Archive for November, 2013

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 11/29/2013

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

SpaceX’s second attempt to launch SES-8 satellite, on Thanksgiving day, is shut down at last second as the rocket’s nine first-stage Merlin engines automatically shut down at ignition as increase in pressure in first stage oxygen tank was slower than expected.
[Space News – 11/29/2013]

SSL Partners with NASA to place laser communications relay demonstration on a commercial satellite.
[Azooptics – 11/28/2013]

Signalhorn is awarded funding from the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop a gateway that will allow its customers to monitor all aspects of their services with the company, under ESA’s ARTES program.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 11/28/2013]

Brazil’s communications ministry (MinCom) approves two projects to deploy terrestrial satellite control stations by state-run telco Telebras under a tax exemption program
[BN Americas – 11/28/2013]

Image for illustration only – Space Daily

European Space Agency announces that next two large science missions will study the hot and energetic universe and search for elusive gravitational waves.
[Space Daily – 11/28/2013]

Brazilian telecom provider Telebras and Embraer sign contract to supply the Defense and Strategic Communications Geostationary Satellite (SGDC) system following outcry over U.S. spying..
[Space Daily – 11/285/2013]

Why the world’s 2nd largest fleet operator (SES) agreed to be SpaceX’s 1st customer for a launch to GEO.
[Space News – 11/27/2013]

NASA photo – PhysOrg

Small satellite delivered to International Space Station is launched into space to demonstrate advanced deorbiting technique using exo-brake parachute..
[Phys Org – 11/27/2013]

Recent launch of Minotaur 1 rocket marked first flight test of new on-board safety system aimed at preventing errant rockets from causing damage or bodily harm on the ground.
[Space News – 11/27/2013]

Nitrogen tanks explode at SpaceX’s Texas rocket test facility.
[Space News – 11/27/2013]

Analyst speculates that Dish could spend up to $10.7B on LightSquared, H Block, AWS-3 and 600 MHz spectrum over the next year.
[Fierce Wireless – 11/27/2013]

DigitalGlobe and AstriumGEO strategies look like classic Niche vs. Mass Market opposition.
[NSR – 11/27/2013]

Boeing targets manned and unmanned ISR platforms for Inmarsat’s GX government sales tactic.
[Via Satellite – 11/27/2013]

Comtech Systems receives $2.4 million contract for new Troposcatter communications system.
[Via Satellite – 11/27/2013]

SpaceX has to postpone launch of SES-8 after three stoppages in the countdown.
[Via Satellite – 11/26/2013]

Reportstack announces new market report on Global Satellite Communication Market in the Oil and Gas Industry which forecasts the market to grow at a CAGR of 5.74 percent over the period 2013-2018.
[PR Carbon – 11/26/2013]

Artist’s rendition of exactEarth satellite – SatNews

exactEarth launches advanced AIS satellite that will extend its exactAIS constellation and increase the capacity of its global vessel monitoring service.
[SatNews – 11/26/2013]

CEA-Leti’s next-generation magnetometer technology was launched into space on board the European Space Agency’s three Swarm satellites to collect unprecedented detail about the Earth’s magnetic field.
[SatNews – 11/26/2013]

NASA weather satellite with Ball Aerospace’s GMI instrument arrives in Japan where it will launch aboard NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission.
[Via Satellite – 11/26/2013]

Telespazio and Eutelsat sign multi-year agreement to market KA-SAT services in Italy.
[msn Money – 11/26/2013]

Orbcomm strengthens cellular footprint through agreement with Telefonica.
[Via Satellite – 11/26/2013]

Caribsat teams up with Newtec and Eutelsat for West Indies broadband play.
[Via Satellite – 11/26/2013]

SpaceQuest CEO looks to enter M2M market.
[Via Satellite – 11/26/2013]

Huawei helps APT construct cloud data centers, integrating cloud computing data services with satellite communications services.
[Yahoo Finance – 11/26/2013]

Army photo –

Team Tobyhanna uses pioneering approach to install the Army’s next generation SATCOM ground terminals using a plan that exceeds the depot’s annual Value Engineering Proposal cost avoidance goal by more than 276 percent.
[ – 11/26/2013]

ASC Signal Corporation secures major contract with Sheri Tai International Company of China for HF antennas for coastal communications systems.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 11/26/2013]

Creonic of Germany announces two new IP cores for satellite communication – a DVB-S2 demodulator and a DVB-CID (Carrier ID) modulator.
[SatNews – 11/26/2013]

Rogers Communications and NHL announce 12-year national broadcast and multimedia agreement.
[Yahoo Finance. – 11/26/2013]

Inmarsat appoints ESL as global government distribution partner.
[The Wall Street Transcript]

Teal Group analysts identify 3,164 space payloads proposed for launch To 2032 with an estimated value of more than $235 billion.
[PR Newswire – 11/25/2013]

NSR’s latest market size estimate in the Global Assessment of Satellite Supply & Demand 10th Edition study projects that global HTS demand will hit 451 Gbps in 2018 on a supply of 1.6 Tbps
[NSR – 11/25/2013]

Euroconsult expects 33 High Throughput Satellite (HTS) systems to be launched between 2014 and 2016, as HTS expand into new markets.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 11/25/2013]

Boeing’s Family of Advanced Beyond Line-of-Sight Terminals (FAB-T) development program has completed the functional qualification testing phase for the protected wideband satellite communications system.
[Satellite Spotlight – 11/25/2013]

