Archive for the ‘Communications’ Category

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 03/17/2012

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

14 month epic saga by Lockheed and USAF experts to save the first $1.7 billion Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite after it failed to reach proper orbit following launch may have been necessitated by a piece of cloth left in a fuel line.
[Washington Post – 03/17/2012]

North Korean plans to launch satellite meet with widespread criticism.
[The Telegraph – 03/17/2012]

Azerbaijan minister of Communications and Information Technologies expects the country’s needs for satellite communications to increase four-fold, given the mountainous terrain of much of the country.
[Trend – 03/17/2012]

LightSquared files opposition to FCC’s proposal to terminate the company’s authority to launch a nationwide network using the same frequencies as its mobile satellite service, claiming that 7 years of support for the plan over two administrations led the company to invest over $4 billion in the project, and termination leads to regulatory uncertainty that discourages needed investment in the nation’s wireless infrastructure.
[Market Watch – 03/16/2012]

New Boeing contracts with Asia Broadcast Satellite and Satellites Mexicanos feature the first all-electric commercial satellites that use light-weight xenon-fueled ion thrusters to cut satellite weight and launch costs.
[Aviation week – 03/16/2012]

Russian government to intentionally guide the large Express-AM4 telecommunications satellite, which was launched into useless orbit last August, into controlled atmospheric descent beginning March 20.
[Space – 03/16/2012]

Sprint terminates contract with LightSquared.
[CNN Money – 03/16/2012]

Head of National Broadband Plan talks about team’s successes, and the difficulty with finding spectrum for broadband illustrated by difficulties of LightSquared.
[Telecompetitor – 03/16/2012]

Globalstar VP says spectrum issues for national broadband capacity will be solved by engineers, not lawyers.
[Satellite Today – 03/16/2012]

Originally intended as “gap-filler” until now defunct TSAT became operational, WGS satellite program has become model of efficient satellite procurement as USAF orders continue, with 10 satellites now on order.
[Aviation Week – 03/16/2012]

Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE, chooses Eutelsat’s KA-SAT for its unique approach to ensure that all homes in the Irish Republic will benefit from free reception of the RTE public service television and radio channels.
[SatNews – 03/16/2012]

Glowlink wins contract to provide spectrum-monitoring equipment for the U.S. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration satellites.
[Satellite Today – 03/16/2012]

NovelSat modems, using technology aiming to increase satellite bandwidth capacity by 20 percent to 55 percent more than current DVB-S2 technology, are approved by Intelsat for use on its transponders.
[Satellite Today – 03/16/2012]

Astrium Services signs new multi-year contract with the French MoD’s Joint Logistices and Supply Agency to continue providing private satellite communications services to French forces deployed overseas.
[SatNews – 03/15/2012]

KVH is selected as preferred satellite communications solution provider for independent ship manager V Ships and will deliver mini-VSAT enhanced data applications to its fleet of more than 1,000 vessels.
[Satellite Today – 03/15/2012]

First global high-resolution map of boundary between Earth’s crust and mantle is produced based on data from ESA’s GOCE gravity satellite.
[SatNews – 03/15/2012]

Turnkey Satellite Uplink facility in North Platte, Nebraska constructed within four weeks of permit approval for major satellite internet provider by Oldcastle Precast using modular pre-cast building.
[ – 03/15/2012]

DISA nears end of FCSA commercial satellite services build-out.
[Defense Systems – 03/15/2012]

Space Systems/Loral provides on time delivery of NASA propulsion system for moon exploration mission.
[Space Ref – 03/15/2012]

New DARPA Space Enabled Effects for Military Engagements program seeks to employ quickly deployable, disposable small and inexpensive satellites to meet need for military hotspots speedily.
[PC Magazine – 03/15/2012]

Ka-band’s surprising revenue leader is DirecTV.
[Space News – 03/15/2012]

Norsat’s 2011 full-year sales spike 90 percent despite satellite slump.
[Satellite Today – 03/15/2012]

Dish Network’s Hopper whole-home DVR system, introduced at CES earlier this year, is now available to its customers
[CED Magazine – 03/15/2012]

