Archive for December, 2011

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 12/30/2011

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Chinese government reveals five year space plan, including more space laboratories and human space flight.
[Forbes – 12/30/2011]

ORBCOMM to acquire PAR hospitality technology and services company, increasing its customer base in its asset and cargo monitoring business.
[NASDAQ – 12/30/2011]

Skycasters is awarded General Services Administration contract to provide Internet services to GSA government agencies.
[Satellite Today – 12/30/2011]

Hughes seeks access to United States market from its Jupiter Ka-band satellite licensed in the U.K and located at the 97.1 degrees west orbital slot.
[Satellite Today – 12/29/2011]

Russian Soyuz rocket successfully launches six Globalstar mobile-communications satellites.
Space News – 12/29/2011]

Russia’s most recent Soyuz launch failure, sending what should have been the fifth Meridian satellite placed in orbit instead crashing back to Earth, may have serious impact on Russian military communications.
[Strategy Page – 12/29/2011]

Global Marine Networks announces distribution agreement with Vobal Technologies, making VoIP services available to its maritime customers.
[PR Web – 12/29/2011]

Starmax HD shuts down service via Hispasat, saying the shutdown will be temporary and it will return soon.
[Satellite Today – 12/29/2011]

Sudan and Ukraine to cooperate in the launch of a Sudanese satellite.
[Sudan Vision – 12/29/2011]

ORBCOMM and SpaceX improve launch plans for OG2 satellites, planning launch of first prototype on the first Cargo Re-supply Services mission in mid 2012.
[MarketWatch – 12/28/2011]

Japanese satellite launch business faces cloudy future, with tough competition from Russia’s Proton and Europe’s Ariane.
[Japan Times – 12/28/2011]

ATCi and ACORDE selected by U.S. Defense Department to supply Ka-band networks designed for high-throughput Ka-band satellite communication systems worldwide.
[Market Watch – 12/28/2011]

Arabsat transfers Arabsat-2B telecom network to new Arabsat-5C satellite.
[Satellite Today – 12/28/2011]

ORBCOMM prepares for launch of second AIS satellite, VesselSat2, with target date of January 10, 2012.
[Market Watch – 12/27/2011]

Iran steps up its jamming of Western Persian-language television broadcasts, even as it has satellite access to dozens of countries for its state-run TV channels.
[Newser – 12/27/2011]

SES-4 launch delayed 25 days due to Proton upper state technical issues, following loss of Russian Meridian military satellite.
[Satellite Today – 12/27/2011]

Russian and wife narrowly escape being crushed by fragment of Russian Meridian satellite following launch failure.
[Daily Mail – 12/26/2011]

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

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 12/23/2011

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Russian space industry suffers another black eye as Meridian communications satellite fell to the ground soon after it was launched, although earlier Soyuz launch with three astronauts for the International Space Station was successful.
[Daily Mail – 12/23/2011]

USAF hosted payload on SES satellite, Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload (CHIRP), completes initial on orbit tests and begins demonstration period.
[Space Daily – 12/23/2011]

SES partners with Rustyice of the UK for distribution of SES’ satellite-based broadband service ASTRA2Connect throughout the UK.
[Space Daily – 12/23/2011]

China successfully launches Ziyuan I-02C remote sensing satellite.
[SatNews – 12/22/2011]

Globecomm Systems gets $3.1 million add-on to $32 million contract to provide state of the art satellite communication system for a Multinational organization.
[SatNews – 12/22/2011]

Arianespace readies the first Ariane 5 for launch in 2012 to receive the Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo resupply vessel as its payload.
[Satellite-Evolution – 12/22/2011]

GlobeCast signs deal with Fashion One TV to bring its TV channel to millions of new homes across sub-Sharan Africa via capacity on Astra 4A satellite.
[SatNews – 12/22/2011]

U.S. Air Force orders eighth Wideband Global SATCOM program communications satellite from Boeing.
[Spaceflight Now – 12/21/2011]

Launch of the SES-4 satellite, to be the largest in the SES fleet, is scheduled for December 27 aboard a Proton M/Breeze M launch vehicle from Baikonur.
[SatNews – 12/21/2011]

TCS agrees to second extension to its U.S. Army World-Wide Satellite Systems Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract, now to run through July 27, 2013.
[Market Watch – 12/21/2011]

