Archive for November, 2009

11-11 Campaign

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Hey, got $11 to spare? Sure you do.


A Toast to Prof. Einstein

Monday, November 9th, 2009

George Bernard Shaw, in 1930…


Read most of the toast via Google Books…


Giant Cosmic Kite

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Travelling through space using waves of light — or photons.

Sir Arthur supported this concept, which is noted in tomorrow’s New York Times Science Section :

There is a long line of visionaries, stretching back to the Russian rocket pioneers Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Fridrich Tsander and the author Arthur C. Clarke, who have supported this idea. “Sails are just a marvelous way of getting around the universe,” said Freeman Dyson, of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and a longtime student of the future, “but it takes a long time to imagine them becoming practical.”

The solar sail receives its driving force from the simple fact that light carries not just energy but also momentum — a story told by every comet tail, which consists of dust blown by sunlight from a comet’s core. The force on a solar sail is gentle, if not feeble, but unlike a rocket, which fires for a few minutes at most, it is constant. Over days and years a big enough sail, say a mile on a side, could reach speeds of hundreds of thousands of miles an hour, fast enough to traverse the solar system in 5 years. Riding the beam from a powerful laser, a sail could even make the journey to another star system in 100 years, that is to say, a human lifespan.

Excellent graphic to go with this piece, which is typical for the NYT.

The Planetary Society is behind this project, funded my an anonymous donor.


Artists rendition of LightSail-1 by Rick Sternbach. Credit: Planetary Society

Two-Buck Chuck

Monday, November 9th, 2009


Dish Network announced good results today, including a special $2 dividend:

 Dish Network Corp. (DISH) Chief Executive Charles Ergen said Monday that dividends are "always on the table" for the satellite-TV provider.

The comments come on the heels of Dish’s $2-per-share dividend payout, which took Wall Street by surprise because the company tends to avoid returning cash to shareholders.

Dish did attempt to use the cash to make an acquisition or reinvest in the business, but couldn’t find a good use for the funds, Ergen told analysts Monday. He was reluctant to spend on the business with the overhang of TiVo Inc. (TIVO) litigation still lingering.

Although the opinion at Barron’s is to take the money, I think the prospects remain good for satellite TV.


WBMSAT News Bits for November 6, 2009

Friday, November 6th, 2009

GlobeCast will provide its Content Exchange solution to the French multihull yacht Crepes Whaou for the 9th annnual Transat Jacques Vabre transatlantic sailing competition.
[SatNews – 11/06/2009]

Microsoft Corp. selects partners Akamai Technologies and iStreamPlanet work with Microsoft to provide integrated end-to-end solution to deliver live and on-demand video of Vancouver Olympic Winter Games.
[SatNews – 11/06/2009]

Avanti’s HYLAS arrives at ISRO facility in India where it will be integrated into the platform and prepared for launch, on schedule for 2Q launch in 2010.
SatNews – 11/05/2009]

Globalstar opens new gateway expanding coverage into oil rich Nigeria and Western Africa.
[CNNMoney – 11/05/2009]

ViaSat announces new contract awards of $225.7M in second quarter, and discusses plans to utilize compelling capacity on upcoming ViaSat-1 satellite for recently acquired WildBlue’s resources and distribution.
[SatNews – 11/05/2009]

DirecTV’s third-quarter profit up slightly, although customer cancellation rate may signal a coming end to the insulation from the competitive fray DirecTV has enjoyed the past several quarters.
[Wall Street Journal – 11/05/2009]

RapidEye announces frame contract with European Space Agency to provide satellite imagery for monitoring and change detection in areas prone to natural disasters.
[SatNews – 11/05/2009]

Eutelsat reports record revenue growth of 11.6% in first quarter 2009-2010.
[Reuters – 11/05/2009]

Sirius XM announces positive adjusted income for fourth quarter in a row, with increased subscribers and reduced satellite costs.
[Reuters – 11/05/2009]

Harris Corp will build satellite broadband system for U.S. Navy.
[Orlando Business Journal – 11/04/2009]

SES WORLD SKIES announces agreement with Solomon Telekom for satellite capacity on NSS-9 to provide satellite broadband across the Solomon Islands.
[SatNews – 11/04/2009]

Cypress state-of-the-art CMOS image sensors specially designed for high accuracy star tracking used on European Space Agency’s Proba-2 satellite launched on November 2.
[Reuters – 11/04/2009]

Hughes Communications reports record subscriber growth for its satellite broadband business, with broadband services revenue up 16% and total revenue up 12%.
[Reuters – 11/04/2009]

Vizada receives award from Inmarsat for highest revenue growth of all Inmarsat mobile satellite distribution partners, with 9% growth since 2008.
[Reuters – 11/04/2009]

Globecomm Systems revenue for first quarter increases 12.6% based on a 52.0% increase in revenues from services, offsetting decreasing revenues from infrastructure solutions.
[Reuters – 11/04/2009]

Orbital super-sensor launched by U.S. Air Force Weather Agency October 18 can analyze molecules and ions over wide slice of upper atmosphere – up to 700 km deep.
[R&D Magazine – 11/04/2009]

Pentagon reports that the U.S. military is now tracking 800 maneuverable satellites for possible collisions and expects to add 500 non-maneuverable satellites by year’s end.
[Reuters – 11/03/2009]

CapRock Government Solutions signs agreement with UK based Paradigm Secure Communications allowing Caprock to offer X-band capacity and network services to U.S. military and intelligence communities.
[SatNews – 11/03/2009]

Comtech receives $1M order for frequency converters from U.S. military.
[Reuters – 11/03/2009]

Telstar 18 to be used by HBO Asia to deliver HDTV to millions of subscribers in Asia under agreement with Telesat.
[SatNews – 11/03/2009]

L-3 contracts with Lockheed Martin to supply command, control, communications, and monitor system used in factory testing for GPS III satellite manufacturing program.
[Test & Measurement World – 11/03/2009]

Eutelsat W7 satellite in Baikonour and on track for Proton launch on November 23.
[Reuters – 11/03/2009]

SES WORLD SKIES announces multi-year agreement with MediaScape for additional capacity on NSS-11 to deliver HDTV in the Phillipines.
[SatNews – 11/03/2009]

Eutelsat reaches 100 HD channels.
[Satellite Today – 11/03/2009]

Integral Systems opens facility in UK to provide turnkey Earth Station System Integration capability.
[Reuters – 11/03/2009]

European Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity satellite launched aboard modified Russian ballistic missile.
[Spaceflight Now – 11/02/2009]

WBMSAT PS – Satellite Communications Consulting Services

Colliding Galaxies

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Well done…



It Is Balloon!!

Monday, November 2nd, 2009




DARPA is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Internet with a "Network Challenge." 

The challenge is to locate ten moored red weather balloons located at ten fixed locations in the continental United States. Balloons will be in readily accessible locations, visible from nearby roadways and accompanied by DARPA representatives. All balloons are scheduled to go on display at all locations at 10:00AM (ET) until approximately 4:00 PM (local time) on Saturday, December 5, 2009. Should weather or technical difficulties arise with the launch, the display will be delayed until Sunday, December 6 or later, depending on conditions. If, for any reason, the balloon is displayed in one location then moved to a second location, either location will be accepted. Entrants are required to register and submit entries on the event website. Latitudes and longitudes are entered in degree-minute-second (DDD-MM-SS) format as explained on the website Coordinates must be entered with an error of less than one arc-minute to be accepted.

I like this.

When will we celebrate some kind of F Troop tribute? Those rocket scientists who grew up in the 60’s will remember Chief Wild Eagle’s "it is balloon!!" cry.