Eutelsat selects Newtec’s Sat3Play VSAT Broadband Platform to extend its IP Easy service offering over the French West Indies and French Guiana.
[Satellite Markets & Research – .11/25/2013]

Lockheed wins $105 million Air Force contract to help operate two satellite communications systems.
[Washington Business Journal – 11/25/2013]

Globalstar announces that the Spanish Ministry of Defence is now using SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™ and SPOT Connect™ devices for in-field communications for personnel who are operating in remote locations with no cellular coverage.
[SatNews – 11/25/2013]

Three O3b 7.3m antennas in Peru – Via Satellite

O3b Networks opens satellite ground station in Peru.
[Via Satellite – 11/25/2013]

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. receives $1.1 million in additional orders for satellite equipment spares from Brazilian military.
[The Wall Street Journal – 11/25/2013]

Sat Space Africa to expand African market reach through AfricaSat 1a.
[Via Satellite – 11/25/2013]

ViaSat and Harris Corp are boosted by key breakthrough in the European milsatcom market, as BAE Systems U.K. selects the KOR 24 Small Tactical Terminal co-developed by the companies for installation on the Falcon 20.
[Via Satellite – 11/25/2013]

FLYHT introduces the Dragon, a revolutionary, lightweight, portable satellite communications device that blends existing FLYHT technology with that of the iPad.
[Wall Street Journal – 11/25/2013]

Snowden leaks reveal that Singapore and South Korea are helping the U.S. and Australia tap undersea telecommunications links across Asia.
[The Sydney Morning Herald – 11/24/2013]

Cable mergers might rekindle the consideration of a merger between DirecTV and Dish Network.
[Yahoo Finance – 11/23/2013]

 WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

Comet ISON Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

What a treat: we may be able to see the Comet ISON during the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Look for it near the horizon, but don’t look directly into the Sun (duh).

The image above, courtesy of ESA/NASA/SOHO, shows Comet ISON streaming toward the Sun.

In the early hours of Nov. 27, 2013, Comet ISON entered the field of view of the European Space Agency/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. In this picture, called a coronagraph, the bright light of the sun itself is blocked so the structures around it are visible. The comet is seen in the lower right; a giant cloud of solar material, called a coronal mass ejection or CME, is seen billowing out under the sun.
Comet ISON, which began its trip from the Oort cloud region of our solar system, will reach its closest approach to the sun on Thanksgiving Day, skimming just 730,000 miles above the sun’s surface.
NASA is tracking Comet ISON’s journey and hosting events to discuss what the public worldwide may see as the comet traverses the sun.

Here’s the best video yet…

Check out NASA’s Comet ISON Toolkit for more.

Think astronomers are excited? That’s an understatement. Look at the observation schedule.

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 11/22/2013

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Two of the Swarm satellites will operate 150 meters distant from each other from an orbit of 460 kilometers, while the third will be raised to operate from 530 kilometers during the mission’s four-year duration. Credit: ESA artist’s concept – Space News

Europe’s three identical Swarm satellites designed to study Earth’s magnetic field from low Earth orbit successfully launched after a wait of nearly two years.
[Space News – 11/22/2013]

– SatNews

Skybox Imaging, only the fifth organization licensed to provide high-resolution space-based imagery of Earth, launches its first satellite, SkySat-1.
[SatNews – 11/22/2013]

(Skybox seeks to shake up the earth imaging market by ringing the earth with constellations of low earth orbit high resolution imaging satellites that are dramatically cheaper to build and maintain.)
[ – 06/18/2013]

Volunteers from AMSAT-UK confirm signals were successfully received from FUNcube-1, one of several cubesats aboard the Russian Dnepr launch in Yasny on Thursday.
[SatNews – 11/22/2013]

The goal of Phoenix is to develop a maneuverable spacecraft equipped with a dexterous robotic arm to salvage useful components from retired communications satellites in geostationary orbit. Credit: DARPA artist’s concept – Space News

Honeybee Robotics of New York wins contract from U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DAARPA) for work on experimental satellite servicing and salvaging project known as Phoenix.
[Space News – 11/22/2013]

SpaceX confirms failure of Falcon 9 v1.1 engine to re-ignite September 29 was caused when the igniter fluid lines froze following exposure to oxygen – easy fix reassures insurers and customers including SES on eve of SES-8 launch.
[Space News – 11/22/23013]

Senate bill would require Pentagon to study feasibility of U.S. alternative to the Russian RD-180 engine that powers one of its workhorse rockets.
[Space News – 11/22/2013]

U.S. House Intelligence Committee proposes reduced funding for spy satellites.
[Space News – 11/22/2013]

Boeing to sell commercial Global Xpress bandwidth to government users.
[Space News – 11/22/2013]

Workaround at Army’s Regional Hub Node in Guam boosts Teleport satellite access for U.S. forces in the Asia-Pacific region.
[Defense Systems – 11/22/2013]

STPSAT-3 satellite from the Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space Office and Space Test Program is successfully launched from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility along with 28 other payloads.
[Hispanic Business – 11/21/2013]

Satellite Industry Association (SIA) testifies on the satellite industry’s leading role in commercialization of space at hearing held by House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Space Subcommittee.
[SatNews – 11/21/2013]

