New English-Language Ukrainian Channel

Ukraine Today launched on Sunday, 24 August 2014, and is available via Eutelsat’s Hotbird:

Eutelsat Hotbird @ 13 East
Frequency: 11623 MHz
Symbol Rate: 27,5 Mbaud
FEC: 3/4
Polarization: Vertical
Codec: MPEG2
Modulation: QPSK
Format: DVB-S

Presently focused on Europe, given the coverage…


Here’s the live feed via YouTube:

Plans for call for U.S. distribution, so I’m hoping they can work out a deal with both Dish Network and DirecTV for DTH — and perhaps get industrial distribution so they can get into cable/fiber households, too. Probably want to get into Canada, too, ey? New satellites will help very much.

Now, if only they could’ve come up with a more creative brand/name. How about “Ukrainian Kobzar” instead?

WBMSAT News Bits 08/22/2014

This Week’s Featured Article

Soyuz rocket launch – Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace photo – Space News

Soyuz rocket successfully places two European Galileo positioning, navigation and timing satellites into medium earth orbit.
[Space News – 08/22/2014]

Industry Reports

Point Topic publishes 40 new country report on the state of fixed broadband.
[Satellite Markets & Research – 0/21/2014]

NSR on Avanti – is an “All-in” bet on HTS infrastructure a sustainable business model in the long term?
[NSR – 08/21/2014]

New report on companiesandmarkets.com, ‘Global Satellite Broadband Communications in Public Safety Market 2014-2018’ predicts growth of 8.5% CAGR.
[LIVE-PR – 08/20/2014]

Arab Advisors Group projects African cellular markets to add 81 million subscribers by 2018.
[Satellite Markets & Research – 08/20/2014]

NSR report ‘UltraHD via Satellite, 2nd Edition’ predicts over 820 UltraHD via satellite channels worldwide by 2025.
[Yahoo Finance – 08/18/2014]

Industry Groups, Trade Shows

SET EXPO 2014 marks South American launch of Newtec next generation Dialog platform.
[realwire - 08/22/2014]

IBC 2014 Content Everywhere series of events will cover IP-connected devices and how they are altering the way we produce and consume media.
[Satellite Markets & Research – 08/21/2014]

Satellite Interference Reduction Group (IRG) to bring its final Carrier ID (CID) Tour to IBC, following the success of the previous events.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 08/21/2014]

Satellite Launch Business

Sea Launch control ship and launch platform – Credit: Sea Launch photo – Space News

Launch gap leads Sea Launch to cut staff and sideline vessels.
[Space News – 08/22/2014]

Should Orbital Sciences convert to solid fuel, it would have to overhaul Wallops Island launch pad.
[Space News – 08/22/2014]

RD 180 rocket – Credit: NASA photo – Space News

U.S. Air Force solicits information on new rocket engine as possible replacement for Russian RD-180.
[Space News – 08/21/2014]

Aerojet Rocketdyne to 3-D print rocket engine parts under Air Force demo.
[Space News – 08/21/2014]

China launches Gaofen 2 earth observation satellite.
[Via Satellite – 08/20/2014]

Russian Astronaut throws earth observation nanosatellite into space for Peru.
[Nextgov – 08/18/2014]

The LEO-46 hot fire test. Photo: Aerojet Rocketdyne – Via Satellite

Aerojet Rocketdyne completes final hot-fire test for LEONIDAS smallsat launcher engine.
[Via Satellite – 08/18/2014]

Satellite Operations

European Space Agency still has not determined cause of sudden power drop in May aboard one of four in-orbit Galileo satellites.
[Space News – 08/22/2014]

Satellite Construction

Completed Himawan-8 satellite – courtesy of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation – SatNews

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announces completion of the Himawari-8 satellite, the next generation weather satellite for the Japan Meteorological Agency.
[SatNews – 08/21/2014]

Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology construction of United Arab Emirate’s first satellite manufacturing facility nears completion.
[Via Satellite – 08/20/2014]

Orbital Sciences wins contract from Avanti Communication Group to build the HYLAS 4 broadband communications satellite.
[TMC News – 08/16/2014]

Satellite Technology

Communications and Power Industries Canada gets contract to develop Ka-band extended interaction klystron for SWOT satellite.
[HispanicBusiness – 08/22/2014]

Northrop Grumman cryocooler on board NASA’s OCO-2 satellite becomes 17th unit to operate in space without failure.
[Yahoo News – 08/20/2014]

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer First Class Shawn Eggert – Space Daily

Next generation MUOS satellite to be tested aboard Coast Guard Cutter Healy as part of Artic Shield 2014.
[Space Daily – 08/18/2014]

