Archive for October, 2012

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 10/26/2012

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

DeLorme to exhibit inReach two-way satellite communication solution using Iridium constellation at Fort Lauderdale boat show.
[SatNews – 10/26/2012]

TCS receives $18 million in funded orders for field services support and maintenance of SNAP VSAT satellite systems from the U.S. Army.
[SatNews – 10/26/2012]

Despite conceptually different ways of accessing satellite spectrum, there is increasing overlap among the market segments targeted by TDMA and SCPC solutions.
[NSR – 10/26/2012]

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates announces that U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has exercised one-year option to continue providing data on apparent land-cover changes anywhere around the globe.
[SatNews – 10/26/2012]

Thrane & Thrane to introduce its most advanced satellite television antenna ever for maritime satellite TV market at Fort Lauderdale boat show.
[SatNews – 10/25/2012]

ESA’s Cluster mission shows how easily solar wind penetrates magnetosphere.
[R&D Magazine – 10/25/2012]

Hughes Newtork Systems and ThinKom Solutions announce demonstration of ultra-low profile antennas and manpack for COTM missions.
[Sacramento Bee – 10/25/2012]

Iran and Syria accused of jamming satellite services in retaliation for satellite operators dropping Iranian channels.
[Strategy Page – 10/25/2012]

Helicopter flight gathers data on how Europe’s two satellite navigation systems – EGNOS and Galileo – will work together in the future.
[SatNews – 10/25/2012]

Ozone and Mapping Profiler Suite aboard NASA’s Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite makes its first ozone measurements of the Antarctic ozone hole, finding second-smallest hole in 20 years.
[SatNews – 10/25/2012]

MEASAT partners with GlobeCast to bring ITV Granada in HD to viewers across Asia and the Middle East.
[SatNews – 10/25/2012]

Orbital Sciences gets U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory contract to develop experimental maneuverable spacecraft platform capable of hosting multiple payloads and operating in low- and geosynchronous orbit.
[SatNews – 10/24/2012]

MTN Satellite Communications opens Seattle, Washington product innovation office.
[Area Development – 10/24/2012]

Quake Global and SkyWave combine to provide universal M2M coverage in Russia.
[Herald Online – 10/24/2012]

Private network by ViaSat provides continuous satellite broadband coverage for multiple global flights of VIP and other high-value aircraft.
[Sacramento Bee – 10/24/2012]

Managing Director of Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited says NIGCOMSAT can create 100,000 jobs and generate N20billion monthly through DTH satellite broadcasting.
[Leadership – 10/24/2012]

Russian spacecraft blasts off for space station with U.S. and Russian astronauts.
[R&D Magazine – 10/23/2012]

Variations in Earth’s gravity and magnetic field tracked by satellites.
[R&D Magazine – 10/23/2012]

Global C-band demand to drop by approximately 190 TPEs between 2011 and 2021; forecast is no more or less than a compilation of well known industry trends.
[NSR – 10/23/2012]

Hughes, Bentley Walker enter partnership to launch Ka-band communications services into the Middle East over Hylas 2 satellite.
[Satellite Today – 10/23/2012]

Harris and Tampa Microwave have developed tri-band 1.3m VSAT antenna small enough to be checked as airline baggage, designed for rugged, tactical environments supporting military operations and other quick-react missions.
[SatNews – 10/23/2012]

Raytheon is awarded $51 million U.S. Ar4my contract to produce, upgrade, and modernize airborne radios including Phase 3 of the MUOS./CM upgrade program increasing satellite capacity for soldiers.
[Satellite Today – 10/23/2012]

Viasat is set to unveil portable broadband terminal featuring power-on auto-acquire antenna pointing to simplify and speed deployment, for military ground and maritime operations and optimized for ViaSat’s worldwide broadband network.
[Satellite Today – 10/23/2012]

Dish Network pays $700 million in Voom settlement; will receive 500 MHz of wireless multichannel video distribution and data service spectrum licenses as part of agtreement.
[Satellite Today – 10/22/2012]