U.S. Army anticipates purchasing all of its satellite communications systems and support services through CTS, a single, Multiple-Award Task-Order Contract with up to ten awardees.
[Gov Win – 03/14/2012]

NASA’s Robotic Refueling Mission experiment aboard International Space Station demonstrates that remotely controlled robots and specialized tools can perform precise satellite-servicing tasks in space.
[SatNews – 03/14/2012]

Eutelsat reorganizes names of its Satellites, unifying them under the company brand name.
[Satellite Today – 03/14/2012]

Globalstar, reporting positive quarterly adjusted EBITDA for the first time in four years, is expected to become world’s first LEO-based MSS provider with a second-generation constellation.
[SatNews – 03/141/2012]

Elwing Company, through its European affiliate Elwing Europe, announces agreement with Swedish satellite manufacturer OHB Sweden to partner in development of advanced platform technologies for satellites.
[SatNews – 03/14/2012]

Satellite contracts won by Boeing and SpaceX provide boost to California’s South Bay economy.
[Los Angeles Times – 03/13/2012]

Kratos is selected by Intelsat to extend its EPOCH Integrated Product Suite-based Fleet Control System to operate the Intelsat 27 satellite, currently under construction.
[SatNews – 03/13/2012]

Australian Satellite Communications deploys iDirect hub to support new partnership with Daltron, bringing satellite capabilities to Papua New Guinea-based ISP.
[Market Watch – 03/13/2012]

A new, dedicated VSAT Maritime Broadband Solutions Centre will be opened May 1, 2012 in Singapore by AST to specifically serve the Asia Pacific region.
[Satnews – 03/13/2012]

Verizon Mobile Satellite Services offers backup services and enhanced disaster recovery, using 20X20 ft. air shelters that can be set up in less than 20 minutes and provide protection from extreme weather for up to 12 people.
[Market Watch – 03/13/2012]

SES Government Services to be featured in Business Update on Aerospace and Defense on the Discovery Channel on March 21.
[Market Watch – 03/13/2012]

SES and ITC Global renew capacity deal to provide connectivity to rigs and vessels throughout the Gulf of Mexico region.
[SatNews – 03/13/2012]

SpaceX signs contracts with Asia Broadcast Satellite and Satelites Mexicanos for two launches aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.
[SatNews – 03/13/2012]

Eutelsat and Es’hailSat select Arianespace to launch their EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 satellite in 2nd quarter of 2013 aboard Ariane 5 launcher.
[SatNews – 03/12/2012]

Diversified Communications Inc. selects TCS to provide mixed C- and Ku-band access to its TCS OS-IRIS offering hosted on Intelsat 14. [Market Watch – 03/12/2012]

Dish Network closes on purchases of DBSD North America and TerreStar, important to its broadband plans.
[Market Watch – 03/12/2012]

WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

Et tu, Hesse?

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

“Beware the Ides of March,” they told Caesar. Lightsquared is facing a milestone date on 15 March 2012 in their agreement with Sprint. According to Bloomberg, the part of Brutus will be played by Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint

Sprint Nextel Corp. plans to end a network-sharing agreement with billionaire Philip Falcone’s LightSquared Inc. wireless venture as early as next week, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Sprint is preparing to take the step as LightSquared approaches a March 15 deadline to meet certain conditions under the agreement, said the people, who wouldn’t be identified because the information isn’t public. Sprint and LightSquared struck an 11-year deal to share network expansion costs and equipment in June provided LightSquared secure regulatory approvals for its wireless service by December. Though Sprint pushed the deadline back, it doesn’t plan more extensions, the people said.

The loss of Sprint would fuel concerns about the viability of LightSquared and mark another setback for Falcone. The hedge fund manager has invested about $3 billion from his Harbinger Capital Partners in LightSquared in an effort to create a national wireless carrier to compete against AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless.

Playing the part of Julius Ceasar will be Philip Falcone.