Aerojet Rocketdyne anticipates SmallSats to be the first users of the ‘green fuel’ hydrazine alternative AF-M315E.
[Via Satellite – 08/15/2014]

Ground Systems Technology

Finnish startup Kynel obtains funding for development of its cognitive radio system, which can analyze the local RF spectrum for the most optimal wireless channels available, including satellite, and re-configure accordingly.
[ArticStartup – 08/21/2014]

Cyber security expert tells NBC5 investigators he has found a way to hack into the satellite communications systems used in multiple industries.
[NBC Chicago – 08/21/2014]

Advantech Wireless to present details at IBC of its award winning ultralinear GaN based SSPAs offering the highest linear power available in the market.
[Satellite Markets & Research – 0/21/2014]

Briidge Technologies introduces VB273 intelligent L-band satellite switch that employs digital media monitoring systems.
[Via Satellite – 08/18/2014]

General Dynamics to build ground structures for Lockheed Martin for the Air Force’s Space Fence.
[Via Satellite – 08/15/2014]

Government, Military & Defense

NSA certifies Harris Corp’s manpack for top secret missions.
[Via Satellite – 08/21/2014]

U.S. Air Force partners with 3 Latin American countries on space component of  Panamax 2014 multinational exercise focused on defense of Panama Canal.
[Via Satellite – 08/20/2014]

U.S. Army photo – ARMY

As the U.S. operational footprint in Afghanistan diminishes, the Army’s portfolio of ground satellite terminals will continue to support operations for as long as the mission requires.
[ARMY – 08/19/2014]

State-of-the-art tactical communications network now used in Afghanistan automatically tracks and maintains connectivity while combat vehicles are on the move.
[Washington Post – 08/19/2014]

General Hyten takes helm at Air Force Space Command.
[Via Satellite – 08/18/2014]

Photo: Lockheed Martin – Defense Daily

U.S. Army Robotics Technology Consortium test joins unmanned ground Squad Mission Support System including satellite communications with unmanned K-MAX unmanned air vehicle.
[Defense Update – 08/18/2014]

Indian Prime Minister Modi visits Nepal and articulates vision for Indo-Nepal relationship and development of a SAARC satellite.
[The Space Review – 0/18/2014]

Government Regulation

SES Nabs rights for two Brazilian orbital slots.
[Via Satellite – 08/19/2014]

Satellite Industry Association deems Export-Import Bank ‘critical’ to U.S. Satellite Industry as Congress faces decision on the bank’s fate.
[Via Satellite – 08/185/2014]

FAA approves Avonica’s satLINK communications system.
[Avionics Today – 08/18/2014]

Aeronautical

Inmarsat in talks with airlines in Asia for tracking services.
[BusinessMirror – 08/22/2014]

Broadband

Exede to offer virtually unlimited Internet data usage plans in the Florida Panhandle.
[FFN – 08/21/2014]

Airbus Defence and Space introduces Expanded Terralink, based on the nexgen Newtec Dialog platform.
[SatNews – 08/20/14]

ViaSat Exede debuts first virtually unlimited satellite Internet service in Hawaii.
[Yahoo Finance – 08/20/2014]

ViaSat Exede debuts first virtually unlimited satellite Internet service in Alaska.
[Market Watch – 08/20/2014]

Russian Satellite Communications Company reports that the number of citizens using Ka-band satellite broadband has exceeded 5,000.
[Via Satellite – 08/19/2014]

Maritime

ITC Global wins three year contract to provide broadband to Harkland offshore support vessels.
[TMC News – 0/21/2014]

Mobile

Spartan Chassis connectivity solution integrates cellular and satellite communications with portability of today’s electronic devices.
[Firehouse – 08/22/2014]

Chinese Satellite TV Communications Group selects Octoshape, an industry leader in Over The Top (OTT) technologies, to power new high definition mobile video streaming service.
[Market Watch – 08/18/2014]

Space

Space Travel file photo

Voyager map details Neptune’s strange moon Triton.
[Space Travel – 0/22/2014]

Canadian Space Agency devising action plan for taking over troubled government space projects.
[Space News – 08/21/2014]

Orbital completes second paid ISS mission for NASA and contemplates rocket upgrade for 3rd cargo run.
[Space News – 08/19/2014]

Legal

Law firm Dentons starts space business practice.
[LawFuel – 08/18/2014]

Capacity Agreements

ITC Global signs two-year capacity agreement with Optus.
[Via Satellite – 08/18/2014]