Astrium to acquire 66.78 percent of Space Engineering.
[SatNews – 12/21/2011]

Intelsat General describes how they helped the Navy manage the coordination and control of its vast Commercial Broadband Satellite Program network.
[SatNews – 12/21/2011]

Astrium purchases Norwegian satellite communications company Vizada for $876 million.
[UPI – 12/21/2011]

LightSquared seeks to turn the tables on GPS device makers by filing petition with FCC seeking “declaratory ruling” confirming its right to use its licensed spectrum, claiming device makers purposefully designed equipment to look into LightSquared’s spectrum.
[Financial Times Technology – 12/21/2011]

Senator Grassley of Iowa holds up two nominees for FCC board on concerns of constituent Deere & Co. that LightSquared’s planned network may impact GPS network used by farmers – example of political mess LightSquared has landed in.
[Forbes – 12/21/2011]

China is prepared to launch 5 satellites for foreign customers next year.
[China Daily – 12/21/2011]

Gateway Communications is selected by Kawuleza of South Africa as partner to provide high speed bandwidth by satellite to major South African cities.
[Tech Zone – 12/21/2011]

Colombia contracts Gilat VSAT to connect more than 1,600 schools.
[Satellite Today – 12/21/2011]

China launches NigComSat-1R, replacement for satellite that failed in 2008, for Nigeria.
[AFP – 12/20/2011]

Arianespace Soyuz successfully orbits the Pleiades 1A, SSOT, and four ELISA satellites from European spaceport in French Guiana.
[Satellite Today – 12/20/2011]

Dish Network in center of wireless universe as AT&T walks away from acquisition of T-Mobile, a deal opposed by Justice Department.
[Wall Street Journal – 12/20/2011]

SES announces that the speed of its satellite-based broadband service ASTRA2Connect is now available with download speed up to 10 Mbps.
[SatNews – 12/20/2011]

Comtech announces $4.1 million contract for SATCOM equipment to support mobile backhaul.
[Market Watch – 12/20/2011]

Globecomm Systems receives contract extension from NATO CIS valued at $8.8 million to extend communication services and onsite support for its GPS-based Force Tracking System.
[SatNews – 12/20/2011]

Raytheon’s Navy Multiband Terminal successfully tests with on-orbit AEHF satellite.
[Sacramento Bee – 12/20/2011]

Glowlink gets major competitive contract from US Air Force for satellite carrier monitoring and interference geolocation capabilities.
[SatNews – 12/20/2011]

Russia and India announce intent to cooperate on satellite navigation services.
[Satellite Today – 12/19/2011]

U.S. Navy’s first MUOS satellite is undergoing post-shipment testing at Cape Canaveral in preparation for February launch following delivery by Lockheed Martin.
[UPI – 12/19/2011]

Next cluster of six second-generation Globalstar satellites ready for launch next week from Baikonur.
[SatNews – 12/19/2011]

Fourth WGS satellite moves closer to launch as it is encapsulated in teh Delta IV Launch vehicle payload fairing.
[Space Ref – 12/19/2011]

Comtech Xicom Technology receives orders totaling $3.2 million for Ka-band high-power amplifiers for commercial satellite DTH services and emerging high throughput satellite market.
[Market Watch – 12/19/2011]

Plans underway for ESA’s Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle to be launched on Europe’s new Vega rocket in 2014.
[SatNews – 12/19/2011]

“Get Charlie on the phone!”

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

The barriers to entry into the satellite business are legendary, but I suppose you could pull it off if you have a really good business plan — and the right people to execute it. Sure, it would take a few years to get off the ground (pun intended).

However, it assumes you have what the whole business depends on: spectrum. That’s right, we’re talking about radio spectrum. Without that, you don’t have a business. Trouble is, spectrum is a scarce resource — there only so much to go around. Unlike time, which is the scarcest resource because you can’t make more of it, additional spectrum becomes available once the FCC (U.S.) or ITU (Globally) determines available spectrum is fully utilized. Or someone makes a business case, with supporting technology, for using new spectrum. Case in point: modern DBS services using the Ku-band. DirecTV and DISH Network are generating significant cash flow, they employ lots of people and serve millions with excellent TV services.

