Archive for August, 2013

UKube-1: A Bit of CubeSat Whimsy

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Oy, there’s a charging station, mate!

Who else but the Scots and ClydeSpace would send something like this into space? Via Wired UK

UKube-1 is the UK Space Agency’s first CubeSat mission and is being fully assembled by Scottish satellite company ClydeSpace. It now has the added honour of being the world’s ” first functioning pop-art satellite”, with designs by artists Jon Gibson and Amanda White, who run the famous iambit gallery in Los Angeles.

The celestial charging station will hopefully be seen as a gesture of goodwill to would-be space invaders, joke the pair.

“It’s like when a complete stranger at the airport lets you use their wall charger,” says Gibson in an email to “If their original goal was to obliterate our species with a massive plasma canon, perhaps even such a small gesture of kindness will make them reconsider.”

Credit: iam8bit

It’s high time get more creative with their public-facing marketing — as well as to their B2B audiences.

They probably grew up on Monty Python — always good for creative inspiration.

Big Bang Monday: Asteroid Rage

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Today’s APOD is amazing: Orbits of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids.  Reminds me of D.C. traffic on a Friday afternoon.


Explanation: Are asteroids dangerous? Some are, but the likelihood of a dangerous asteroid striking the Earth during any given year is low. Because some past mass extinction events have been linked to asteroid impacts, however, humanity has made it a priority to find and catalog those asteroids that may one day affect life on EarthPictured above are the orbits of the over 1,000 known Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs). These documented tumbling boulders of rock and ice are over 140 meters across and will pass within 7.5 million kilometers of Earth — about 20 times the distance to the Moon. Although none of them will strike the Earth in the next 100 years — not all PHAs have been discovered, and past 100 years, many orbits become hard to predict. Were an asteroid of this size to impact the Earth, it could raise dangerous tsunamis, for example. Of course rocks and ice bits of much smaller size strike the Earth every day, usually pose no danger, and sometimes creating memorable fireball andmeteor displays.

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 08/09/2013

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

Thales Alenia Space claims that for the last 12 years its U.S. suppliers have mislabeled their components as “commercial” or “dual use” when in fact they were subject to defense-export controls known as ITAR.
[Space News – 08/09/2013]

National Research Council report calls for “systematic and deliberate program” to sustain the Landsat program.
[Space News – 08/09/2013]

Lockheed Martin expects to see increased demand for AEHF satellites over the next several years.
[Satellite Today – 08/09/2013]

Research and Markets offers 2013 report on satellite communications providers in the U.S., concluding that providers will invest in new technologies and markets to gain an advantage.
[Satellite Spotlight – 08/08/2013]

Summary of findings on root cause of failure of July 2 Proton mission cleared by Russian security and provided to ILS blames improper installation of three yaw angular rate sensors.
[SatNews – 08/08/2013]


Blue Origin proposes that rather than partnering with NASA, the agency let the company take over Launch Complex 39A and turn it into a multiuser complex for its rockets and those of other companies.
[Space News – 08/08/2013]

SpaceX will provide the launch services for Germany’s second-generation radar reconnaissance satellite system.
[SatNews – 08/08/2013]

Comtech subsidiary Comtech PST Corp gets $1l.9 million of orders for high-power amplifiers from a leading provider of aviation electronics and communication systems.
[Fort Mill Times – 08/08/2013]

Boeing’s first all-electric satellite passes critical design review, allowing the new program to move two satellites into assembly, integration and testing.
[Satellite Today – 08/07/2013]

Skystream, a major satellite service provider in the Middle East, looks to Iraq for future growth.
[Satellite Today – 08/08/2013]

The 6th WGS military communications satellite, paid for by Australia, is launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket from Cape Canaveral.
[CBS News – 08/07/2013]

Vietnam’s micro satellite Pico Dragon is shipped to International Space Station to be released into space.
[Space Daily – 08/07/2013]

Israel’s ORBIT Technologies signs $4.2 million contract to supply its IP-based video surveillance system on board a major European aircraft manufacturer’s passenger planes..
[Satellite Today – 08/07/2013]

Dish Network still looking at options to enter the domestic mobile space, hinting that T-Mobile may be next acquisition target.
[RC Wireless – 08/07/2013]

Inmarsat and RigNet partner on energy sector deal.
[MENAFN – 08/07/2013]

RigNet installs iDirect hub in Brazil to focus on energy and maritime applications.
[The Wall Street Journal – 08/07/2013]

ITC Global subsidiary Spidersat Communications to build new high-performance satellite network for Africa.
[Azosensors – 08/07/2013]

Blue Sky Network and Avionics Services partner to offer satellite tracking and fleet management solutions for aviation.
[avionics intelligence – 08/07/2013]

Next-Generation Satellite Communications to acquire 75% stake in mobile video business company from Mobile Media of China.
[Satellite Spotlight – 08/07/2013]

Another round of incremental funding for SNAP deployable satellite systems amounting to $3.2 million is received by TeleCommunication Systems.
[Satellite Spotlight – 08/07/2013]

Deployable mesh reflector and boom system made by Northrop Grumman’s Astro Aerospace unit deploys successfully aboard Alphasat satellite.
[Yahoo Finanmce – 08/06/2013]

Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen says Dish-DirecTV merger makes a lot of sense strategically.
[Multichannel News – 08/06/2013]

Level 3 will build North American gateway for O3b’s satellite network.
[Yahoo Finance – 08/06/2013]

GSAT signs new capacity deals with SES on NSS-11 and SES-9 to meet pay-TV boom in the Philippines.
[Herald online – 08/05/2013]