The Dnepr launch vehicle – RiaNovosti

Dnepr launch from Yasny air force base in southern Russia carries 33 international satellites into orbit, including DubaiSat 2 Earth imaging satellite, STSAT-3 infrared astronomy satellite, SkySat-1 earth imaging satellite, Aprizesat 7/8 asset tracking data satellite, UniSat biomedical experiment satellite, and several cubesats.
[RiaNovosti – 11/21/2013]

Argentine state satellite company Arsat and its Italian counterpart Telespazio have signed a MoU that calls for collaboration in the space sector, including launch support, space operations, and satcom services.
[telecompaper – 11/21/2013]

Arianespace orders ten new Vega launchers from Italian manufacturer European Launch Vehicle (ELV).
[Satellite Evolution Group – 11/21/2013]

Mars image Credit: European Space Agency image – Space News

Mars 2020 rover to include test device to tap planet’s atmosphere for oxygen.
[Space News – 11/21/2013]

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited’s space-based S-band radar system, NovaSAR, wins innovation award from The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
[Satellite Evolution Group – 11/21/2013]

Credit: Inspiration Mars artist’s concept – Space News

Private manned U.S. Mars mission will not get off the ground as planned in January 2018 unless it secures support of the U.S. government within the next few months.
[Space News – 11/21/2013]

KVH sponsors International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network event in London. [Satellite Evolution Group – 11/21/2013]

Successful launch of Air Force experimental satellite lets scientists breathe easier, after NASA’s Glory climate-monitoring spacecraft was lost due to a March 2011 launch failure.
[Space News – 11/20/2013]

Alphasat reaches operational in-orbit position, successfully completing all in-orbit tests.
[SatNews – 11/20/2013]

World Technology Network names ViaSat as 2013 award winner for creation of transformational high-capacity satellite system.
[Yahoo Finance – 11/20/2013]

Air Force Space Command looks at ways to drive down cost of terminals and unveils new strategy for acquiring satellite capacity.
[National Defense – 11/20/2013]

NSR’s Land Mobile & Handheld Satellite Markets (LM&H) report offers the industry’s most comprehensive analysis of this vital and evolving satellite communications market.
[SatNews – 11/20/2013]

Liberalised regulatory regimes have opened up markets in Africa that previously posed significant challenges for operators and service providers, and the African market… is open for business.
[humanipo – 11/20/2013]

RRsat is appointed as Inmarsat distribution partner for Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) services.
[Yahoo Finance – 11/20/2013]

ITU plays key role in bringing communications to some of worst hit areas of the Phllippines.
[Via Satellite – 11/20/2013]

SMART Communications and Thuraya deploy mobile satellite handsets to establish critical connectivity in the Phillipines.
[Hispanic Business – 11/20/2013]

Post Italiane selects Eutelsat’s Tooway satellite broadband service to take true broadband across Italy.
[The Wall Street Journal – 11/20/2013]

Astrium announces new SKYWAN 5G satellite platform that fulfills all roles in the network at AfricaCom.
[Thomasnet – 11/20/2013]

(Courtesy graphic) – Schriever Air Force Base

The 3rd Space Operations Squadron will celebrate the Defense Satellite Communications System B10 satellite’s 20th anniversary on orbit Nov. 28 – the satellite was designed to operate for only 10 years.
[Schriever Air Force Base – 11/19/2013]

Musings from a trip to SatComRus 2013 held in Dubna, about three hours north of Moscow, where Russia’s top satellite executives meet to discuss the industry in one of the world’s major satellite communications markets.
[Via Satellite – 11/19/2013]

Artist’s depiction of MUOS – Lockheed – National Defense Magazine

Radio manufacturers announced that they have achieved important milestones in the fielding of terminals that will connect to the Navy’s long-delayed Mobile User Objective System communications satellites.
[National Defense – 11/19/2013]

Alcatel-Lucent to provide Japanese cable operator Tonami Satellite Communications Television with ultra-broadband access solution, increasing speed to customers by up to 20 times.
[Satellite Spotlight – 11/19/2013]

Yahsat enters into agreement with Astrium and Boeing for Ka-band capabilities for maritime patrol aircraft.
[Hispanic Business – 11/19/2013]

SIS Live selects Ateme codecs to equip new fleet of satellite news gathering vehicles.
[Via Satellite – 11/19/2013]

Hunter Communications is approved by Industry Canada to compete in the Canadian market, and begins selling space segment.
[Via Satellite – 11/19/2013]

Mona Lisa – CNN file image

NASA successfully transmits digital image of Mona Lisa to satellite orbiting the moon and back using lasers.
[CNN – 11/18/2013]

Via Satellite dedicates edition for the Middle East & Africa region, both vibrant regions with strong demands for capacity, with Africa possibly the next big hotspot for satellite.
[Via Satellite – 11/18/2013]

Harris Corporation unfurlable mesh antenna reflectors on MUOS satellite launched in July successfully deploy in space.
[Business Wire – 11/18/2013]

Australian government is considering its options after iiNet announced it would no longer sign up any new customers to the National Broadband Network (NBN) interim satellite service as it reaches its limit.
[zdnet – 11/18/2013]

Incredible Connection partners with Maxwell Technology to bring high-speed satellite broadband to South Africa, especially suited for the agricultural and hospitality industries.
[ITweb – 11/18/2013]

Canadian government issues request for proposals for mobile satellite communication terminals for Canadian Army vehicles.
[Ottawa Citizen – 11/16/2013]

 WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 11/15/2013

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Senate Intelligence Committee recommends allowing U.S. firms to sell higher-resolution satellite imagery on the open market.
[Space News – 11/15/2013]

European Commission will offer “free, full and open” access to the Earth observation satellites providing data for the commission’s Copernicus program starting in December.
[Space News – 11/15/2013]

U.S. Navy resumes work on MUOS ground station following six-month standoff with Sicily.
[Space News – 11/15/2013]

Galileo prime contractor said it had completed development of the first satellites earlier than planned, and that this will compensate for the late start in testing and later-than-planned delivery to the European Space Agency (ESA).
[Space News – 11/15/2013]

Echostar’s HughesNet consumer broadband service outpaces ViaSat’s Exede service with 72,000 net subscriber additions in third quarter; company announced it is paying Dish Network to continue TerreStar 2 construction, without disclosing satellite purpose.
[Space News – 11/15/2013]

With its North American business recovering and second-generation satellites in service, Globalstar looks to Latin America and other International markets.
[Space News – 11/15/2013]

Private-equity group Ardian has purchased 30 percent stake in satellite-based environmental data collection and positioning service provider CLS of France; cash needed to pursue internal and acquisition-fueled growth, including U.S. market.
[Space News – 11/15/2013]

The second annual Visions Awards ceremony at SATCON awarded winners in three categories: David Hershberg, Founder and CEO of Globecomm Systems won the Visionary Executive of the Year; Advantech Wireless’ SapphireBluTM series High Power Amplifiers won the Innovative Product of the Year and satellite operator Arabsat won the Most Promising Company of the Year.
[PRLOG – 11/15/2013]

SMART communications and Thuraya deploy mobile satellite handsets to establish critical connectivity in the Philippines.
[Hispanic Business – 11/15/2013]

Thaicom Plc installs satellite-based communication facilities using its IPStar or Thaicom 4 satellite for typhoon Haiyan-hit areas in Philippines.
[The Nation – 11/15/2013]

UK-based satellite technology company Avanti partners with IP communications services firm Internet Solutions to provide enterprise services in South Africa.
[IT web Africa – 11/15/2013]

South Korea’s indigenously built STSAT-3 “Science and Technology Satellite 3” scheduled for November 21 launch from Russian Yasny launch base.
[SatNews – 11/14/2013]

Broadcast industry needs reality check on where we stand today in terms of encoding standards for SD, HD, and 3D channels, with fully 73% of SD channels still MPEG-2.
[NSR – 11/14/2013]

Although satellite broadband has grown slower that predicted three years ago, new NSR report says 2013 represents a landmark year for that market.
[Via Satellite – 11/14/2013]

ISRO selects Arianspace for Gsat 15 and Gsat 16 launches.
[Via Satellite – 11/14/2013]

Though Astrium is being merged with Airbus due to under-performance, its satellite and space-transportation businesses have been doing well.
[Space News – 11/14/2013]

Lockheed Martin Space Systems division to close its Newtown, Pennsylvania facility by 2015 as part of corporate-wide cost reduction including workforce reduction of 4,000.
[Space News – 11/14/2013]

Globalstar’s Spot releases satellite-based theft-alert tracking device.
[Via Satellite – 11/14/2013]

Responding to growing consumer demand to watch favorite content on mobile devices, DISH readies upgrade to DISH Anywhere app that incorporates Transfers functionality to iOS and Android phones and tablets.
[SatNews – 11/14/2013]

Tampa Microwave to design satellite terminals for Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite network.
[Via Satellite – 11/14/2013]

Emerging markets push global Pay-TV subscriber base past 886.5 million in third quarter of 2013.
[Via Satellite – 11/14/2013]

NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) satellite scheduled for November 18 launch from Cape Canaveral.
[SatNews – 11/13/2013]

SES advised by Arianespace that ASTRA 5B satellite launch will be delayed to January of 2014 due to delay in co-passenger satellite Amazonas 4A.
[SatNews – 11/13/2013]

Newtec wins ASBU BroadcastPRO Outstanding Achievement Award for its pivotal role in developing new DVB-S2 extensions technology.
[4rfv – 11/13/2013]

Comcast Wholesale renews and expands key agreements with SES for nearly 650 MHz of C-band capacity to deliver solutions to media companies across North America.
[Via Satellite – 11/13/2013]

English ITU dispatches emergency satellite communication equipment to areas of the Philippines severely affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
[Satellite Spotlight – 11/13/2013]

ITC Global completes capacity deal with SES to connect remote oil, gas and mining operations throughout North America.
[Wall Street Journal – 11/13/2013]

Eutelsat signs deal with Rai to expand HD broadcasting in Italy.
[Via Satellite – 11/13/2013]

SES-Astra’s SAT-to-IP protocol allows any of 32 users with device having an IP address to receive up to 6 satellite TV programmes simultaneously.
[Phys-Org – 11/13/2013]

Gilat Satcom announces new fibre and satellite services in Africa which will increase broadband availability.
[Developing telecoms – 11/13/2013]

OnlineAVL2 Fleet Tracking Platform, with satellite communications option, provides continuous visibility of heavy equipment and on-road vehicles.
[ThomasNet – 11/13/2013]

Mobile Satellite Communications Survey, Prospects to 2022, is an expert analysis of the mobile satellite industry from MarketResearchReports.Biz.
[SB Wire – 11/12/2013]