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 02/18/2012

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Falcone’s telecom troubles mount, as the Harbinger Fund investments in LightSquared jeopardize investors’ value and a group of investors sues in federal court.
[Wall Street Journal – 02/18/2012]

Latest Pentagon spending plans scale back push to use commercial satellites to supplement the military’s communication and space efforts.
[Wall Street Journal – 02/17/2012]

Second attempt to launch Atlas V rocket with first MUOS satellite is scrubbed due to weather conditions.
[Central Florida News – 02/17/2012]

U.S. bankruptcy court approves TerreStar reorganization plan; Dish Network prepared to close previously approved acquisitions of TerreStar and DBSD upon FCC approval of license transfers.
[Satellite Today – 02/17/2012]

Eutelsat and ViaSat receive Industry Innovators Awards from the Society of Satellite Professionals International for development and launch of their High Throughput broadband Satellites, KA-SAT and ViaSat-1.
[Sacramento Bee – 02/17/2012]

General Dynamics demonstrates first MUOS satellite-based communications on JTRS HMS Radio.
[Market Watch – 02/17/2012]

NSR free webinar coming February 22 – Military budget cuts and troop drawdowns: What’s the impact on commercial satcoms?
[NSR – 02/17/2012]

NASA selects 33 small “cubesat” satellites to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard rockets.
[SatNews – 02/17/2012]

Global Satellite USA launches Iridium Pilot, Iridium’s second-generation maritime broadband platform.
[SatNews 02/17/2012]

Satlink expands the reach of God’s Leaning Channel into Asia on the ABS1 satellite at 75 degrees East.
[SatNews – 02/17/2012]

United States, in review of future satellite needs, examines opportunities to increase international collaboration and orders from commercial providers, U.S. Air Force official says.
[Fox Business – 02/16/2012]

SES-4 successfully performs post-launch maneuvers.
[Market Watch – 02/16/2012]

Media Networks Latin American signs long-term capacity deal with SES fior multiple transponders on AMC-4 to launch new DTH wholesale pay TV service.
[SatNews – 02/16/2012]

LightSquared may be looking to Department of Defense to save its LTE network; FCC still believes satellite spectrum can be used for wireless buildout but will tread more carefully next time.
[Washington Post – 02/16/2012]

Avanti partner STM buys Ka band capacity on HYLAS 1 to enable launch of Enterprise services in Spain.
[Proactive Investors – 02/15/2012]

Comtech EF Data wins Industry Innovators Award from Society of Satellite Professionals International for MetaCarrier technology that adds carrier ID information to a reference carrier using spread spectrum technology.
[Market Watch – 02/15/2012]

Officials eye changes to GPS receivers, but move comes too late for LightSquared.
[Nextgov – 02/15/2012]

NSR reports that FCC statement all but negates years of work from both the FCC and the mobile satellite industry.
[SatNews – 02/15/2012]

Swiss to build clean-up satellites to attack the space junk issue.
[R&D Magazine – 02/15/2012]

ORBIT Communication Systems and Milano Teleport receive orders for complete C-band VSAT solution for supertankers of one of worlds leading shipping companies based in Greece.
[SatNews – 02/15/2012]

Newly announced Intellian t80W maritime satellite TV antenna system uses WorldView LNB that automatically switches polarization and frequency according to satellite tracking onto, and satellite control system intelligence and dual antenna system that allows seamless reception of TV programs on a global basis.
[SatNews – 02/15/2012]

Harris CapRock Communications signs contract to provide telecommunications systems and infrastructure for Chevron’s Big Foot platform project in the Gulf of Mexico.
[SatNews – 02/15/2012]

IO Sat one of first customers providing services on Spacecom’s AMOS-5 satellite.
[SatNews – 02/15/2012]

NASA budget request includes funding for again launching astronauts, further exploration into space, and continuing research, providing jobs and technology that will boost the economy.
[SatNews – 02/13/2012]

Google applies for FCC licenses for “antenna farm” in Kansas that hint at possible super head-end for capturing satellite television signals for over-fiber distribution.
[Kansas City Star – 02/14/2012]

FCC bars use of satellite spectrum terrestrially for broadband networks, sending LightSquared back to Square One.
[New York Times – 02/14/2012]