So what do you do will all that money besides reinvesting in your own business? You buy — or lease — more spectrum. Does it have to be satellite? No. Evidence abounds that the folks at DISH Network get it. Charlie’s been acquiring spectrum at a discount and now people are justifiably speculating that AT&T wants it — especially after the T-Mobile acquisition went kaput.

This isn’t a poker game — more like chess. Charlie’s a few moves ahead of us here, so you’ll likely see a few key moves in the coming days, weeks or months. AT&T may buy DISH Network. A partnership between DISH Network and T-Mobile is a real possibility.

AT&T still has tons of bandwidth around the country, but what good is that if you can’t get more wireless spectrum?

Remember the old adage “content is king?” Well, in the wireless business, “spectrum is king.”

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 12/16/2011

Friday, December 16th, 2011

SpaceX Dragon to attempt first commercial cargo run to the International  Space Station on February 7.
[Satellite Today – 12/16/2011]

NSR report – military satellite revenues will double for cost-conscious  providers.
[Satellite Today – 12/16/2011]

NovelSat, developers of 3G-Sat modulation technology, announce new satellite  data rate world record of 357Mbps on 72 MHz transponder.
[SatNews –  12/16/2011]

Artel contracts Cable & Wireless to connect 30 satellite earth stations  around the globe with MPLS data network.
[Satellite Today – 12/16/2011]

Indian Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology states  that foreign tourists are illegally using satellite phones and could pose a  national security threat.
[Press Information  Bureau, Government of India – 12/16/2011]

Second Soyuz mission is scheduled to launch from French Guyana the morning of  December 175h, carrying the French Earth observation satellite Pleiades-1, four  French ELISA micro-satellites, and Chile’s SSOT Earth Observation Platform..
[SatNews –  12/15/2011]

Replacement for NIGCOMSAT 1, deorbited in 2008, NIGCOMSAT 1R is scheduled to  be launched from China on December 19.
[Daily Times – 12/15/2011]

New generation of weather and environmental satellites, GOES-15, officially  becomes operational as GOES-West as of December 13.
[SatNews –  12/15/2011]

Lockheed Martin delivers U.S. Navy’s first Mobile User Objective System  satellite to Cape Canaveral for scheduled February 16th launch.
[Market Watch – 12/15/2011]

National Space Society hails announcement of Stratolaunch Systems, a Paul  Allen Project to reduce cost of space travel, carrying launch rockets to high  altitude aboard largest aircraft ever built, with six 747 engines.
[SatNews –  12/15/2011]

AsiaSat and THAICOM announce signing of cooperative agreement to provide  satellite services from orbital location of 120 degrees East.
[SatNews –  12/15/2011]

U.S. Air Force’s first Advanced Extremely High Frequency military  communications satellite is successfully progressing through initial on-orbit  tests.
[SatNews  – 12/15/2011]

Republic of Estonia signs accession agreement to become full Member State of  EUMETSAT by 2012.
[SatNews –  12/15/2011]

FCC passes rules requiring broadcast, satellite, and cable companies to quiet  down loud ads.
[Washington Post – 12/15/2011]

Physicists in Low Temperature Laboratory of Aalto University show how a  nanomechanical oscillator can be used for detection and amplification of feeble  radio waves or microwaves with almost no noise.
[R&D Magazine – 12/15/2011]

NXP Semiconductors announce SiGe:C Low Noise Amplifiers that improve  linearity, noise figure, and reception of GPS signals, delivering 10 dB  improvement under -40 to -20 dBm jamming conditions.
[SatNews –  12/15/2011]

Government committee says that LightSquared’s network affects a “majority” of  general-purpose GPS receivers and technology used to land planes.
[Wireless Week – 12/15/2011]

PacStar is awarded $12.2 million contract by U.S. Dept. of Defense to deliver  tactical communications solution to U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
[Market Watch – 12/15/2011]

Satellite industry warns governments of the world of their concerns over  proposed piece of international legislation called the Unidroit Space Assets  Protocol which risks complicating and damaging what is currently in place.
[SatNews –  12/14/2011]

Enhanced compression technology and digitization is improving the efficiency  of satellite transponders – by 2017 global demand for C- and Ku-band  transponders is forecast to total 7,840.36 MHz TPEs (transponder equivalents)..
[Official Wire – 12/14/2011]