SES signs multi-year agreement for two transponders to provide 80 Free-to-Air (FTA) channels to the West African Economic and Monetary Union.
[Via Satellite – 08/18/2014]

Market Strategy & Revenues

AsiaSat 1st half 2014 revenues down 10%.
[Satellite Markets & Research – 08/21/2014]

XTAR evaluating options for new capacity in Asia Pacific.
[Via Satellite – 08/20/2014]

ST Electronics opens new state-of-the-art satellite systems centre in Singapore.
[HispanicBusiness – 08/20/2014]

Hispasat pivots to Latin America as new top market.
[Via Satellite – 08/19/2014]

Lockheed completes acquisition of software, communications and ground systems company Zeta Associates, dedicated to national security missions.
[Via Satellite – 08/19/2014]

Inmarsat opens office in Beijing.
[China Tech News – 08/18/2014]

Global Invacom sees 26.3% revenue growth in first half of 2014.
[MIS ASIA – 08/18/2014]

Satcom Direct breaks ground on new ‘Campus of Excellence’ in Satellite Beach, Florida.
[benzinga – 08/18/2014]

History

Intelsat celebrates 50 years of providing critical communications to the world.
[Satellite Spotlight – 08/20/2014]

New museum in London dedicated to information and technology in the UK, focused on six networks that changed the world including satellite communications.
[artnet news – 08/18/2014]

Human Interest

Globecomm Europe and Event-IP Global Communications partner to deliver state-of-the-art communications services for international outdoor events.
[StreetInsider – 08/21/2014]

WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

Big Bang Monday: Comet of the Month

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko activity on 2 August 2014. The image was taken by Rosetta’s OSIRIS wide-angle camera from a distance of 550 km. The exposure time of the image was 330 seconds and the comet nucleus is saturated to bring out the detail of the comet activity. Note there is a ghost image to the right. The image resolution is 55 metres per pixel.

ESA’s Rosetta Mission is sending back some very interesting images, especially for those who were curious about what these big rocks look like. It’s the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet.

The one from 7 August 20014 gave us a pretty good close-up…

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko imaged by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow angle camera on 7 August from a distance of 104 km.

Not as exciting as we’d expect, yet it’s most fascinating.

So how big is this comet? Thanks to @quark1972, now we now. Here’s the comet next to Los Angeles.

WBMSAT News Bits 08/15/2014

Industry Reports

New TDG report finds 4K TV forecast overly optimistic, predicting that it will be a niche market for at least another five years, finally seeing widespread viewing in 2019 and growing quickly beyond.
[Satellite Markets & Research - 08/14/2014]

New Euroconsult report finds modest revenue growth for commercial FSS operators in 2013.
[Satellite Markets & Research - 08/13/2014]

High Throughput Satellites definitely have a role to play in consumer broadband, enterprise applications, and mobility – but will they face a zero-sum game in the energy market?
[Northern Sky Research - 08/13/2014]

New UK Satellite Telecommunications activities Market report finds rising demand for mobile internet access is encouraging expansion, with 5-year compound growth through 2014 of 5.8%, to £1.7 billion.
[Live-PR - 08/12/2014]

Industry Groups, Trade Shows

Leading industry experts to meet at MilSatCom Latin America in Rio de Janeiro August 27, 28.
[Brazil Business - 08/14/2014]

The Satellite Interference Reduction Group (IRG) has announced that its next workshop will be hosted by Inmarsat at its London Headquarters from 21st – 22nd October.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 08/13/2014]

Satellite Launches

Galileo satellite – GPS Daily file image

First operational Galileo GPS satellites integrated for Soyuz launch.
[GPS Daily – 08/15/2014]

Optus 10 – Space Daily file image

Return of Optus 10 to French Guiana sets stage for Sept launch of Optus 10 and co-passenger MEASAT-3b.
[Space Travel – 08/15/2014]

ULA Atlas V successully launches DigitalGlobe WorldView-3 satellite out of Vandenberg AFB.
[NASA Spaceflight - 08/13/2014]

Satellite Construction

Orbital selected by Avanti Communications to build HYLAS 4 High-Throughput commercial Satellite.
[TMCnet - 08/14/2014]

Artist’s concept of Solar Probe Plus – NASA photo

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory awards contact to Northrop Grumman for Scalable Space Inertial Reference Unit for NASA’s Solar Probe Plus satellite.
[Via Satellite - 08/14/2014]

Satellite Technology

RapidEye PCM combines BlackBridge’s RapidEye satellite imagery with MDA’s PCM technology to accelerate the comparison of images from different times and identifying lasting changes.
[Via Satellite - 08/14/2014]