Gilat develops customized solution for O3b Networks’ satellite network.
[Globes – 02/14/2012]

Xplornet Communications’ 4G broadband satellite service on ViaSat-1 goes live over Canada.
[Digital Journal – 02/14/2012]

Global Telesat Corp. launches E-Commerce mobile satellite solutions portal on worldwide web.
[Market Watch – 02/14/2012]

ORBIT awarded services contract from U.S. Air Force to install service communication management systems on KC-135 Stratotankers.
[Market Watch – 02/14/2012]

UtiliSat to offer end-to-end managed network services to U.S. government agencies under new GSA custom SATCOM solutions small business contract.
[Market Watch – 02/14/2012]

FAB Express Trucking selects VeriWise(TM) satellite tracking systems to manage dry van fleet.
[Market Watch – 02/14/2012]

Obama budget targets LightSquared.
[Nextgov – 02/13/2011]

YAHSAT begins transmission of High TV 3D.
[Satellite Today – 02/13/2012]

ViaSat phases out WildBlue brand for new Exede service on ViaSat 1.
[Satellite Today – 02/13/2012]

Spectacular view from International Space Station includes lights of hundreds of cities plus massive Aurora Borealis on the horizon.
[SatNews – 02/13/2012]

WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services


Happy New Year — From Times Square

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Missing out on being in New York for the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square? Don’t go: downlink it!

LIVE coverage in North America…

Via Fiber in HD — Saturday, December 31, 2011; 5:55 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. EST — The New York Switch: PL-5C

Via Satellite in HD — Saturday, December 31, 2011; 10:00 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. EST

  • C-band: AMC 1, Transponder C24 SLOT A; Orbital Location 103-deg. West; Downlink Frequency 4171 Vertical, Bandwidth 18 MEG, FEC 3 / 4, Symbol Rate 13.0
  • Ku-band: AMC 1, Transponder K16 SLOT A, Orbital Location 103-deg. West, Downlink Frequency 12011 Vertical, Bandwidth 18 MEG, FEC 3 / 4, Symbol Rate 13.0
  • Technical Contact: Lenny Laxer 917-299-0205

…and Internationally…

Via Satellite in SD 16:9 — Saturday, December 31, 2011 – 11:45 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. EST (Sunday, January 1, 2012 0445-0515 GMT)

  • EUROPE: IS 905 61/61 slot A, Orbital Location 335.5-deg. East; Downlink Frequency 10958.5 Vertical, FEC 3 /4,Symbol Rate 6.1113; Bandwidth 9 MEG, Compression Tandberg 4:2:0, Video Standard PAL
  • LATIN AMERICA: IS 9 24C, Slot A, Orbital Location 58-deg. West; Downlink Frequency 4146.5 Horizontal, FEC 3/4,
  • ASIA: IS 5 23C, VIRTUAL CHANNEL 2, Orbital Location 169-deg. East; Downlink Frequency 4160 Horizontal, FEC 3/4,Symbol Rate 6.1113, Bandwidth 9 MEG, Video Standard PAL
  • AFRICA: IS10 15C, Slot B, Orbital Location 68.5-deg. East; Downlink Frequency 3836.5 Vertical, FEC 3/4,Symbol Rate 6.1113, Bandwidth 9 MEG, Compression Tandberg 4:2:0, Video Standard PAL
  • Technical Contact: Lenny Laxer 917-299-0205

The Thrilla is Gone

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Well, at least one of them.

Smokin Joe Frazier passed away. Why does it matter to rocket scientists? He was one of the two boxers who fought in the Thrilla in Manila on 30 September 1975 (1 October locally, for all you international dateliners). The other was Muhammad Ali and it was their third fight, carried via satellite for closed-circuit viewing in the U.S. and, most importantly, to cable systems experimenting with using C-band satellites for distributing video to their cable headends.

It worked. HBO went from tower-to-tower distribution to full national availability via satellite. In fact, it was their commitment to RCA Americom that incubated, nurtured and grew the domestic satellite system to be the best in the world.

Without the Thrilla in Manila, I doubt so many fine rocket scientists would be employed today. Although that’s changing, too.