Russia launches Russian Defense Ministry communications satellite.
[Global Times – 11/12/2013]

Airlines and air navigation service providers meet with Aireon for space-based ADS-B advisory committee meeting.
[Via Satellite – 11/12/2013]

EIAST hosts international committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems.
[Via Satellite – 11/12/2013]

iDirect wins 2013 Via Satellite Excellence Awards for Technology Company of the Year and Social Media Company of the Year.
[Sacramento Bee – 11/12/2013]

ViaSat’s military business still growing despite U.S. Government cutbacks.
[Space News – 11/12/2013]

Kore, world’s largest wireless services provider specializing in global machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, adds broadband satellite services from Inmarsat.
[Yahoo Finance – 11/12/2013]

Encompass implements ScheduALL across the U.S.; the UK is to follow.
[Via Satellite – 11/12/2013]

ND Satcom’s next generation SKYWAN 5G significantly reduces total cost of ownership since only one type of device is needed for all roles in the network.
[SatNews – 11/12/2013]

Navman wireless adds satellite communications option to its fleet tracking solution.
[Hispanic Business – 11/12/2013]

Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report gives the latest trends in the wireless industry, relevant to the satellite industry in light of cellular backhaul services.
[Via Satellite – 11/11/2013]

Spacecom secures financing for Amos 6 satellite.
[Via Satellite – 11/11/2013]

First Global Xpress satellite nears launch.
[Via Satellite – 11/11/2013]

Telecoms Sans Frontieres (TSF) and United Nations Disaster Assessment ad Coordination Agency (UNDAC) work together to deploy satellite communications support in Philippines.
[Marinelink – 11/11/2013]

SES and its partners in deploy satellite communications in Philippines.
[Yahoo Fiinance – 11/11/2013]

British engineers demonstrate use of Ka-band for much higher bandwidth support of UAVs.
[the engineer – 11/11/2013]

Belgium-based SatADSL to launch new range of satellite services for African enterprises.
[Star Africa – 11/11/2013]

Canadian government reaches out to other countries and companies for partnership on massive Arctic satellite communications program.
[The Star – 11/09/2013]

Euroconsult details exciting changes to come in the satellite industry in new report “Satellites to be Built & Launched by 2022, World Market Survey.”
[Via Satellite – 11/08/2013]

WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 11/08/2013

Friday, November 15th, 2013


Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz TMA-11M space ship – R&D Magazine

Russian rocket carries Sochi Olympic torch and three astronauts to the International Space Station.
[R&D Magazine – 11/08/2013]

Even in a tough fiscal environment, the satellite industry gathered in record numbers at Global Milsatcom 2013 in London to present their latest solutions for military users.
[NSR – 11/08/2013]

U.S. allies’ access to MUOS debated after a MUOS satellite in geostationary orbit successfully maintained telephone links with an aircraft flying over the North Pole.
[Space News – 11/08/2013]

SES 8, Orbital Sciences artist’s concept – Space News

SES-8 satellite, which provides SES both replacement capacity and additional transponders for new business, is now scheduled for launch Nov. 22 aboard a Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) Falcon 9 rocket.
[Space News – 11/08/2013]

Orbcomm feels its strategic partnership with Inmarsat to develop satellite M2M could help standardization efforts in the industry.
[Space News – 11/08/2013]

Problems with the Exelis-built navigation payload on the U.S. Air Force’s next generation of positioning, navigation and timing satellites appear to be solved.
[Space News – 11/08/2013]

Lockheed Martin Space Systems has concluded that disaggregation of space assets to render them less vulnerable to attack is not all it’s cracked up to be.
[Space News – 11/08/2013]

Chinese satellite launch – US News

Pentagon could reduce its reliance on foreign-owned satellites like the Apstar-7 by increasing its supply of bandwidth or decreasing its seemingly limitless demand.
[US News Opinion – 11/07/2013]

Canada revamps satellite regulations to make industry more competitive, reducing fees, easing coverage restrictions for satellite licensees, and going to bat for them seeking orbital slots outside the Canadian arc.
[Space News – 11/07/2013]

Later than planned launch of its new GX satellite to hit profits of Inmarsat.
[Yahoo Finance – 11/07/2013]

Russian military satellite to blast off atop Proton-M carrier rocket November 12, with no details on the purpose or specifications of the satellite.
[SatNews – 11/07/2013]

E6B strategic airborne command post – Military Aerospace

Northrop Grumman gets $18.5 million contract to build SATCOM capability for E-6B strategic airborne command post.
[Military Aerospace – 11/07/2013]

MTN Communications renews critical capacity agreement with SES as cruise ships, yachts and exploration vessels worldwide demand more connectivity.
[Satellite Spotlight – 11/07/2013]

SpeedCast extends global maritime VST network across Indian and South Atlantic oceans.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 11/07/2013]

ORBIT Communication Systems to show OceanTRx stabilized VSAT product line for maritime oil and gas communications at OilComm 2013.
[Offshore Technology International – 11/07/2013]

Why satellite TV has an edge over cable.
[Yahoo Homes – 11/07/2013]

Kinross Gold signs three-year deal with BT to provide communications network connecting sites in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Chile and Spain.
[Satellite Spotlight – 11/07/2013]

Integrated marketing and communications agency Sage Communications acquires satellite and space marketing and public relations firm Longbottom.
[Yahoo Finance – 11/07/2013]