6 kilowatt Hall-effect thruster – Credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory photo – Space News

NASA is exploring a wide range of propulsion technologies to enable cubesats to maneuver.
[Space News – 08/11/2014]

Ground Systems Technology

MaxLinear’s new low-cost USB tuner-demodulator brings digital broadcast high-definition TV to consumers throughout Latin America.
[Satellite Spotlight - 08/14/2014]

Luso Microwave announces a new family of modular C–band to KA-band antennas in a range of reflector sizes from 1.2m to 4.2m.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 08/12/2014]

NovelSat conducts successful trial of its “free bandwidth” product, NovelSat Freeband, at the Redo Novo Tempo de Comunicação broadcast center in Brazil.
[Via Satellite - 08/12/2014]

Government, Military & Defense

Russian Federal Space Agency image

Russia is considering creating a new satellite system for transmitting secret military communications as it continues to beef up its defense capacities in a bid to re-emerge as a global military power.
[The Moscow Times - 08/14/2014]

Next generation satellite communications system to see testing aboard Coast Guard Cutter Healy during Arctic Shield 2014.
[dvids – 08/14/2014]

SSL and NanoRacks partnership for Hosted Payloads Solutions program one of most unique approaches to Air Force’s recently announced IDIQ contract.
[Via Satellite - 08/14/2014]

Newly confirmed U.S. Space Command Chief makes forceful case for adopting a new space architecture.
[Space News - 08/13/2014]

Schriever Air Force Base 3 SOPS bids farewell to oldest DSCS satellite, shutting down the final components on July 30.
[Air Force Space Command - 08/13/2014]

General Dynamics successfully demonstrates the promise of the MUOS satellite communications system using PRC-155 Manpack radios in Phoenix, Arizona and Taunton, Massachussets.
[MarineLink - 08/13/2014]

Kratos Defense & Security gets $$38.7 million SPAWARS contract to provide satellite communications, radio frequency and navigation systems support services.
[Yahoo Finance - 08/12/2014]

DoD signs situational awareness agreement with Space Data Association.
[Via Satellite - 08/12/2014]

Airbus Defense and Space awarded contract to provide services related to hosting U.S.A.F. communications systems onboard commercially operated satellites.
[Satellite Spotlight - 08/11/2014]

Government Regulation

Inmarsat gets approval to sell IsatPhones in Colombia.
[Via Satellite - 08/13/2014]

Cobham’s AVIATOR 200 SwiftBroadband solution has received Administración Nacional de Avianción Civil (ANAC) Brazil Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approval for installation by King Air operators.
[Satnews - 08/12/2014]

Aeronautical

Inmarsat announces first successful installation and ongoing trials of its ACARS1-capable SwiftBroadband Safety equipment on an Airbus A319.
[HispanicBusiness - 08/15/2014]

Consumer Broadband

ViaSat Inc. to offer Exede(R) high-speed satellite internet plans that provide households in select locations across the country with virtually unlimited broadband data usage.
[The Wall Street Journal - 08/12/2014]

Maritime

Interior of world’s largest passenger ship, Allure – (LEHTIKUVA, REUTERS / October 28, 2010)

Royal Caribbean cruise ships Allure of Seas and Quantum of the Seas to get high-speed Internet powered by O3b Networks.
[Sun Sentinel - 08/13/2014]

Oil & Gas

North Sea oil rig – Wikepedia photo

RigNet upgrades VSAT bandwidth of global offshore drilling customer in the Barents Sea to 8 Mbps.
[Via Satellite - 08/14/2014]

Space

Astronauts aboard ISS release Cygnus supply ship, now full of trash for disposal, after month-long space station visit.
[R&D Magazine - 08/15/2014]

XCOR LYNX – Space Travel file image

XCOR Lynx spacecraft full scale model “Space Corvette” lands at Monterey Jet Center.
[Space Travel – 08/15/2014]

Purdue Univ. student team designs, builds and tests critical part of new rocket engine as part of a NASA project to develop spacecraft technologies needed for cosmic venues.
[R&D Magazine - 08/13/2014]

Credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory artist’s concept – Space News

NASA’s OCO-2 satellite reaches operational orbit.
[Space News - 08/13/2014]

Legal

Loral wins reversal of $283 million damages award – new trial on damages set for November – ViaSat seeks court order barring further patent infringement.
[Via Satellite - 08/11/2014]

Capacity Agreements

Kacific signs multimillion-dollar agreement with Solomon Telekom Company for broadband services on the upcoming HTS Kacific 1.
[Via Satellite - 08/13/2014]