Inmarsat’s Alphasat satellite reaches temporary slot in geostationary orbit, and passes significant milestones.
[Satellite Today – 08/06/2013]

O3b and Glocall to provide ultra-high speed connectivity to Somalia.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 08/06/2013]

CMA CGM Group, the world’s third largest container shipping group, contracts Marlink to upgrade the majority of its fleet to Marlink’s Ku-band VSAT service Wavecall. [Satellite Evolution Grolup – 08/06/2013]

Satellite, aerospace, and defense industries thrive in Maryland.
[Satellite Today – 08/06/2013]

GlobeCast partners with Arabsat to offer new solutions to broadcasters seeking to distribute programming in North Africa.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 08/06/20103]

Hughes Network Systems to supply Jupiter high-throughput satellite system to Media Networks, a B2B unit of Telofonica Digital, to power first commercial Ka-band service over Latin America.
[Satellite Today – 08/05/2013]

Satellite service startups with mission to establish on-orbit satellite servicing systems capable of adding ten years to the lifespan of geostationary satellites struggle to get going in the market.
[Space News – 08/05/2013]

 WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

DIY Friday: Washing Machine BBQ

Friday, August 9th, 2013

You don’t need to understand Russian to figure out what’s going on here.

It’s an old washing machine drum, a steel pipe, angle iron and some bolts, plus concrete. Mash them up and you’ve got a great BBQ contraption. Probably works as well as a Weber kettle, but much cheaper. Looks like good airflow, too.

Next trip to the county solid waste disposal station will find me looking for an old washing machine. Excellent recycling idea!


Curiosity on Mars: One Year in Two Minutes

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Ain’t nobody got time for watching Mars Curiosity rover videos!

Here’s the first year, in two minutes.

Collider App!

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

There’s a new LHC app out from Oxford University “with flashy graphics, more games, and even more ways to see collisions from CERN.

Kirobo In Space

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Japan will be first with sending talking robot into space, named Kirobo.

Check out the promo video, in Japanese, which is very well done. Probably because Dentsu is in on it. Nice site, too.

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 08/02/2013

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Asia Broadcast Satellite confirms new ABS 2A satellite from Boeing will be launched with Satmex 9 in fourth quarter of 2015.
[Satellite Today – 08/01/20103]

European Space Agency finishes testing an innovative laser communication platform that speed up data transfer from orbiting satellites.
[Engineering & Technology Magazine – 08/01/2013]

Astrium is awarded contract to build latest satellite for Telesat.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 08/01/2013]

EUTELSAT Communications scales up in Latin America through acquisition of SATMEX. [Satellite Spotlight – 07/31/2013]

SpaceX is awarded launch reservation contract with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates to support largest space program to date in Canada.
[Satellite Today – 07/31/2013]

BroadbandEverywhere launches new superfast satellite broadband service available anywhere in England and Wales using SES Broadband Services platform.
[Hispanic Business – 07/31/2013]

Cobham signs up to become Satellite & Radio Communications Equipment Partner for Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015.
[ – 07/31/2013]

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince hears Yahsat’s chairman describe the Yahsat project, and how it benefits the United Arab Emirates with employment and economic stimulus.
[The National – 07/31/2013]

FCC grants ViaSat license for Ka-band satellite in-flight connectivity.
[Satellite Today – 07/31/2013]

GOES-R satellite magnetometer boom successfully deployed.
[R&D Magazine – 07/30/2013]

SES completes in-orbit testing of SES 6.
[Satellite Today – 07/30/2013]

Inmarsat strengthens its position as a top MSS satellite communications provider with Alphasat launch; with Inmarsat5s expected in next 2 years will be able to offer seamless global connectivity.
[Satellite spotlight – 07/30/2013]

Space Systems/Loral is selected to provide multi-mission satellite to Eutelsat. [The Wall Street Journal – 07/30/2013]

Successful demonstration shows Inmarsat’s new L-TAC service operating in vehicles traveling at speeds of up to 70 mph.
[Satellite Today – 07/30/2013]

Renewing its GSA contract, the Certified Woman Owned Small Business GIT Satellite Communications ranks in the top 20 percent of GSA sales along with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and other major aerospace contractors.
[SatNews – 07/30/2013]

Panasonic Avionics and China Telecom Satellite sign memorandum of understanding to jointly develop, implement and support in-flight connectivity solutions for the Chinese market.
[Hispanic Business – 07/30/2013]

U.S. Pacific Command studies options for layered communications network that would rely on mix of military satellites, commercial satcom services and aircraft serving as gateways.
[National Defense – 07/29/2013]

Air Force report outlines threats to satellite and aerospace industries from space debris.
[Satellite Today – 07/29/2013]

EUTELSAT 5B arrives in Kourou and begins preparation for August 29 launch.
[Yahoo Finance – 07/29/2013]

India’s ISRO prepares its first defence satellite for launch from Korou, slated for August 30.
[The Hindu – 07/29/2013]

Orbit Communications to supply Embraer with IP-based communication management solution for its aircraft fleet.
[Wireless Developer Network – 07/29/2013]

European Union considers EU Commission proposal to acquire fleet of surveillance drones, spy satellites, and planes to boost European defense industry in wake of NSA spying revelations.
[ – 07/27/2013]

India’s Insat 3-D weather satellite launched from Kourou.
[India West – 074/26/2013]

New Ukrainian pay-TV platform Lybid TV launches on EUTELSAT 36B.
[News9 – 07/26/2013]

 WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services