Research and Markets report projects the mobile satellite service market to grow at a CAGR of 10.1 % over the period 2011 – 2015.
[Yahoo Finance – 11/06/2013]

Boeing artist’s concept of robotic satellite – Space News

DARPA looks for 10 retired satellites to raid for parts in on-orbit salvaging demo.
[Space News – 11/06/2013]

Canada blocks MDA from Russian radar satellite competetion.
[Space News – 11/06/2013]

FEMA wants to extend contract for satellite connectivity with On Call Communications for extra three months at additional $450,000 cost.
[Government Security News – 11/06/2013]

Areas of interest for the PCW mission – CSA graphic – Space News

Com Dev and MDA jockey for position on Canadian Arctic satellite project.
[Space News – 11/06/2013]

Australian company EM Solutions gets follow-on order from Japanese government for additional quantity of its on-the-move satellite broadband terminals.
[Australian Defence Magazine – 11/06/2013]

Azam Medial chooses Eutelst capacity, services, and DTH experience to support its new pan-African pay-TV platform.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 11/06/2013]

Navman Wireless USA announces a new satellite communications option for its OnlineAVL2 fleet tracking platform enabling continuous visibility of both heavy equipment and on-road vehicles even when out of cellular range.
[Yahoo Finance – 11/06/2013]

NASA working hard to develop laser-based space communications systems said to be key to ensuring rapid and accurate transmission of information from spacecraft around the solar system.
[Yahoo News – 11/05/2013]

Reportlinker announces new market research report in its catalogue: “Global Fixed Satellite Service Market 2012 – 2016.”
[Yahoo Finance – 11/05/2013]

Euroconsult – Government and industry to combine for 1,150 satellites over next ten years.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 11/05/2013]

Spacecom’s Amos 4 satellite Ku-band capacity bought entirely by a Southeast Asian data services provider.
[Via Satellite – 11/05/2013]

ITC Global announces it has launched the world’s first production service for oil & gas and mining clients utilizing the new iDirect X7 remote modem, offering remote location performance of 20 Mbps or better.
[Yahoo Finance – 11/05/2013]

Thuraya partners with Vocality to provide Vocality network router solutions through its global network of service partners serving commercial and defense mobile satellite communications markets.
[Satellite Spotlight – 11/05/2013]

India’s attempt to become just the fourth nation to successfully send a mission to Mars makes good start with successful blast off of the Mangalyaan orbiter.
[Independent – 11/05/2013]

New satellite communications building opening at Goonhilly will provide super fast broadband from Avanti to rural areas of Cornwall that would otherwise be out of reach.
[itv – 11/05/2013]

Kazakhstan provided Kyrgyzstan joint use of KazSat to offer satellite communications and broadcasting in the interests of the telecommunications sector in Kyrgyzstan.
[Hispanic Business – 11/05/2013]

Globalstar proposal to use satellite spectrum for terrestrial Wi-Fi has potential for success, unlike the fiasco that was LightSquared.
[CNN Money – 11/04/2013]

Thuraya and TrustComm introduce Starlight, and enhanced mobile satellite service.
[Yahoo Finance – 11/04/2013]

Euronics of Germany teams up with Eutelsat to take satellite broadband to German consumers still beyond range of a quality broadband experience.
[Yahoo Finance – 11/04/2013]

Hughes to provide satellite back-up solution for the US National Weather Service OPsnet (Operational Systems Network).
[HIspanic Business – 11/04/2013]

Artistic rendition courtesy of ESA.- SatNews

ESA’s ground station on Tenerife island receives laser signals over a distance of 400,000 km from NASA’s latest moon orbiter, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE).
[SatNews – 11/03/2013]

Fourth edition of NSR’s SCADA/M2M via Satellite report offers the industry’s most complete analysis of this vital satellite communications market.
[NSR – November 2013]

 WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

Big Bang Monday: Hot Jupiters

Monday, November 11th, 2013


Fascinating, via NASA Visualization Explorer

In the search for Earth-like planets, astronomers uncover a strange blue world.

Scientists estimate more than 100 billion planets exist beyond our solar system. These alien worlds, known as exoplanets, orbit distant stars located light-years from Earth. One such planet is called HD 189733b. A gas giant slightly larger than Jupiter, HD 189733b circles its star from a distance of only 3 million miles. That’s 13 times closer than Mercury is to our sun. As a result, temperatures in its atmosphere approach 2,000°F. Astronomers discovered HD 189733b in 2005 after observing its parent star dimming with every pass, or transit, of the planet. We now know from follow-up observations by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope that HD 189733b is blue in color.

If only the original Star Trek was still around — they’d come up with a good episode around these “Hot Jupiters.” This one’s only 63 light years away.

We’re hoping our friends at come out with an exoplanet gallery soon. For now, we’ll settle for regular Jupiter.

Virgin Galactic’s First Flight: Global Broadcast

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

NBC Universal will broadcast the first Virgin Galactic flight live.

The Today show will be seen by millions and get incredible ratings. Hopefully, the first flight will be during sweeps.

Michael Francis Ford, 1948-2013

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Mike Ford

Mike Ford

Mike Ford was the creative genius behind Americom’s branding campaign, launched in 2006, and encouraged the creation of this blog.


Michael Francis Ford, a noted Democratic political strategist, entrepreneur and founder of the Center for the Study of the American Dream at Xavier University, died on November 5 at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., after battling melanoma for five years. He was 65.