Azercosmos signs first TV channel, Afghan Paiwestoon Media Communication’s free-to-air Batur TV, for Azerspace 1 satellite.
[Via Satellite - 08/11/2014]

Services Contracts

Optus will provide ITC Global with expanded satellite capacity, equipment hosting, up-linking and downloading services via its major satellite facility in Perth, Australia.
[SatNews 08/15/2014]

Air Astana has selected SITA to assure its general and operational communications needs, including communications with partners and advanced datalinks for air traffic control.
[The Astana Times – 08/15/2014]

GenCom, the communications arm of Genco Energy Services (GES) signed an additional contract with SCS Networks to use iDirect technology for a private satellite network.
[Via Satellite - 08/12/2014]

Operator Market Strategy & Revenues

ViaSat asks investors to focus on revenue and gross profit, and not raw subscriber numbers.
[Space News - 08/13/2014]

Globalstar hopes half of its subscriber base will be made of non-North American customers by 2017.
[Via Sateilite - 08/12/2014]

TCS selected to join O3b’s exclusive partner program.
[PCB007 - 08/11/2014]

History

On this day in history – August 12, 1960 – NASA’s 1st successful communications satellite, Echo 1A, is launched from Cape Canaveral.
[EDN - 08/12/2014]

Human Interest

Inmarsat-supported aid agency Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) has been required to leave an Iraqi camp as civil war develops.
[Via Satellite - 08/12/2014]

T-Dish: The Timing is Perfect

Earlier this month, Charlie talked about how he liked Sprint’s potential to be successful in wireless.

Not really: I think he wants Son to pay more for it!

The real value in wireless communications is in its spectrum licenses. Without that, you don’t have much to grow with. Add ready-to-go infrastructure to your spectrum and you can make some dough. Dish’s video business has probably reached its limit and they’ve been accumulating spectrum for an eventual “wireless play.” Competing against the cable and telco “triple-play” (voice, video, data) — or quad-play of Verizon and AT&T (landline voice, video, data, wireless/mobile) — left Dish an an inherent disadvantage. Without any landline business, using satcom for Internet is inefficient. If, however, Dish could make a “modern triple-play” (video, wireless data, wireless voice) then it could retain a substantial portion of its subscriber base. In general, triple-plays help reduce churn rates.

T-Mobile is on a tear; five quarters of 1.5 million net-adds. They just need some more spectrum and Dish has it — and cash flow to help pay down debt. LightReading has the best analysis:

The appeal of the Dish position is that the satellite provider holds 50MHz of spectrum in the US — 40MHz in the AWS-4 band and 10MHz in the H-Band — that is very close to the AWS spectrum that T-Mobile has been deploying its 4G LTE network in.

“We could certainly very rapidly deploy on his spectrum,” Carter noted.

This would give the pair the opportunity to offer really large LTE channels for faster over-the-air services, possibly doubling up on the 2x20MHz LTE channels that T-Mobile can offer today. Although Carter noted that the operator will move beyond that by itself anyway, without offering much further detail.

Of course, that would mean striking a deal between the two and — as Carter noted — Ergen is a “tough negotiator.” Still, he opined, it would be very difficult and expensive for Dish to deploy a wireless network on its own, and the provider is running out of time to strike a 4G deal with a partner.

Everybody seems to agree.

The timing is perfect for Dish to buy T-Mobile and turn their wireless service into a very strong #3 quickly — and grow it to some day become #2.


Hacking “Best Korea” With Satellite

Years ago, we marveled at the sophisticated simplicity of the Luneberg Lens and how cool it was to use technology developed 70 years ago to receive multiple satellite TV feeds. Something you couldn’t imagine in 1944. Now those principles are being used to win a “hackathon” in San Francisco.

ARS Technica gave a comprehensive summary…

 

The team’s idea, which hasn’t moved beyond the concept phase, was deceptively simple: import a bunch of satellite receivers into North Korea so that people can simply receive TV stations from SkyLife, a major South Korean broadcaster.

At present, SkyLife’s satellite footprint easily extends into North Korea, and it includes many Korean-language stations including KBS and SBS, two of the largest. It also includes some English-language programming, including BBC, Eurosport, and Animal Planet, among others. The team realizes that getting a little more independent information into North Korea won’t create an overnight revolution in the country. But under this plan, the team claims, North Koreans could start to learn more about how their South Korea cousins live via news, sports, entertainment, and more.