NASA is developing technology to build Earth-orbiting “service stations” to repair satellites.
[Wired – 10/22/2012]

What are motives for Intelsat and Telesat IPOs on the horizon, and are they justifiable?
[NSR – 10/22/2012]

iDirect to share industry research on satellite usage in the utility industry at the European Utility Telecom Conference.
[Sacramento Bee – 10/22/2012]

Calhoun Satellite Communications upgrades multiplatform DSNG fleet with Aterme’s MPEG-2 and H.264 4:2:2 10-bit encoders and decoders to support legacy mobile uplink requirements..
[Satellite Today – 10/22/2012]

Can a flat antenna made of metamaterials replace the familiar satellite dish antenna?
[Bloomberg Businessweek – 10/18/2012]

Momentum wheels for 03B satellites get rigorous testing as result of failures on Globalstar satellites.
[Space News – 10/18/2012]

Ku versus Ka-band debate hits airline in-flight connectivity market as plans ramp up.
[In-Flight Connectivity Insider – October 2012]

WBMSAT Satellite Communications Consulting

The Pusher

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Nice test of the pusher escape system at Blue Origin.

Lower-cost access to space. Very cool.

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 10/19/2012

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Iranian press in uproar over Eutelsat’s decision to halt the broadcast of Iranian channels.
[FARS News Agency – 10/19/2012]

Russia plans to launch five communication satellites in 2013.
[CRIENGLISH – 10/19/2012]

GOES-13 resumes full operation following shutdown of systems because of motor vibration, which has been resolved.
[SatNews – 10/19/2012]

Russian Satellite Communications Corporation (RSCC) to take control of DirecTV-R1 and move it to Russian orbital slot.
[Space News – 10/19/2012]

Value of SkyTrac Systems’ hardware and software used by Air Evac Lifeteam demonstrated during Hurricane Isaac.
[SatNews – 10/19/2012]

Inmarsat Cisco long term deal facilitates advanced Global Xpress satellite services.
[Unified Communications Strategies – 10/19/2012]

ATCi adds U.S. cable MSOs to roster of clients.
[Rapid TV – 10/19/2012

Combat SkySat, a military retransmission platform carried by a hot air balloon, is demonstrated in Colorado Springs.
[SatNews – 10/19/2012]

NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement satellite completes first comprehensive performance test.
[SatNews – 10/18/2012]

Panasonic takes additional capacity on Asiasat 5 for Global Communications Service.
[4-Traders – 10/18/2012]

New ViaSat high-dynamic C-band antenna feed designed to track fast moving targets and provide exceptional tracking resolution and tracking performance.
[SatNews – 10/18/2012]

Cisco and Yahsat collaborate to deliver satellite services to government and emergency response agencies and industries such as gas and oil.
[AMEinfo – 10/18/2012]

Sirius FM-4 flight-ready backup satellite donated by SiriusXM and Space Systems/Loral to Smithsonian Museum.
[SatNews – 10/18/2012]

Mitsubishis’ new maritime broadband VSAT terminal receives type approval from Global VSAT Forum, following stringent tests based on Intelsat and Eutelsat specifications.
[SatNews – 10/18/2012]

SES responds to Eutelsat challenge over granting of spectrum rights.
[SatNews – 10/17/2012]

Stopping Interference Now annual forum organized by the Satellite Interference Reduction Group and the World Broadcasting Unions – International Satellite Operations Group in coordination with GVF will be hosted by HBO on November 13 in New York.
[SatNews – 10/17/2012]

Arianespace prepares for sixth Ariane 5 heavy-lift mission of 2012, which will launch EUTELSAT 21B and Star One C3.
[SatNews – 10/17/2012]

FCC approves agreement between AT&T and Sirius allowing AT&T to use spectrum for LTE network.
[Bloomberg – 10/17/2012]

ISRO selects Arianespace for launch of GSAT 7 and INSAT 3D satellites in 2013.
[SatNews – 10/17/2012]