Avanti Communications shares are lifted by satellite bandwidth contract win  from Bentley Walker for U.S. $1.1 million.
[Proactive Investors – 12/14/2011]

European Space Agency updates application for iPhone and iPad, allowing users  to see ESA’s latest satellite imagery from Envisat in near-real time.
[SatNews –  12/14/2011]

Gilat is selected by JSC NC Kazsatnet’ of Kazakhstan for high speed data  connectivity among over 200 VSATS in multi-star topology with NetEdge Gateway  solution.
[Market Watch – 12/14/2011]

Arianespace signs contract with MEASAT for launch of MEASAT-3b in 2013.
[SatNews –  12/14/2011]

SES announces four global sales regions with dedicated management to  consolidate positions in the Americas and Europe, and further focus on emerging  and growth markets.
[SatNews –  12/14/2011]

XTAR joins Operation First Response to support wounded U.S. soldiers.
[Satellite Today – 12/14/2011]

Globecomm Systems gets 1-year $6 million service contract from U.S.  Government agency to provide IT support services relating to Internet  connectivity via its teleport.
[SatNews –  12/14/2011]

CalAmp begins volume shipments of new product designed to facilitate whole  home networking and communications of set top boxes to its Direct Broadcast  Satellite (DBS) customer.
[Market Watch – 12/14/2011]

Astrium imagery from two TerrSAR-X StripMap acquisitions show large crack in  Pine Island glacier in Antartica; ice shelf ready to break off is larger than  New York City.
[SatNews –  12/14/2011]

Dish Network indicates desire to form strategic partnership with T-Mobile USA  if AT&T’s bid for acquisition of T-Mobile fails.
[Telegeography – 12/14/2011]

Arianespace signs for launch of two satellites in the European Union’s  Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 families on the first launch of Europe’s new light  launcher Vega from French Guiana in 2014-2016.
[SatNews –  12/14/2011]

O3b exercises additional launch option on Arianespace contract.
[Satellite Today – 12/13/2011]

Since SPOT Satellite Messenger products were introduced in 2007 over 1,500  emergency rescues have been initiated worldwide.
[Market Watch – 12/14/2011]

Amos 5 communications satellite launched for Israel’s Spacecom.
[Globes – 12/13/2011]

NewSat signs $67 million contract for Jabiru satellite capacity.
[ARN – 12/13/2011]

Emergency satellite communications platform developed by government of  Luxembourg to be available to international humanitarian community as of 1  January, 2012.
[IEWY  –  12/13/2011]

OnAir WiFi internet connectivity launched across the Emirates A380 fleet.
[SatNews –  12/13/2011]

Opinion – Why is FCC stonewalling Senator Grassley on LightSquared? –  (Grassley put holds on two Barack Obama nominees to FCC).
[Hot Air – 12/13/2011]

LightSquared ‘Outraged’ over Report Leak; Primary Backer Harbinger Faces SEC  Scrutiny.
[Wireless Week – 12/12/2011]

ViaSat subsidiary WildBlue begins offering 5 megabit-per-second satellite  broadband service in Colorado, using recently launched ViaSat-1 satellite.
[Denver Post –  12/12/2011]

Japan launches H-2A rocket carrying a radar satellite.
[SatNews –  12/12/2011]

TCS introduces portfolio of managed mobile communications services called  TotalCom for government agencies and businesses.
[Computer World – 12/12/2011]

Russian data relay satellite and Spacecom’s Amos 5 share a ride into space.
[Spaceflight Now –  12/11/2011]

Echo II:  When satellites were young and shiny (photo).
[CNET – 12/10/2011]

NATO facing fast-approaching deadline for replacing satellite communications  capacity to avoid “satcom blackouts.”
[Space News – 12/09/2011]

“Doing more without more” – Space Command looks to fill communication gaps as  budgets tighten yet requirements for secure communications continue to grow.
[National Defense Magazine – January 2011]

WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services


Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

There’s no shortage of DoD acronyms. There was that hosted payload on one of the SES spacecraft, CHIRP (Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload). The topper is now MASTER: Modular Architecture for Signal-processing, Tracking and Exploitation Research program. Yeah, seems a bit of a stretch. It comes to us via the rocket scientists at Northrup Grumman:

MASTER supports the government ground processing effort for the Air Force’s Commercially Hosted IR Payload (CHIRP) program’s on-orbit period. An experimental CHIRP sensor is hosted on a commercial SES satellite operating in geosynchronous orbit over the United States. The SES satellite was successfully launched on Sept. 21 from French Guiana.