“I think our initial hope is to get North Korea to the state of Iran, where information is flowing in,” one of the team members, Matthew Lee (a pseudonym), told Ars. “Right now North Korea is a hermit state. If we can at least get to a state where you can use Twitter, then people will understand what’s going on outside. That’s the first catalyst and then they can use our device to create a shadow network and with that, they can bring about a change within their own social context.”

Specifically, the team wants to use new developments in Luneburg lens research that would allow for a traditional curved, bulk satellite dish receiver to be manufactured into something flat. They hope this could eventually be mounted (and camouflaged) onto walls and windows of North Korean homes. One big problem is that such antennas have yet to be manufactured on a widespread basis.

The trio won a round-trip ticket to Seoul, South Korea paid for by HRF, where they will meet with North Korean defector groups and other organizations. HRF says that it will work to secure funding to fully realize this project.

Kim Heung-kwang (second from left) is a former North Korean cyberwarfare professor and a judge at the HRF event. Justice Suh (third from right) was one of the winning team members.


Putin’s Proton

ILS is laying off 25% of it’s workers. For those of you keeping score at home, chalk up another Russian-controlled business fail.


Big Bang Monday: The White Hole

Check out this abstract

While most of the singularities of General Relativity are expected to be safely hidden behind event horizons by the cosmic censorship conjecture, we happen to live in the causal future of the classical big bang singularity, whose resolution constitutes the active field of early universe cosmology. Could the big bang be also hidden behind a causal horizon, making us immune to the decadent impacts of a naked singularity? We describe a braneworld description of cosmology with both 4d induced and 5d bulk gravity (otherwise known as Dvali-Gabadadze-Porati, or DGP model), which exhibits this feature: The universe emerges as a spherical 3-brane out of the formation of a 5d Schwarzschild black hole. In particular, we show that a pressure singularity of the holographic fluid, discovered earlier, happens inside the white hole horizon, and thus need not be real or imply any pathology. Furthermore, we outline a novel mechanism through which any thermal atmosphere for the brane, with comoving temperature of 20% of the 5D Planck mass can induce scale-invariant primordial curvature perturbations on the brane, circumventing the need for a separate process (such as cosmic inflation) to explain current cosmological observations. Finally, we note that 5D space-time is asymptotically flat, and thus potentially allows an S-matrix or (after minor modifications) AdS/CFT description of the cosmological big bang.

Got your head wrapped around it yet? Probably not. Our friends at Science Daily explain it a little more…

What we perceive as the big bang, they argue, could be the three-dimensional “mirage” of a collapsing star in a universe profoundly different than our own.

“Cosmology’s greatest challenge is understanding the big bang itself,” write Perimeter Institute Associate Faculty member Niayesh Afshordi, Affiliate Faculty member and University of Waterloo professor Robert Mann, and PhD student Razieh Pourhasan.

Conventional understanding holds that the big bang began with a singularity — an unfathomably hot and dense phenomenon of spacetime where the standard laws of physics break down. Singularities are bizarre, and our understanding of them is limited.

“For all physicists know, dragons could have come flying out of the singularity,” Afshordi says in an interview with Nature.

The problem, as the authors see it, is that the big bang hypothesis has our relatively comprehensible, uniform, and predictable universe arising from the physics-destroying insanity of a singularity. It seems unlikely.

So perhaps something else happened. Perhaps our universe was never singular in the first place.

Their suggestion: our known universe could be the three-dimensional “wrapping” around a four-dimensional black hole’s event horizon. In this scenario, our universe burst into being when a star in a four-dimensional universe collapsed into a black hole.

In our three-dimensional universe, black holes have two-dimensional event horizons — that is, they are surrounded by a two-dimensional boundary that marks the “point of no return.” In the case of a four-dimensional universe, a black hole would have a three-dimensional event horizon.

In their proposed scenario, our universe was never inside the singularity; rather, it came into being outside an event horizon, protected from the singularity. It originated as — and remains — just one feature in the imploded wreck of a four-dimensional star.

The researchers emphasize that this idea, though it may sound “absurd,” is grounded firmly in the best modern mathematics describing space and time. Specifically, they’ve used the tools of holography to “turn the big bang into a cosmic mirage.” Along the way, their model appears to address long-standing cosmological puzzles and — crucially — produce testable predictions.

Of course, our intuition tends to recoil at the idea that everything and everyone we know emerged from the event horizon of a single four-dimensional black hole. We have no concept of what a four-dimensional universe might look like. We don’t know how a four-dimensional “parent” universe itself came to be.

But our fallible human intuitions, the researchers argue, evolved in a three-dimensional world that may only reveal shadows of reality.