Here’s a fitting video tribute to that boxing match…

Highway to Hughes

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

I love a good customer service “moment of truth” situation. Something that’ll either keep or boot a customer. Whether it’s B2B or B2C, this is a moment when you should delight the customer — or else.

HughesNet just blew it in Texas. The report, via the Austin American-Statesman

When a police officer in their driveway screamed for Ken and Linda Schutt to evacuate their home as a wildfire closed in, they grabbed two dogs, three framed photos and clothes in a suitcase. Two days later, they surveyed what was left of their double-wide mobile home and started taking care of business: call the insurance company, the utilities and HughesNet, their satellite Internet provider. That’s when the headaches began.

Linda Schutt said she called the Maryland-based HughesNet to cancel service and couldn’t believe how the customer representative handled the call.

“She wanted me to send back the equipment — the dish, the cable and modem. When I asked her what part of me saying that our house burned to the ground that she didn’t understand, she insisted I return their equipment. If we didn’t, she said we owed $100,” Linda Schutt said.

The Schutts temporarily put aside dealing with HughesNet. They’d lost everything in the Sept. 5 fire, including the American flag that was used on the casket of Linda Schutt’s brother after he was killed in the Vietnam War.

The week after the fire, she wrote HughesNet a letter complaining about the service and saying she’d never use the company again.

“I included the burned satellite dish because that’s all that we found. It wasn’t any good, but since they insisted they wanted their equipment, we sent what we could find,” she said.

On Saturday, Linda Schutt got a call from someone who she thought was a HughesNet representative. “I thought he was calling about my letter, but I later found out it was a bill-collecting agency,” she said.

That call also didn’t end well. “He also told me we owed $100 for the equipment,” she said.

On Tuesday, Schutt said she noticed Hughes withdrew $106.25 from her bank account, presumably the cost to replace the equipment.

Statesman Watch contacted HughesNet on the Schutts’ behalf. Spokeswoman Judy Blake said the complaint was referred to the company’s executive customer service team. Within minutes, HughesNet called Linda Schutt to tell her the $106.25 would be credited back to her bank account.

“I’m sorry that she went through that,” Blake said, referring to the customer service representative who first spoke with Schutt. “I don’t know what went wrong, but perhaps the customer rep didn’t have the authority to give her credit or thought about asking a higher-up.”

Schutt is happy to get the refund. “But that wasn’t the point. We could afford the $100. It’s just that after all we’d been through, they could have been a little understanding. It’s the principle. If Statesman Watch hadn’t called on our behalf, we’d still be fighting this,” she said.

The good people at Hughes should be reminded of the Two Rules of Business:

  1. The customer is always right.
  2. If the customer is ever wrong, re-read rule #1.

Soybeans and Satellites

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Don’t mess with farmers — especially soybean farmers. They farmed $38.9 billion last year and now they’re getting together with 12 other national farmer groups to pick a fight with LightSquared.

The American Soybean Association (ASA) and a coalition of 12 other national producer groups that represent American farmers and all major crop commodities are urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to conduct additional targeted testing to ensure that any potential commercial terrestrial services offered by LightSquared will not cause harmful interference to Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) operations utilized by farmers to facilitate the production of an abundant and dependable food supply. In the agricultural sector, GPS-based technologies are responsible for an estimated $19 billion in higher annual farm revenue, in addition to considerable safety and environmental benefits. Thus, much is at stake for precision agriculture and this is why comprehensive testing is so important.

It would be totally unacceptable to expect the GPS community including government users, farmers, and other taxpayers to bear any cost for replacing equipment that ceases to function properly if solutions are found enabling LightSquared to move forward. Any costs associated with retrofitting or replacing GPS receivers must be borne by LightSquared.

“As users of GPS precision equipment in agricultural applications, we believe this additional testing is imperative,” said ASA First Vice President Steve Wellman, a farmer from Syracuse, Neb. “We need to know with certainty that any modifications and proposed solutions will work for new and existing precision agriculture equipment.”

Get in line, soy boys!

