satellite networks.
[msn money - 03/12/2014]

Emerging Markets Communications announces receipt of contract from Brazilian Navy to provide VSAT satellite connectivity services for the entire Brazilian Navy fleet.
[digital Journal - 03/12/2014]

Picture source: smartplanet.com – Screen Africa

SatLink Communications chosen for global distribution of Ethiopian news channel.
[Screen Africa - 03/12/2014]

Euroscan Holdings, B.V., a telematics solution provider, is acquired by ORBCOMM Inc.
[Near Earth LLC. - 03/12/2014]

A rocket carrying a satellite is launched in Xichang, China. Reuters – The Wall Street Journal

China brings its rapidly expanding satellite surveillance capabilities to bear in the effort to find out what happened to Malaysian Airlines 370.
[China Real Time - 03/11/2014]

ITC Global launches a new network over Sub-Saharan Africa, utilizing the Intelsat IS-25 spacecraft.
[Yahoo Finance - 03/11/2014]

Nynex grows its multi-million dollar contract with Avanti Communications to extend satellite broadband coverage across Libya.
[Satellite Spotlight - 03/11/2014]

Etisalat showcases latest VSATExpress, VSATConnect and Satellite News Gathering services at CABSAT 2014.
[TMC News - 03/11/2014]

Vislink chooses the Q-Lite compact satellite modem for its Advent MSAT portal terminal for Satcom On The Move (SOTM).
[Business Wire - 03/11/2014]

Kratos selected by TrustComm to provide Starlight gateway satellite earth station.
[IT Business Net - 03/11/2014]

Harris CapRock debut’s its advanced Pulse VSAT system which dynamically reassigns satellite capacity on demand by leveraging Comtech EF Data Corporation’s efficient modem technologies and Vipersat Management System.
[Wall Street Journal - 03/11/2014]

Harold Rosen, satellite communications pioneer often called the father of the geosynchronous satellite, gets life achievement award.
[Satellite Spotlight - 03/10/2014]

Gilat announces availability of SkyEdge II-c Capricorn satellite VSAT with exceptional throughput exceeding 200Mbps.
[Yahoo Finance - 03/10/2014]

Newsat selects Kratos for command and control systems for Jabiru-1 satellite.
[The Wall Street Journal - 03/10/2014]

Orbital introduces the GEOStar-3 commercial communications satellite platform combining traditional and electric propulsion.
[Wall Street Journal - 03/10/2014]

Kymeta demonstrating metamaterials-based flat panel satellite antenna at Satellite 2014 following successful transmit and receive tests on the satellite in Canada and the U.S.
[PR Newswire - 03/10/2014]

LightSquared and ViaSat enter multi-year agreement to introduce ViaSat L-band managed Service, a mobile service using LightSquared’s SkyTerra 1 L-band satellite, with the largest antenna, 22 meters, ever put in service on a commercial satellite.
[Broadway World - 03/10/2014]

Thuraya partners with Talia Onboard to reach oil and gas customers.|
[National Post - 03/10/2014]

Germany’s Federal Network Agency selects Kratos for satellite carrier monitoring solution.
[The Wall Street Journal - 03/10/2014]

Opportunities exist to provide services to remote areas in Chile including tele-health and tele-education as satellite communications forms key part of Chile’s national space policy in 2014 – 2020.
[BN Americas - 03/10/2014]

EMC Satcom Technologies and Kymeta announce strategic collaboration to advance the speed, reliability and efficiency of satellite communications for mobile, fixed, and aerospace markets with flat panel metamaterials antenna.
[PRWEB - 03/09/2014]

ORBCOMM launches new satellite modems targeted for systems integrators and resellers.
[University Chronicle - 03/09/2014]

WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

The Future Will Be Electric

In the satellite business, there’s a always a sense of excitement.

The competitive arena around choice orbitals slots. The suspense surrounding a launch campaign. Pushing the limits of new technology to get more out of what you already have.

Outside the industry, the general business public doesn’t fully understand it. For those of us inside the satellite business, being aware of the immense financial interests at stake on each of those complex systems, we can get worked up over the smallest success or failure, only without the drama.

It depends on what part of the business you’re working on.

We work in spacecraft propulsion systems: electric propulsion, to be specific. So you can imagine how we reacted two years ago, when we released news of our partnership with OHB Sweden, just as Boeing announced contracts to build two pair of all-electric spacecraft, one each for Satelitales Mexicano (Satmex) and Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS).

This came soon after the U.S. Air Force and Aerospace Corp. saved the Advanced EHF spacecraft using electric propulsion. So we thought our timing was rather fortunate.