SatixFy leverages CEVA-XC DSP to develop low-cost, multi-standard satellite broadband SoC targeting fixed and mobile applications.
[Sacramento Bee – 10/17/2012]

Echostar XVI satellite arrives at Baikonur Space Center.
[4-Traders – 10/16/2012]

Chinese government to require Chinese airlines to install satellite broadband equipment between 2013 and 2016.
[China Daily – 10/16/2012]

ITC Global completes acquisition of Spidersat, deepens local presence in Africa.
[Sacramento Bee – 10/16/2012]

China to add 16th satellite to Beidou satellite navigation system with launch at end of October.
[Satellite Today – 10/16/2012]

Eutelsat 70B arrives at Sea Launch home port.
[Sacramento Bee – 10/16/2012]

Eutelsat cuts off Iran State Broadcaster a week after Iran escalates jamming of Eutelsat satellites.
[Wall Street Journal – 10/15/2012]

Intelsat 23 launched by Russian rocket after rocket failure just two months earlier.
[Space – 10/15/2012]

Recent 3-year satellite capacity contract awarded by European Defense Agency to Astrium provides hope of future opportunities.
[NSR – 10/15/2012]

Avanti, InSat, and Newtec successfully complete joint tests of Newtec’s Ka-band hub on HYLAS 2 from Cyprus.
[Hi-stream – 10/15/2012

ITU presents award to Thuraya for utilizing information and communications technologies to save lives.
[SatNews – 10/15/2012]

Onboard Internet becoming common amenity as Asian airlines join in.
[Satellite Today – 10/12/2012

NSR’s third installment of SCADA/M2M via Satellite report provides critical analysis of satellite-based SCADA/M2M platforms  and predicts healthy expansion of the market.
[NSR – October 2012]

WBMSAT satellite communications consulting servicesa href=”–15388194/”/object

Big Bang Monday: Tour of Star-Forming Region Sharpless 2-106

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Nicely done by the folks over at HubbleSite.

THAT would look cool running on a big flat screen. Some would argue that’s a waste of electricity, so you might as well get yourself a big print instead.

Felix Baumgartner

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Amazing: 8 million live viewers on YouTube.

Felix Baumgartner might not have broken Joe Kittinger’s world record for the longest time spent in freefall, but he did smash a fourth milestone during his dive. In addition to records for the highest ever jump, longest distance fall and fastest downward speed, the stunt was watched by eight million YouTubers at the same time. While the site hasn’t divulged exact stats, that figure is apparently higher than those who watched President Obama’s inauguration. That said, if you weren’t one of the eight million, you can head on past the break to watch the highlights reel — unless you’re already bored of watching a man fall, unaided, you know, from space.


Whoa! Spacesuit-cam video of him going 725 MPH!

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 10/12/2012

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

GPS shoes to be commercially available in the U.K and Ireland, enabling tracking of wandering Alzheimer’s patients who wear them.
[SatNews – 10/12/2012]

The Season of Bulgarian TV Shows II from Martin Simeonov on Vimeo.

Intelsat gets agreements with two Bulgarian media companies for transponder services to enable digital terrestrial television and distribution of HD programming.
[SatNews – 10/12/2012]

B612 Foundation Sentinel Special Review Team concludes that the Sentinel Mission implementation plans and mission design and will lead to successful Sentinel mission to find and track Near Earth Asteroids.
[Satellite Today – 10/12/2012]

SpaceX Dragon loses Orbcomm satellite on way to Space Station.
[NewScientist – 10/11/2012]

Astrium successfully completes ASTRA 2F testing in orbit and turns over control to SES.
[SatNews – 10/11/2012]

Boeing is selected by SES S.A. to build SES-9 Ku-band satellite for DTH to Asia and Indonesia.
[Space Daily – 10/11/2012]

Eutelsat chooses Thales Alenia Space to build the EUTELSAT 8 West B satellite for broadcast over the Middle East and North Africa.
[herald online – 10/11/2012]