Interesting how LightSquared gave it a completely different spin

This week, we received a strong endorsement of our view that LightSquared and GPS can co-exist from several of the country’s leading agricultural organizations: the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Sugar Alliance, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Farmers Union, National Potato Council and the Western Growers Association. These groups signed a joint letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture committees calling for them to work to ensure that the agricultural sector receives the benefits of LightSquared’s network alongside GPS. “We believe that both of these technologies have great potential to drive economic development in rural America and a reasonable agreement should be reached to allow for their future success,” the organizations wrote.

The soy boys aren’t endorsing you, so don’t interfere with GPS.

The Price Is Right

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

There are a lot of very smart people in the satcom business. Rocket scientists, engineers and business-heads find ways to make money. Good money. We’re talking 80% EBITDAs. You don’t have margins like that without knowing what you’re doing.

You’ve got to plan ahead years in advance, making sure your space assets are fully utilized. The radio spectrum you own is the most prized “asset” you’ve got. You can always build more spacecraft, but you can’t make more spectrum. Unless you find ways to either make better use of what you got or go out and get spectrum that’s not being used effectively.

Great. Now go out and sell it, baby!

Pricing is the real challenge. New satcom services priced to assure an 80% EBITDA are destined to fail, as they’re based on costs incurred many years before service launch. And what do we know of today’s data communications pricing schemes? They move fast. Very fast. Extremely competitive, too, so prices move lower and lower. Iridium? Financial disaster: pricing was based on mobile costs-per-minute in the 1990’s. When they launched, people were paying a fraction of that. As Iridium was about to go belly-up, the U.S. DoD steps in and says “we’ll carry you after bankruptcy.” Why? Iridium covered the globe with a diverse path for communications, and that’s very valuable. But not at that old price.

Diversity is for when other communications fail or are unavailable. We always thought a combination iPhone that uses the S-band for connectivity when regular signal or WiFi are not available would be oh so cool. So maybe now our vision might be realized.

With Dish Network as the “stalking horse bidder” in the TerreStar Networks bankruptcy auction, they see something not readily apparent to others. It’s the spectrum, stupid. Yes, TerreStar has S-band spectrum for CONUS service, but they also have authority for a combined satellite and ancillary terrestrial component (ATC) service. The FCC granted authority in January, 2010. This is really good and it comes without the GPS interference crap that LightSquared has to contend with.

Good move. Dish has a chance to sell mobile data plans with their current TV service packages — or perhaps future packages for on-demand (Blockbuster) or à la carte services to appeal to the growing number of cord-cutters.

Two scenarios emerge: (1) Dish Network adds reasonably-priced mobile data plans to satellite TV services, and (2) an alternate mobile telecom infrastructure emerges to augment today’s overloaded terrestrial networks.

Dean Olmstead was a fan of TerreStar, so he probably had much to do with laying plans to make this kind of move before he passed on.

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 06/10/2011

Friday, June 10th, 2011

International satellite Aquarius/SAC-D built in Argentina and carrying NASA instruments is carried into orbit by Delta 2 rocket in launch from Vandenberg AFB.
[SatNews – 06/10/2011]

SES-3 satellite arrives safely at Baikonour Launch Base aboard Anatov cargo plane, scheduled for July 10, 2011 liftoff.
[4-traders – 06/10/2011]

Northrop Grumman completes systems requirement review for new spacecraft bus to reduce costs to space operations, under NASA contract in support of DoD.
[SatNews – 06/10/2011]

exactEarth books multiple orders for its global vessel tracking and monitoring system.
[SatNews – 06/10/2011]

MDA receives $8.1M contract for multi-satellite ground station for an unnamed customer.
[Satellite Today – 06/10/2011]

Boeing receives Thales Alenia Space contract to provide system integration and testing support for Iridium NEXT.
[SatNews – 06/09/2011]

Taiwanese operator Chunghwa Telecom informs New Tang Dynasty TF that it will not renew contract because new ST-2 satellite does not have enough broadband to carry NTDTV signals.
[Satellite Today – 06/09/2011]

Romantis, international group of companies specializing in space trading and VSAT network solutions, forms Romantis Inc. in Montreal offering satellite capacity, ground infrastructure, VSAT hardware, and IP and video solutions.
[SatNews – 06/09/2011]