They draw a parallel to Plato’s allegory of the cave, in which prisoners spend their lives seeing only the flickering shadows cast by a fire on a cavern wall.

“Their shackles have prevented them from perceiving the true world, a realm with one additional dimension,” they write. “Plato’s prisoners didn’t understand the powers behind the sun, just as we don’t understand the four-dimensional bulk universe. But at least they knew where to look for answers.”

Still interested? I bet you are! Read more here. Relax: there’s a video on the Perimeter Institute site.


WBMSAT News Bits 08/08/2014

European DTH market may be poised for a significant shakeup in the coming months, following a proposed merger between three of the continent’s largest DTH platforms.
[NSR - 08/08/2014]

There is a mismatch between what entrepreneurs building large cubesat constellations want to buy and what traditional suppliers are offering.
[Space News - Space News - 08/08/2014]

Credit: Dennis Wingo graphic/Inset ISEE-3 Reboot Project artist’s concept by Mark Maxwell – Space News

A group including Google is to offer live streaming of data from satellite missions beginning with the Aug. 10 lunar flyby of NASA’s 36-year-old International Sun-Earth Explorer (ISEE)-3) through a new website called SpacecraftForAll.com.
[Space News - 08/08/2014]

SingTel Satellite joins forces with three of the world’s main maritime charities to help seafarers use onboard technology to keep in touch with loved ones at home.
[Satellite Spotlight - 08/08/2014]

Orbcomm expects revenue boost now that SpaceX has patched the firm’s “hole in the sky.”
[Space News - 08/08/2014]

Dismissed SpaceX employees sue over lack of warning.
[Space News - 08/08/2014]

MSTelcom extends agreement with Intelsat to expand satellite broadband services in Angola.
[TMCnet - 08/08/2014]

Avanti and iSAT sign multi-year contract to extend East Africa satellite broadband coverage.
[4-traders - 08/08/2014]

Afghan TV channel to be broadcast via Azerspace-1 satellite. [News.Az - 08/08/2014]

GVF launches online training courses to prepare students to complete the EUI Basic Technical Operator certification exam.
[SatNews - 08/08/2014]

Walton Enterprises expands de-ice systems manufacturing capacity through move to new facilities in San Bernardino, California.
[SatNews - 08/08/2014]

July 2014 marked end of period of no orders for full electric propulsion satellites since the March 2012 deal between Boeing, SpaceX, ABS and Satmex – SES, Eutelsat, and Aniara announced orders.
[NSR - 08/07/2014]

IBISWorld Satellite & Earth Communication Systems Services Procurement Category market research report updated; expects decline in prices in three years to 2014.
[PRWeb - 08/07/2014]

U.S. looks to Japan space program to close Pacific communications gap.
[Space Daily - 08/07/2014]

Well-known hacker to demonstrate ability to hack satellite communications equipment that ground troops use to co-ordinate movements and airlines use for navigation..
[News.com - 08/07/2014]

A new attitude system developed by the Air Force and a small business offers improved maneuverability capabilities for small space research satellites.
[SatNews - 08/07/2014]

UAE sets its sights on space by announcing a mission to Mars.
[Khaleej Times - 08/07/2014]

CASBAA is hopeful that India is closer to enacting long-awaited reforms to its satellite policies under the leadership of new Indian Prime Minister.
[Via Satellite - 08/07/2014]

COM DEV gets Authorizaton and Proceed contract for C- and Ku-band multiplexers and coaxial and waveguide switches for a customer’s high throughput satellite.
[Via Satellite - 08/07/2014]

Inmarsat establishes office in Beijing, China.
[CRIENGLISH.com - 08/07/2014]

Though departing subscribers have undercut subscriber additions, EchoStar still enjoys satellite broadband revenue gains.
[Space News - 08/07/2014]

Norsat secures $1.7 million order from Datacom for X-band marine VSAT terminals for a military project in Asia.
[The Wall Street Journal]

Digital rendering of a Firefly launch system. Photo: Firefly Space Systems – Space News

Small satellite startup launch company Firefly Space Systems recruits General Astronautics to join its strategic team.
[Via Satellite - 08/07/2014]

Cubesat – Satellite Evolution Group file image.

Universal Space Network moderated a meeting of 20 CubeSat industry leaders in an effort to develop a standardized communications package.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 08/07/2014]

Space Daily File image: Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite.