Components for fourth, fifth, and sixth Soyuz launches from French Guiana have arrived at the Spaceport.
[SatNews – 10/11/2012]

Avanti’s $25 million operating loss sends shares down.
[Space News – 10/11/2012]

Russian Federation approves use of Iridium service throughout its territory.
[SatNews – 10/11/2012]

Marlink commits to completing a maritime VSAT installation within 24 hours.
[SatNews – 10/11/2012]

DigitalGlobe gets USGIF Industry Intelligence Award for its work with Satellite Sentinel Project, monitoring human rights violations in Sudan and South Sudan using satellite imagery.
[SatNews – 10/11/2012]

Air Force Space Command commander order Accident Investigation Board to investigate why a Delta IV RL-10B-2 upper stage engine did not perform as expected, even though the GPS IIF satellite was successfully deployed into orbit.
[SatNews – 10/11/2012]

Ariane 5 VA210 flight to orbit EUTELSAT 21B for Eutelsat and Star One C3 for Brazil in November; Soyuz Flight VS03 scheduled for launch October 12 with two European Space Agency GPS satellites.
[Space Ref – 10/10/2012]

Avanti announces that HYLAS 2 is now fully operational and providing coverage across Africa, Caucasia, and the Middle East.
[SatNews – 10/10/2012]

EADS and BAE Systems terminate merger discussions on heels of discussions with several governments about their issues with the merger.
[SatNews – 10/10/2012]

Australian company EM Solutions wins tender with Tokyo based Jepico Corporation to provide Ka-band Satellite on the Move (SOTM) platform to Japanese Government’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology.
[SatNews – 10/10/2012]

Azerbaijani Deputy Communications and IT Minister says first Azerbaijani telecommunications satellite Azerspace will be launched in January 2013.
[Trend – 10/09/2012]

ATK gets $50M NASA contract to complete engineering development and risk reduction tests as part of the Advanced Concept Booster Development for the Space Launch System.
[SatNews – 10/09/2012]

Beam Communications installs Inmarsat products IsatDock Pro at Russian Antarctic Polar Station.
[herald online – 10/09/2012]

GeoEye is connected to additional government networks through the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
[SatNews – 10/09/2012]

Hughes signs 10-year smart grid satellite connectivity deal with Emtele of Finland.
[Satellite Today – 10/09/2012]

Inmarsat signs long-term alliance with Cisco, enabling it to deliver advanced services over Inmarsat’s new high-throughput satellite broadband network, Global Xpress.
[Market Watch – 10/08/2012]

Indian Space Research Organization plans to launch 58 space missions, among them 33 satellites, by 2017.
[Satellite Today – 10/08/2012]

Inmarsat signs master distribution agreement with Honeywell for GX Aviation services, to bring the service to the business aviation market.
[SatNews – 10/08/2012]

Space Systems/Loral to build EchoStar 8 for Dish Network.
[Satellite Today – 10/08/2012]

New ESA project led by Irish industry puts satellite data to use for monitoring quality of coastal water.
[SatNews – 10/08/2012]

NASA plans space network upgrade for Goddard Space Flight Center to accommodate third generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellites, with launch of TDRS-K scheduled for December.
[Satellite Today – 10/08/2012]

NASA’s Terra satellite observes plume cause by eruption of Shiveluch volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula.
[SatNews – 10/08/2012]

Two TV market studies show increasing IPTV effect on traditional video, giving satellite TV providers something to think about.
[Satellite Today – 10/08/2012]

NASA TDRS-K satellite under final system checks by Boeing in preparation for December launch.
[ – 10/06/2012]

FCC lets access rules expire that required cable companies to sell local content like sports channels to satellite TV providers.
[Wall Street Journal – 10/05/2012]

Race for gigabit satellite throughput explored in WTA report, “Teleports in a Gigabit World.”
[World Teleport Site – October, 2012]

Satellite industry girds for another likely spectrum battle in 2015.
[Satellite Today – 10/01/2012]

SAT satellite communications consulting services

Dragon Captured

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

SpaceX got the job done: the Dragon capsule has docked with the International Space Station!