Over four decades, Mr. Ford served in nine presidential campaigns, holding senior strategic positions for Edward Kennedy in 1980, Walter Mondale in 1984, Jerry Brown in 1992 and Howard Dean in 2004. In addition, he managed more than 100 gubernatorial, US Senate, US House and mayoral campaigns across the country.

Former Vice President Walter Mondale said in a letter this week: “A man of many gifts, Mike’s greatest gift may have been his ability to inspire young people around him, teach them to be the best versions of themselves, and to understand the importance of giving back to their community and country.”

After graduating from Xavier University in 1970, Mr. Ford remained in Cincinnati, Ohio where his political career blossomed. In addition to numerous local and statewide campaigns, Mr. Ford served as Executive Assistant to Ohio Governor John J. Gilligan. He later served as campaign manager, Deputy Mayor and Chief of Staff to Cincinnati Mayor Jerry Springer, and was as an international representative and organizer for AFSCME, AFL-CIO.

In 1980, Ford was part of a cadre of seasoned political veterans who helped lead Senator Edward Kennedy’s challenge to President Jimmy Carter for the Democratic presidential nomination. Among other assignments, Ford managed Kennedy’s crucial Pennsylvania primary win, which breathed new life into the campaign at a critical time.

In 1984, while serving as Deputy Campaign Manager and National Field Director for Vice President Walter Mondale’s presidential campaign, Ford’s persuasive post-primary memos urging an ambitious effort to register minority and union voters and advocating for an “out-of-the box” selection for running mate, were published in The Quest for the Presidency, 1984.

Mike taught and inspired legions of young volunteers and first-time staffers and turned them into the next generation of political professionals.

Writing about Ford in The Quest for the Presidency, 1992 author Peter Goldman described Ford as: “a tough, veteran pol, equally at home in the world of ideas.”

In 1988, Mike and his wife, Sally, founded Bay Communications, a strategic communications firm, consulting for executives of Fortune 500 companies, Democratic national and state parties and caucuses, international unions, and political action committees.

While serving in the 90’s as the Senior Advisor to the Executive Vice President of Internet Operations at Citibank, Mr. Ford created the “Financial Services in the Next Ten Years” White Paper, helping Citibank focus on company-wide long term planning, including voice recognition and A/I, universal/simultaneous multi-lingual translation, and miniature robotics as virtual guides for consumers.

In 1996, Ford created the Affordable Access Trust Inc., a unit investment trust filed with the SEC, designed to package low cost units of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Corporation, at the time trading at $50,000 a share. The Trust was terminated after Buffett to reluctantly created lower cost “Berkshire B shares” at a 96% discount from the “A share” price. The B shares have quintupled in value since then.

A Newsweek article noted the Trust’s extraordinary genesis and impact. “The gestation of the Baby Berkshires began not on Wall Street but in Annapolis, Md., with political consultant Michael Ford, who specializes in working for liberal Democrats. Ford decided he could do well by doing good.”

“I just wanted to let the average person buy a piece of the best investor of our time,” Mr. Ford told Newsweek.

Mr. Ford’s unique career afforded him the chance to consult a variety of clients, ranging from the NBA Players’ Association, the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority, and many technology start-ups. Mr. Ford was even enlisted by the producers of the 1983 film The Dead Zone to help create scenes about a New Hampshire primary election event.

In 2009, Mr. Ford founded the Center for the Study of the American Dreamat his alma mater, Xavier University. The Center serves as the nation’s pre-eminent clearinghouse for information on the state of the American Dream.

As its Founding Director, Mr. Ford led the Center’s efforts in generating significant original research analyzing shifts in the Dream’s continuing evolution. Under Mr. Ford’s leadership, the Center has received significant national attention for its work.

At the time of his death, Mr. Ford was working on a book on the history, meaning, and future of the American Dream, which his family plans to publish posthumously. The book’s genesis comes from his 2012 Washington Post Sunday Outlook 5 Myths opinion piece “Five Myths about the American Dream.”

Mr. Ford’s commentaries appeared in radio and newspapers including The Chicago Tribune, and The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Huffington Post, He appeared on “Larry King Live,” the “Today Show” and CNN’s “Crossfire,” serving as a political analyst and campaign spokesperson.

He lectured at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Ohio State University, American University, University of Cincinnati, Wake Forest University, and the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas.

Mr. Ford was such an avid reader that his home contains a two-story library filled with thousands of books and busts of his Founding Father heroes. His many passions ranged from writing, classical music, American history, financial investing, art collecting, cooking, and his favorite sports teams, most notably the Washington Redskins and Xavier Musketeers basketball.

Mr. Ford was born in Washington, D.C. on June 27, 1948, and grew up in Takoma Park, Md. He attended St. Michael’s School in Silver Spring, Md. and St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C. He received an A.B. from Xavier University in Cincinnati, an M.A. in Government from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and was a Graduate Fellow at the Institute of Public Administration at Penn State University.

Surviving Mr. Ford are his wife Sally, of Glyndon, Md.; a son, Matthew of New York, N.Y.; Mary Jo Ford (Richard) Schneider of Herndon, Va., Patrick (Peggy) Ford of Columbia, Md., Christopher Ford of Detroit, Mich., and Maureen (Dave) Jester of Damascus, Md.; numerous nieces and nephews, and other family and friends.