“MASTER provides an important sensor-agnostic ground processing capability for our customer,” said Ron Alford, Northrop Grumman’s director, sensor exploitation systems and Colorado campuses. “The architecture utilizes an enterprise approach with an open architecture and plug-and-play components. In future data processing systems, measurable cost savings can be enjoyed by using the MASTER architecture to provide common processing capabilities across sensor types and system constellations without the need for customized processing chains.”

“This approach not only reduces costs, but facilitates new missions, new sensor/data providers and the participation of third parties in specialized processing algorithms for new and changing missions,” Alford said.

The enterprise architecture developed for the MASTER program can be used by multiple types of sensors without the redundant cost of redeveloping the ground mission processing software, but currently is prototyped against Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) sensors.

MASTER has been successful in integrating and using algorithms provided by outside third parties as well as processing data from multiple operational OPIR sensors and new experimental simulated data. The MASTER architecture has also enabled innovative parallel data processing with multiple plug-and-play algorithms, along with significant advances in star and static-source line-of-site correction methods.

The MASTER contract is a follow-on effort to the Alternative Infrared Satellite System program, begun in 2006 and renamed Third Generation Infrared Surveillance as a technology maturation program. MASTER has been focused on developing an open, plug-and-play, sensor-agnostic processing architecture for the government to use in evaluating whole earth-staring array sensors.

Yes, you read that right: “earth-staring array sensors.” Our favorite is AFRTS (Armed Forces Radio & Television Services). Pronounced as you would expect.


Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

All was well with the GPS world. LightSquared had some trouble surface last June, then the farmers were sold a load of manure. Fine. We can work this out, right?

Not really.

A draft report was leaked and promptly published by Bloomberg, concluding LightSquared will harmfully interfere with 75% of GPS devices.

Philip Falcone’s proposed LightSquared Inc. wireless service caused interference to 75 percent of global-positioning system receivers examined in a U.S. government test, according to a draft summary of results.

The results from testing conducted Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 show that “millions of fielded GPS units are not compatible” with the planned nationwide wholesale service, according to the draft seen by Bloomberg News.

“LightSquared signals caused harmful interference to majority of GPS receivers tested,” according to the draft prepared for a meeting next week of U.S. officials reviewing the LightSquared proposal. “No additional testing is required to confirm harmful interference exists.”

GPS users are the 99% here and I’m afraid the bankers have got something to worry about.

The National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Systems Engineering Forum presents its results on 14 December 2011.

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 12/09/2011

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Intelsat moves closer to an Initial Public Offering (IPO), asking U.S.  regulators to allow the company to transfer control of all its satellite  assets to new owners following the IPO.
[Space News – 12/09/2011]

Telecom’s final frontier – is the consumer changing the satellite industry or  is it changing us?
[The Deal Magazine – 12/09/2011]

Spacecom AMOS-5 satellite scheduled for launch Sunday, December 11.
[SatNews –  12/09/2011]

NewSat Limited signs with Arianespace for launch of Jabiru-1 in second half  of 2014.
[SatNews –  12/09/2011]

ITU and Government of Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg agree to cooperate on  strengthening emergency telecommunications and rapid response in event of  natural disasters.
[SatNews –  12/09/2011]

GlobeCast expands satellite capaciy over Russia and Commonwealth of  Independent States with new Ku-band platform on Yamal-201 satellite.
[SatNews –  12/09/2011]

Nokia Siemens Networks’ I-HSPA combined with Evolution satellite routers from  VT iDirect can deliver downlinks speeds of 10 Mbps per user from remote base  stations linked to core network by  satellite.
[SatNews – 12/09/2011]

Astrium is selected by European Space Agency as prime contractor for  Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite, a low-cost mission to monitor atmospheric  chemistry.
[SatNews –  12/09/2011]