Check out their B-roll video….

SpaceX B-Roll Package for Broadcast from SpaceX on Vimeo.

Actually, they opened the hatch early because they had the munchies (hat-tip to

“Looks like we’ve tamed the Dragon,” radioed space station commander Suni Williams. “We’re happy she’s on-board with us. Thanks to everyone at SpaceX and NASA for bringing her here to us, and the ice cream.”

Judging by their launch manifest, I’d say these SpaceX folks are for real and will be around for many years.

Falcon 9 Engine Anomaly

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Nice video by Bad Astronomer

One of the nine Merlin engines powering the Falcon 9 had a failure 90 seconds into the flight. It’s not clear what happened just yet, but there is pretty dramatic footage of the engine failure; in the slow motion video below you can see some sort of flash and puff of flame at the 30 second mark (I’ve set the video to start 22 seconds in).

You can see a bright spot glowing on the upper right engine, then what looks like shrapnel blowing back as well, so it appears something catastrophic happened to the engine.

The launch itself was pretty cool…

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 10/05/2012

Friday, October 5th, 2012

High rate of reported incidents of counterfeit electronic parts set in 2011 continue in 2012, representing widespread risk to electronics supply chain in general and aerospace and defense in particular.
[SatNews – 10/05/2012]

United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV rocket lifts U.S. Air Force GPS satellite into orbit.
[SatNews – 10/04/2012]

TechEdSat cubesat released from International Space Station.
[SatNews – 10/04/2012]

Thenty-three microgravity experiments designed by participants of NASA’s Student Spaceflight Experiment Program to be carried to International Space Station by SpaceX launch October 7.
[SatNews – 10/04/2012]

China plans introduction of two new versions of DFH-4 communications satellite in 2013.
[Space News – 10/04/2012]

Galileo FM3 and FM4 satellites integrated on payload dispenser for October 12 Soyuz flight from French Guiana.
[SatNews – 10/04/2012]

KVH TracVision HD7 and TracPhone V3 get “Best Product Awards” from National Marine Electronics Association.
[Nasdaq – 10/04/2012]

Northrop Grumman completes payload integration of U.S. Air Force’s third Space Based Infrared System highly elliptical orbit spacecraft HEO-3.
[SatNews – 10/04/2012]

Globalstar signs re-seller agreement with ESIS in Republic of Venezuela.
[Satellite Today – 10/04/2012]

Hughes Network Systems announce new Gen4 high capacity satellite broadband service on Echostar XVII satellite.
[SatNews – 10/04/2012]

Orbital Sciences rolls first stage of Antares rocket to launch pad of newest U.S. spaceport at Wallops Island and SpaceX continues preparation for October 7 ISS resupply mission in latest milestones toward return to U.S. resupply activity for ISS.
[SatNews – 10/03/2012]

Quantum Teleportation and satellites – among five planned Chinese satellites is one devoted to a quantum teleportation experiment, to be launched in 2016.
[Wired – 10/03/2012]

Nigerian communications satellite bill gets second reading in Nigerian senate. [All Africa – 10/03/2012]

Eutelsat satellite broadband chosen by Albanian Government to provide free public internet access across Albania.
[4-traders – 10/03/2012]

DeLorme partners with SpaceNet Communications Services de Mexico to reach Central America with its services.
[Trade Only – 10/03/2012]

Eutelsat W2 satellite glitch forces off-load of customers to backup satellite capacity.
[Advanced Television – 10/02/2012]

U.S. helps Vietnam fund second communications satellite.
[Advanced Television – 10/02/2012]

Vislink announces Mantis MSAT, world’s lightest battlefield SATCOM terminal.
[Broadcast Newsroom – 10/02/2012]