Advantech Wireless to deliver VSAT equipment, including new DVB-RCS VSAT hubs and hardware to one of China’s largest satellite communications providers, as it renews supplier contract.
[SatNews – 06/09/2011]

Northrop Grumman provides power system for first spacecraft to orbit Mercury that works to its maximum even in searing heat surrounding closest planet to sun.
[SatNews – 06/09/2011]

NewCom International of Miami adds worldwide satellite phone coverage and mobile global broadband services to its bundled communications portfolio.
[SatNews – 06/09/2011]

Gilat selected by one of Russia’s largest telecom operators to expand network reach of data and telephony services with SkyEdge II broadband satellite network.
[SatNews – 06/09/2011]

Gateway Communications and Altobridges’ combined remote community satellite solution, African Cell Direct/Altobridge lite-site, is named best ‘Wholesale Service Innovation’ at Global Telecoms Business Innovation Awards.
[SatNews – 06/09/2011]

Echostar closes $2B deal for Hughes Communications.
[Denver Business Journal – 06/08/2011]

Astrium will build Measat-3b satellite.
[Satellite Today – 06/08/2011]

Clear Channel Radio announces that five of its stations started simulcasting on XM satellite radio.
[Wall Street Journal – 06/08/2011]

Raytheon completes upgrade of Antarctic satellite communications system at McMurdo Sound, increasing the off-continent communications bandwidth from 20 Mbps to 60 Mbps and integrating alternate downlink station in Australia.
[UPI – 06/08/2011]

Second set of six satellites for Globalstar G2 constellation being prepped for July launch.
[SatNews – 06/08/2011]

Latest solar flare, generating greatest amount of radiation since 2006, could threaten satellite communications.
[mystateline – 06/08/2011]

VT iDirect survey indicates that up to 30% of maritime non-users of VSAT may conduct trials of VSAT within the next 24 months.
[Satellite Spotlight – 06/08/2011]

AT&T Government Solutions gets task order to support U.S. Marine Corps’ MoraleSat Program.
[TechZone360 – 06/08/2011]

Soyuz and NASA astronauts travel as a team aboard Russian spacecraft to the International Space Station.
[SatNews – 06/07/2011]

Nigeria’s National Space Research and Development Agency announces that it will launch two new satellites by the end of June.
[Satellite Today – 06/07/2011]

Data from GPS testing in Las Vegas area indicates LightSquared transmitters interfere with high-precision GPS receivers within 1,800 meters and medium precision receivers within 1,200 meters of tower.
[GPS World – 06/07/2011]

KVH mini-VSAT, integrated with KVH’s CommBox Ship/Shore Network Manager, being selected by many competitive fleet operators to meet new ECDIS regulations from the International Maritime Organization.
[SatNews – 06/07/2011]

NSR predicts over $250B in satellite hardware to be orbited by 2025, with over 1,600 satellites to be launched for replacement satellites, growth of Ka-band satellites, and government, science and navigations applications.
[NSR – 06/07/2011]

Trailblazers in digital voice and data communication Irwin Mark Jacobs and Jack Keil Wolf wing prestigious 2011 Marconi Prize.
[benzinga – 06/07/2011]

Telepresence and HD videoconferencing over satellite made possible from anywhere on the planet by Emerging Markets Communications.
[Telepresence Options – 06/07/2011]

Missouri Hospital Association relies on rapid satellite deployments by Spacenet to meet emergency communications needs.
[infoTECH – 06/07/2011]

Departing Nigerian Science and Technology Minister urges the National Space Research and Development Agency and Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited to close ranks and maintain peace over launch of NigeriaSat2.
[SatNews – 06/07/2011]

Members of Software Practitioners of Nigeria confident that satellite projects of Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited capable of improving Nigeria’s economy and taking it to the next level of advanced technology.
[Afrique en ligne – 06/07/2011]

International mission aims to measure saltiness of the sea, with instruments from the United States and other nations aboard an Argentine-built spacecraft to be launched this week from Vandenburg.
[R&D Magazine – 06/06/2011]