The family suggests donations in Michael’s memory to the Center for the Study of the American Dream, Xavier University, 3800 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45207-5471; or to the continuing research efforts at Johns Hopkins University, c/o Dina Mallis Klicos, Kimmel Cancer Center Development Office 750 E. Pratt Street, Suite 1700, Baltimore, Md. 21202. Please indicate that the donation is in memory of Michael Ford.

With heroic symbolism, Mr. Ford died on Election Day.

Olympic Torch in Space!

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

The AP report, via ABC News

A Russian rocket soared into the cosmos Thursday carrying the Sochi Olympic torch and three astronauts to the International Space Station ahead of the first-ever spacewalk for the symbol of peace.

Video streamed by the U.S. space agency NASA reported a flawless docking with the space station about six hours after the craft blasted off from Russia’s manned space facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

The unlit torch for the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi is to be taken on a spacewalk Saturday, then return to Earth on Monday (late Sunday EST) with three departing space station astronauts.

The arriving crew members Thursday were Russia’s Mikhail Tyurin, American Rick Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata of Japan.

Once the newcomers enter the space station following a long hatch-opening process, the orbiting lab will have nine people aboard for the first time since 2009. Fyodor Yurchikhin of Russia, NASA’s Karen Nyberg and Italian Luca Parmitano are the crew scheduled to return to Earth with the torch via a Monday landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan.

The Olympic torch will not burn onboard the space outpost because lighting it would consume precious oxygen and pose a threat to the crew. The crew will carry the unlit torch around the station’s numerous modules before taking it out on a spacewalk.

The Olympic torch was taken aboard the U.S. space shuttle Atlantis in 1996 for the Atlanta Summer Olympics, but this is the first it time it will be taken outside a spacecraft.

“It’s a great pleasure and responsibility getting to work with this symbol of peace,” Tyurin told journalists on Wednesday before the launch.

Russians Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazanskiy will take the torch out of the space station on Saturday while American Michael Hopkins remains inside.

The four-month Sochi torch relay, which started in Moscow on Oct. 7, is the longest in the history of the Olympics. For most of the 65,000-kilometer (39,000-mile) route across Russia, it will travel by plane, train, car and even reindeer sleigh.

Some 14,000 torch bearers are taking part in the relay that stops at more than 130 cities and towns.

Last month, the Olympic flame traveled to the North Pole on a Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker. Later this month it will sink to the bottom of the world’s deepest lake, Lake Baikal. In early February, it will reach the peak of Mount Elbrus, at 5,642 meters (18,510 feet) the highest mountain in Russia and Europe.

The torch will be used to light the Olympic flame at Sochi’s stadium on Feb. 7, marking the start of the 2014 Winter Games that run until Feb. 23.

Satcom: We Don’t Suck

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013


For years, Internet by satellite was deemed “acceptable” by those who couldn’t get broadband by other means. Satellite operators have known for 20+ years that Ka-band was good for data, but nobody had the balls to really make a financial and operational commitment toward achieving commercial and/or technical success. Hughes, Starband, Wildblue and a host of 2nd and 3rd tier resellers tried to make a go of it, but nobody could get the cost of satellite bandwidth down to a workable level.

When satellite operators are getting 80% EBITDA margins from video distribution, why bother?

ViaSat set out to change perceptions by working the technology to make it work. They’re winning.

Mark Fidelman put together a solid piece in Forbes last week that should have been written 15 years ago — if big satcom walked the talk back then. He sat down with ViaSat CEO Dankberg and got into the details:

Most people would assume that the bandwidth issues will forever limit the size of the satellite communications market, but I’d hold off on that assumption. Dankberg explained that current satellite systems are manufactured by different vendors that build to the lowest common technical denominator. The three primary components, the satellite, the ground systems and the satellite communications service providers are all different vendors with different priorities. Which means that the entire communication system is not optimized. These systems are like a large truck with a lawn mower engine meant for a race car driver.

“So what we’ve done is developed all three of those areas. We build the ground system, we design the satellites and we operate them, so we know what we need,” Dankberg explained, “Since we are the architect of all three, we can completely integrate and optimize the system.”

Dankberg told me that ViaSat-1 used existing space components, and sub-systems, but that ViaSat-2 will have a better design and thus optimized architecture. He believes it will be twice as fast as ViaSat-1 which means it will provide even greater competition with high speed cable and DSL providers.

That means anyone anywhere could have their own high speed communications antenna. Essentially filling the gaps that current providers can’t fill due to regulatory or terrestrial issues. Yes satellite communication technology still operates on higher frequencies which don’t propagate walls very well. But Dankberg says in those situations antennas on cars, busses, trains, homes and commercial buildings will convert the signal to lower frequency Wi-Fi which is better able to penetrate the interiors of buildings.

Has anyone noticed that when you need higher bandwidth the most, it never seems to be available? I’m thinking about those situations where streaming video, uploading and downloading media are essential but are slow due to network congestion. Dankberg’s solution was to develop a type of artificial intelligence: “One of the things we did to make our network faster is develop software to figure out what you are doing, and deliver it faster that you otherwise would get -because we can anticipate what you’re going to do,” Dankberg said.

Satellite’s gotten such a bad rap that Exede partner Dish Network barely mentions the word on its website. And not at all in TV spots…

Mark Dankberg and his team are real innovators and us rocket scientists are glad to see this part of his business meet real success.