We’ve always admired Boeing for being typically at the forefront of new technologies in commercial space systems. And it’s been rather interesting to see how other manufacturers are responding. The ELECTRA project, a partnership with SES S.A. and European Space Agency, is one of the most noteworthy recent examples in developing a complete, all-electric propulsion platform.

Naturally, we’re very excited. We’ve seen the future and electric propulsion technologies will soon be at the core of in-space propulsion. This transformation will likely usher in a new era for satellite-based services by significantly expanding payloads aboard virtually any spacecraft.

We’re a small company and we’ve spent more than a decade developing electric propulsion systems and we think that soon the scene will be set for it to take center stage. Our breakthrough technology, the Electrodeless Ionization Magnetized Ponderomotive Acceleration Thruster (E-IMPAcT) is being brought to market on a solid foundation of more than 30 registered patents. Various testing in the U.S. and Europe have been very promising and we are approaching a new technological horizon. The interest we’ve received over the last couple of years has exceeded our expectations. Propulsion has a major impact on the entire economics of the satellite market and new solutions are rare.

Indeed, in many respects, the interest in electric propulsion for orbit-raising is logical and expected. Boeing’s 702SP bus is a real commercial endorsement of the critical advantages conferred by all electric propulsion and a prime example of future game-changing economics: more payload at less overall cost.

The Boeing spacecraft for Satmex and ABS, scheduled to launch in early 2015, are expected to weigh 1,800 kg and carry the same payload as some of the behemoths we’ve seen go up lately, thereby getting two spacecraft to launch on a Falcon 9 (or Ariane 5, just in case). Think about what this does for the design-build-launch side of the satellite business. Add the revenues associated with bigger payloads and the economic advantages are enormous.

There’s always risk in the space business. However, Boeing’s approach is only the beginning of this revolution. They spent a few years developing this propulsion system for the 702SP bus. However, one must consider the heritage this is built on top of — many years of experience with XIPS (xenon-ion propulsion system). Proven on-orbit technology is one of the most significant qualities customers looks for. This flown technology is being used in a new way, applied to medium-sized spacecraft after proving itself for station-keeping many times over.

On the orbit-raising aspect, flight-proven electric propulsion systems do take a long time to get the spacecraft to its useful service orbit. ESA’s Artemis took 18 months from the launch to its intended orbital location. That’s right: 18 months. The U.S. Air Force’s AEHF spacecraft needed 14 months to be salvaged by its electric propulsion system after its main chemical propulsion system failed.

That’s why we see opportunity for change in our industry, providing the technology for faster, higher-thrust, all-electric orbit-raising capability. We feel fortunate to have worked in electric propulsion for more than a decade and to now be at a point where we expect to meet the emerging and proven needs of the marketplace. We are but one company out of many in the space business who are continually looking for a better way to do things. These are the leaders with whom we identify – and the quiet, inherent enthusiasm we feel in our space business partners have for their work.

Seek out new technology. Embrace it and share your vision of what’s possible. The enthusiasm, competence and dedication I see every day is encouraging.

The new era in electric propulsion, of which Elwing hopes to be a part of, brings to mind a passage in Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s essay “Space and the Spirit of Man” (1965)…

“…we cannot predict the new forces, powers, and discoveries that will be disclosed to us when we reach the other planets or can set up new laboratories in space. They are as much beyond our vision today as fire or electricity would be beyond the imagination of a fish.”

Yet it now seems quite clear to many the future of in-space propulsion will indeed be electric propulsion technologies. Not that chemical propulsion is going away — there will still be many missions using it, but electric will swiftly become the mainstay, just as the rise of airplanes have not made all sea-faring vessels disappear. This evolution will certainly deeply reshuffle the global shares of the various space companies. It seems likely that the majority of satellite manufacturers will choose to no longer produce their own propulsion systems and rely instead on specialized industrial partners. Most importantly, this change in the root of the technology underlying all satellite services will probably change the entire industry, enabling new services and/or new players to emerge (think lower cost of bandwidth for sure, but also asteroid mining or satellite servicing which could not be viable without advanced propulsion).

The future will be electric, and it will be a much more diverse one. For the time being, no flight-proven electric technology to date is able to cover all the needs of all missions. Even as new technologies become available, the needs of satellite and space probe missions are diverse and call for diversified solutions. The future belongs to electric propulsion and it will greatly improve the space-based services we receive here on earth.

Gregory Emsellem
Chief Executive Officer
The Elwing Company
+1.310.308.3295
+33.601.82.15.27