Russian space agency Roscosmos expects to put two more of the 24 Glonass  navigation satellites already in orbit into operation by end of year.
[SatNews –  12/09/2011]

RapidEye signs contract with China’s Ministry of Land and Resources to cover  almost five million square kilometers of China over the next few months.
[SatNews –  12/09/2011]

United Launch Alliance, formed just five years ago with Atlas and Delta  launch teams, has built an impressive record with 56 successful launches.
[SatNews –  12/08/2011]

LightSquared says new test prove it has fixed the GPS interference problem  that has held up the deployment of its hybrid satellite-terrestrial LTE network.
[Wireless Week – 12/08/2011]

Verizon ends its wireless LTE partnership with DirecTV and will stop buildout  of FiOS television and Internet services, as it forges a cross-marketing  partnership with cable.
[Washington Post – 12/08/2011]

Thrane & Thrane is awarded contract by government organization China  Transport Telecommunications & Information Center to supply, install and test a  Radio Access Network system for BGAN Satellite Access Station outside Beijing.
[SatNews –  12/08/2011]

Thales signs agreement to acquire Tampa Microwave of Tampa, Florida.
[Washington Technology – 12/08/2011]

Track24 wins contract to supply Canadian government with short burst data  (SBD) services from Iridium Communications Inc.
[SatNews –  12/08/2011]

Ghana a leader in satellite communications in Western Africa, with STL  satellite hub supporting over 2000 VSAT sites nationwide employing Gilat’s  SkyEdge II system.
[Ghanian Chronicle 12/08/2011]

SatNews information for readers interested in the myriad environments of the  various and ever-expanding satellite broadcasting market segments.
[SatNews –  12/08/2011]

ViaSat’s high-capacity broadband Ka-band satellite expected to begins  commercial service before end of December.
[xconomy – 12/07/2011]

Eutelsat successfully refinances debt with C800 million Eurobond issue.
[Sacramento Bee – 12/07/2011]

China to help Turkmenistan launch first communications satellite.
[Bernama –  12/07/2011]

New “Proceedings of the IEEE” presents comprehensive 21st century review of  Aerospace Communications.
[Sacramento Bee – 12/07/2011]

Thales radio receives U.S. military certification for Ultra High Frequency  satellite communications Integrated Waveform.
[UPI – 12/07/2011]

Newtec gets extremely positive customer feedback from customer survey  indicating a continued positive evolution from “satisfied” to “extremely  satisfied”.
[Screen Africa – 12/07/2011]

Eutelsat includes VISLINK’s ADVENT Flydrive 120 antenna in its guide to  selection of most appropriate Eath station equipment to access Eutelsat  capacity.
[SatNews – 12/07/2011]

Thuraya IP now allows user to run a range of applications requiring a public  IP address on the terminal equipment attached to the IP device.
[SatNews –  12/07/2011]

Iridium GEOS emergency response service now available to Iridium Extreme  satellite phone customers.
[SatNews –  12/07/2011]

NSR research on Earth Observation maket confirms importance of government  funding for both the supply and the demand side of the business.
[SatNews  – 12/07/2011]

Hughes Network Systems gets task order from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s  Food Safety and Inspection Service to deliver managed broadband services to 300  office and inspection sites.
[SatNews –  12/07/2011]

Eutelsat’s KA-SAT satellite proves its efficiency for fast video file  delivery.
[Sacramento Bee – 12/06/2011]

Arianespace launch preparations underway for December 16th liftoff of  Pleiades 1 Earth observation satellite, Chile’s SSOT optical satellite for  civilian and defense Earth observation, and four French Elisa micro-satellite  demonstrators.
[SatNews –  12/06/2011]

MTN to provide Costa Cruises’ new flagship, Costa Fascinosa, with VSAT  services.
[Satellite Today – 12/06/2011]

Test results prompt new round in GPS, LightSquared fight.
[Nextgov – 12/06/2011]

Former Satellite Earth Station at Goonhilly, Cornwall gets UK government  funding for a “space science park,” while another company at Goonhilly, Avanti  Communications Group, gets funding to create “broadband satellite teleport.”
[UKPA – 12/06/2011]

Reorganized Satmex to launch new, fully funded Satmex 8 satellite service  operations beginning in third quarter 2012.
[Market Watch – 12/06/2011]