Fourth MUOS communication satellite clears launch-simulation test.
[Space Daily - 08/06/2014]

C-COM iNetVu antenna systems deployed to assist with communications during recent earthquake in China.
[Market Wired - 08/06/2014]

ILS forming review board in September to determine whether Proton should be cleared to return to commercial flight this fall.
[Space News - 08/06/2014]

Delivery of an RD 180 engine – Credit ULA photo – Space News

Notwithstanding sanctions, ULA is standing by for RD-180 deliveries through 2017.
[Space News - 08/06/2014]

Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA image – Space News

Europe’s comet-hunting Rosetta probe reaches “scientific Disneyland” after 10 years of cruising through space on trajectory to bring it to the comet.
[Space News - 08/06/2014]

Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA image – Sports Illustrated

Charter Communications will broadcast the SEC Network after ESPN reached an agreement with the satellite company.
[Sports Illustrated - 08/06/2014]

An oil rig towing. Photo: Jay Phagan (Flickr) – Space News

Nearly a quarter of RigNet’s revenue for the second quarter of the fiscal year came from the $25 million acquisition of Inmarsat’s enterprise energy business unit.
[Via Satellite - 08/06/2014]

Generation Orbit’s Flight Experiment Testbed. Photo: Generation Orbit – Space News

Generation Orbit Launch Service successfully completed captive-carry test flight for its air-launch SmallSat vehicle.
[Via Satellite - 08/06/2014]

D’Amico launches shipboard communications app, toctoc, that acts as hub to synchronise and connect to smartphone contacts and across range of social media channels.
[Digital Ship - 08/06/2014]

PAR Technology Corporation subsidiary Rome Research Corporation gets contract potentially worth $23.5 million to continue support to operate and maintain NAVSATCOMMFAC Northwest.
[The Wall Street Journal - 08/06/2014]

Orange Niger taps Intelsat for cellular backhaul services.
[Via Satellite - 08/06/2014]

SpaceX Falcon 9 launch of Asiasat 8 – Credit: SpaceX – CBS News

SpaceX Falcon 9 launches AsiaSat 8 communications satellite.
[CBS News - 08/05/2014]

SpaceX to build world’s first commercial site for orbital rocket launches in the southernmost tip of Texas.
[R&D Magazine - 08/05/2014]

SSL to build Intelsat 36 satellite.
[Via SAtellite - 08/05/2014]

Google closes Skybox Imaging purchase.
[Via Satellite - 08/05/2014]

Empowering Mission-Critical Broadband Satellite Communications for Naval Vessels – SatNews

ORBIT Communication Systems announces that it has received a $2.5 million order to provide satellite communication systems to one of the world’s principal navies.
[SatNews - 08/05/2014]

SkyVision wins VSAT deal with Bank of Africa Burkina Faso.
[Via Satellite - 08/05/2014]

Steadily increasing capacity, reduced costs, modular functionality and higher data transfer rates now mean satellite communications can exceed even the most stringent requirements for public safety communications, all delivered through a more robust network than 4G LTE.
[Government Video - 08/05/2014]

Frontline Communications partners with TVU Networks to introduce new cellular/microwave/satellite IP vehicle solution.
[CNN Money - 08/05/2014]

United Launch Alliance carries the Air Force’s seventh Global Positioning System (GPS 2F-7) satellite to space.
[Via Satellite - 08/04/2014]

Iridium has delivered the first satellite engineering model for the upcoming Iridium NEXT constellation.
[SatNews - 08/04/2014]

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. CEO feels that applying Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) consumer technology to satellite will continue to revolutionize satellite design over the next decade.
[Via Satellite - 08/04/2014]

Booz Allen Hamilton Engineering Services will introduce to the public safety community its new next-generation broadband deployable communications system.
[MarketWatch - 08/04/2014]

NSR Report provides comprehensive market analysis of the three major methods of UltraHD consumption via satellite – DTH, IPTV, and Cable distribution.
[NSR Report - August 2014]

WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

Technical Proposals System Acceptance Testing
Link Analysis System Quality Testing
Systems Engineering Project Management
Systems Integration Satellite Industry Research

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Black Eye for Satcom at Black Hat?

This week, at Black Hat USA in Las Vegas, Ruben Santamarta is to present his findings of how he was able to hack satcom terminals, at least in theory.

At first glance, especially with lots of alarming details from DailyTech, you’d think the party for in-flight WiFi via satcom was over. Their piece was based on a Reuters story, which wasn’t as frightening.

The theoretical hack involves low-bandwidth services using Inmarsat and Thuraya. In-flight broadband uses more bandwidth and wasn’t really included in the study. Managing unmanned terminals is common in this industry segment.

Take a look at the white paper (PDF) published by IOActive and see for yourself. You can be sure all those mentioned in the 25-page report are asking their engineers if this is indeed possible.

I wouldn’t worry about it much.