Boeing set to lay off 510 employees in its Space Exploration division as the Space Shuttle program comes to an end.
[SatNews – 06/06/2011]

Metacom develops low-cost satellite communications solution ideal for low usage industrial and commercial applications in remote areas of Southern Africa.
[SatNews – 06/06/2011]

Mitsubishi Electric plans to double satellite production capability.
[Satellite Spotlight – 06/06/2011]

UK Government Cabinet Office’s Civil Contingencies Secretariat to discuss its High Integrity Telecommunications System project with Paradigm at CNI 2011 in London.
[info4 Security – 06/06/2011]

Indian former communications and IT minister Dayanidhi Maran takes control of granting spectrum to satellite channels and telecom firms, in direct conflict of interest with his family’s satellite TV business.
[Hindustan Times – 06/06/2011]

Philippine lawmaker expresses grave concern over China’s access to only Philippine satellite Agila 2, in light of China’s continued military aggression in disputed Spratly group of islands.
[Journal Online – 06/06/2011]

Thomas Choi of Asia Broadcast Satellite states that Africa and the Middle-East lose at least $1.4B in annual local market share of satellite communications because of spectrum assignments to Europe and American markets.
[SatNews – 06/06/2011]

STMicroelectronics introduces first member of family of power transistors fully qualified for use in electronic subsystems on board satellites and launchers.
[EETimes – 06/06/2011]

Broadband to be hot topic and CommuncAsia tradeshow according to organizer Singapore Exhibition Services.
[ZDNet Asia – 06/06/2011]

Indra to supply rapid deployment satellite communications systems to Brazil’s armed forces.
[defpro – 06/06/2011]

WBMSAT PS satellite communications systems services

Cornell’s Cracker in Space

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

How small can a satellite get? The answer, my rocket scientist friend, in blowing in the solar wind. It’s not big or red, but it is from Cornell University

The thin, 1-inch-square chips, in development for three years in the lab of Mason Peck, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, will be mounted to the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE-8) pallet, which will be attached to the space station, exposing them to the harsh conditions of space to see how they hold up and transmit data.

Although grapefruit-size satellites have been launched before, they have functioned much like larger satellites. The flight dynamics of a chip satellite are fundamentally different from these larger “CubeSats.”

“Their small size allows them to travel like space dust,” said Peck. “Blown by solar winds, they can ‘sail’ to distant locations without fuel. … We’re actually trying to create a new capability and build it from the ground up. … We want to learn what’s the bare minimum we can design for communication from space,” Peck said.

When the MISSE-8 panel is removed and returned to Earth in a few years, the survival of the prototypes will be assessed.

The trip to space is the result of a phone call about a year ago, when one of Peck’s colleagues called to ask if he had anything small that could be ready within a few weeks time to put on the MISSE-8 pallet, as a small patch of space had opened up.

“He didn’t know that we had been working on the satellite-on-a-chip program for a long time, and over the next week we put together these prototypes,” Peck said.

The three prototypes were built entirely by three Cornell students when they were undergraduates — Ryan Zhou ’10 and doctoral candidates Zac Manchester ’09 and Justin Atchison ’10.

The prototypes are physically identical, but each transmits differently. “They all emit at the same frequency … [but] they are different and distinct from each other in ways that we can recognize on the ground,” said Peck. “That’s very important because it’s a pathfinder for something we hope to do in the future. We want to launch a huge number of these things simultaneously but still sort out which is which.”

The current prototypes are mostly made of commercial parts, but Peck’s group has partnered with Draper Lab in Boston to work on making a more space-ready prototype.

“We’re seeing such an explosion in personal electronics … all these components are super high performance, and they have far outstripped what the aerospace industry has at its disposal,” said Peck, noting that these technologies were used on the small satellites.

Cornell, he added, plays a leading role in the field of chip satellites. “We are definitely the first to launch something, and we are the first to be looking at the flight dynamics as a way to enable new ways to explore space,” he said.

Watch the local news report on this “Sputnik on a chip” from Newschannel 9/WYSR-TV