Thuraya enjoys main exhibitor status at Malaysian Defense show.
[SatNews –  12/06/2011]

DISA puts finishing touches on GSM, FCSA contracts to be awarded in first  quarter 2012.
[Defense Systems – 12/06/2011]

iGT, DISA, and U.S. Air Force demonstrate next-generation airborne  capabilities employing Ka-Band Advanced Multiband Communications Antenna System  for COTM users.
[Defence Professionals – 12/06/2011]

Inmarsat’s CTO to participate as panel speaker at Satellite Industry  Association sponsored DoD Commercial SATCOM User’s Workshop in Arlington, VA.
[Sacramento Bee – 12/06/2011]

Officials say troop drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan is unlikely to put any  lasting downward pressure on demand for satellite bandwidth.
[Space News – 12/02/2011]

New satellite terminal training, fielding facility for U.S. Army to  consolidate production, training, and fielding of the advanced version of its  protected satellite terminal.
[Fort Gordon Signal – 12/02/2011]

NSR report assesses future global demand and supply for both commercial and  military satellites, fixed and mobile solutions, and narrowband to broadband  requirements for the period 2010-2020.
[NSR – December 2011]

 WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

Humbled in Australia

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Rupert’s been humbled this past year, recently at home. The report, via London South East

Australia’s government on Monday ruled out awarding a contract to broadcast local television into Asia to a consortium including Rupert Murdoch’s part-owned Sky News, deciding the service would stay with the state broadcaster.

After two cancelled bids and a police investigation into leaks, as well as political controversy swirling over the reach of News Corp media in Australia, the government said the A$223 million ($230 million) Australia Network tender would be abandoned and Australian Broadcasting Corp would keep it permanently.

‘The government believes it is unfortunate that this process did not reach a satisfactory solution, however, in light of the circumstances it is now in the national interest to make a clear decision about the future of the service,’ Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said in a statement.

The Australia Network is Australia’s equivalent of the UK’s BBC World Service and Germany’s Deutsche Welle.

The government had already ordered a police investigation into leaks behind news reports that an independent panel set up to decide the tender had unanimously backed Sky over the incumbent ABC after the government reopened the tender and imposed a new ‘national interest’ test.

Controversy over the process coincided with the phone-hacking scandal sweeping over the Australian-born Murdoch’s News Corp empire in Britain and a row with Australia’s Labor government over alleged political bias in reporting.

Conroy has been critical of News Corp’s Australian arm, News Ltd, accusing it of biased treatment targeting the government. News Ltd, which denied the allegations, controls 70 percent of Australia’s newspaper readership market.

After a meeting with senior Cabinet colleagues on Monday, Conroy said that the leaks had compromised the tender process and prevented a fair consideration of the bids. It was unclear if Sky News Australia would challenge the decision.

Sky News Australia is a 24-hour cable and satellite news channel, with Murdoch owning a third through his stake in BSkyB, along with Australia’s Seven West Media Ltd. and the private equity-owned Nine Entertainment Co. ($1 = 0.9745 Australian dollars).

The Australia Network can found on a number of satellites.

Big Bang Monday: Tripping in Tromsø

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Of all the countries of the world, I always thought the Kingdom of Norway would be a great place to live. As long as you can deal with the long winters, pretty much all else is taken care of. With the highest per capital oil production of any country outside the Middle East, your cost for education is zero. Gasoline prices are pretty high — to keep consumption down. Why go anywhere by car when you could walk, bike or sled?

In the northern parts, particularly Tromsø (“the capital of the Arctic” — tourist site offers only summer pics), the Northern Lights provide enough entertainment to last a lifetime. No need for a telescope here — low light pollution and the most spectacular visuals.

Today’s APOD by Ole Christian Salomonsen is just that: spectacular!

Explanation: It was one of the most memorable auroras of the season. There was green light, red light, and sometimes a mixture of the two. There were multiple rays, distinct curtains, and even an auroral corona. It took up so much of the sky. In the background were stars too numerous to count, in the foreground a friend trying to image the same sight. The scene was captured with a fisheye lens around and above Tromsø, Norway, last month. With the Sun becoming more active, next year might bring even more spectacular aurora.

One of these days, a vacation in Norway awaits.