Eutelsat leases old Chinese satellite to hold new European slot at 1.6 degrees East.
Advanced Television – 10/02/2012]

SES satellite reportedly to be leased by Thailand to hold orbital slot.
[Advanced Television – 10/02/2012]

Bermuda searches for second-hand satellite to preserve its orbital slot.
[Advanced Television – 10/02/2012]

Odyssey Moon Litd. and Israeli-based NSL Satellite Ltd in partnership with NanoRacks LLC of U.S. to fly number of educational microgravity experiments to International Space Station.
[SatNews – 10/02/2012]

SingTel presents plan to invest in new satellites.
[Satellite Today – 10/02/2012]

Clear Channel Satellite deploys first XtremeSat Media satellite broadcast distribution platform for TeleSouth Communications.
[Herald Online – 10/02/2012]

India’s 101st space mission lofts its heaviest satellite and Mars is targeted for 2013.
[MINNPOST – 10/01/2012]

Globalstar and Arianespace enter home stretch in preparation for fourth and final launch next February of remaining satellites to complete the Globalstar constellation.
[SatNews – 10/01/2012]

NOAA temporarily replaces broken GOES-13 satellite with GOES-14 backup while engineers work to fix GOES-13.
[Satellite Today – 10/01/2012]

NASA awards three contracts totaling $137.3 million to improve affordability, reliability and performance of an advanced booster for the Space Launch System.
[SatNews – 10/01/2012]

L3 GCS gets $36.3 million U.S. Army contract to upgrade the Satellite Data Network Family of Terminals.
[Empire State News – 10/01/2012]

LightSquared offers FCC plan to avoid GPS interference by sacrificing the upper 10 MHz of its 15 MHz of spectrum.
[Daily Tech – 10/01/2012]

Harris Corporation introduces Liberty-Radio Control Equipment for Air Traffic Control communications over satellite, traditional telecommunications links, or topologies like Internet Protocol (IP).
[Daily Finance – 10/01/2012]

France, Italy, Poland, Romania, and the United Kingdom to benefit from pooled procurement of commercial satellite communications services under framework contract between EDA and Astrium Services.
[Defence Professionals – 10/01/2012]

China launches remote sensing satellite VRSS-1 for Venezuela.
[The Economic Times – 09/29/2012]

WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

“Cellophane Telescope” by Seymour Sun

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

The payload deployment test shown above moves the FalconSAT-7 mission forward, which is scheduled for 2015. Why is this “cubesat” important? It uses diffraction instead of refraction or reflection and it is becoming a real alternate to a large space-based observatory in studying the Sun’s chromosphere — especially in the H-alpha wavelengths.

The cubesat is being developed by the U.S. Air Force Academy and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, among others, including the NRO, DARPA, AFOSR, AFIT, MMA Design and AFRL.

A photon sieve is a novel optical element consisting of a flat opaque sheet with millions of tiny holes. Light passing through these holes is focused in a similar manner to a lens or a mirror. Photon sieves have several key advantages over those more conventional optics:

  • Focusing can be achieved from a flat, thin sheet that can be unfurled from a very compact, lightweight package
  • Surface quality tolerances are orders of magnitude more relaxed
  • The fabrication costs are much lower

The trade-offs include:

  • Lower efficiency / loss of light
  • Narrow bandwidth giving what are essentially grayscale images

The photon sieve will have the following design parameters:

  • 200mm diameter, 400mm focal length, 656.3nm wavelength
  • 2.5 billion holes ranging in size from 2-277 microns
  • 50% fill factor, 30% focusing efficiency

The telescope has a relatively simple design due to space constraints and has:

  • 4 µrad resolution which equates to 600 km at Sun surface
  • ~0.1 degree field of view (about a 1/5th of the Sun’s disk)

Clockwise from top left: A 4-inch photon sieve lit by laser light. The focal spot produced. A magnified image of the central 25mm. An image of a resolution chart produced by the sieve. An interferogram of the wavefront that indicates perfect focusing capability.