Archive for November, 2013

Hiding From Satellites

Monday, November 4th, 2013


We’ve been fans of DLR’s Heavens Above site for years, a site that predicts when orbiting spacecraft are expected to be seen from Earth. Iridium flares are especially fun to predict to impress your friends.

Now we have s spacecraft prediction app of a more topical “spying” nature: SpyMeSat, a $2 app that predicts flyovers by observation satellites. Via SlashGear

SpyMeSat was created by Orbit Logic, Inc., which specializes in supplying software to the aerospace and intelligence communities. The app, which was released last week, gets its data from organizations like NORAD, but it doesn’t use any classified information. In other words, any terrorists or human rights abusers looking to hide from satellites already can access the info through other data sources. The app’s chief purpose is to gather all that data into one cheap app.

“We were careful to only include satellites that are unclassified and whose orbits are published by NORAD,” Orbit Logic president Alex Herz said. “Even the sensor data — resolution, etc. — was taken only from the websites published by the satellite operators. So everything SpyMeSat is using is open and public.”

The app is accurate to 16 meters. You can set SpyMeSat to give you alerts for any location, track satellites even when they’re not overhead, call up resolution specs for each model, and learn about their various on-board sensors. Satellite models in the database are owned and operated by either public or private bodies, including the GeoEye, France’s SPOT-5, India’s CartoSat-2A, DigitalGlobe WorldView, and RADARSAT-2 of Canada.

It may save you some embarrassment.


Big Bang Monday: Lunar Halo

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Photo by Pauli Hänninen

Simply spectacular, via Yle.

Laplanders got a rare and beautiful sight last Friday, when the Levi ski resort fired up its snow machines to start preparing its pistes. The Finnish resort usually has early and reliable snow, one of the reasons it is due to host the FIS World Cup in mid-November.

In the village of Sirkka, near Levi in the municipality of Kittilä, photographer Pauli Hänninen and his family were curious about the shining halos in the skies above them.

”It was cold and very foggy, the temperature was around -10 degrees Celsius,” said Hänninen. ”It was down to the snow-making, as dozens if not hundreds of canon were making the course for the World Cup and elsewhere.”

”When the clouds began to break, there were rainbow colours in the sky and a halo spanning 360 degrees!” continued Hänninen. ”It was worth taking a picture or two.”


WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 11/01/2013

Friday, November 1st, 2013

John Logan of EM Solutions, Brisbane, has entered The Australian Innovation Challenge with his mobile satellite terminal. – The Australian

Comms-on-the-move Ka-band mobile satellite terminal developed by EM Solutions of Australia, enabling high speed data transfer while driving in locations lacking other communications, finds emergency applications.
[The Australian – 11/02/2013]

FAA loosens rules for electronic devices during flights.
[USA Today – 11/01/2013]

Spacecom announces a manufacturer’s workaround for Amos 5 power-supply anomaly that should enable the satellite to operate for its full 15-year service life.
[Space News – 11/01/2013]

Delayed O3b satellites should be repaired and ready for launch in March 2014.
[Space News – 11/01/2013]

The number of commercial aircraft providing either Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity will reach 4,048 by the end of 2013, representing 21% of the global fleet, according the recent research published by IHS Inc.
[SatNews – 11/01/2013]

China’s homegrown Beidou Navigation Satellite System will be put into its first oversea operation in Thailand early next year.
[GPS Daily – 11/01/2013]\

GCI extends capacity agreements with Intelsat to support broadband services to Alaskan schools and medical clinics, as well as telemedicine applications for hospitals in underserved areas.
[SatNews – 11/01/2013]\

Analysts forecast the Global Fixed Satellite Service market to grow at a CAGR of 5.44 percent over the period 2013-2016.
[SBWire – 10/31/2013]

Latest Ericsson Mobility Report presents key statistics and future forecasts which should provide satellite technology, especially High Throughput Satellites (HTS) , with highly promising short term opportuniteis.
[NSR – 10/31/2013]

Telesat considers expansion after one of its new satellites helps increase revenues in third quarter.
[Ottowa Business Journal – 10/31/2013]

NASA will rely on hosted payload to continue some of the long-running Earth-system observations the agency took over from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in April.
[Space News – 10/31/2013]

Astrium enters into partnership agreement with IHS to deliver satellite imagery and services for intelligence analysis and reporting.
[Via Satellite – 10/31/2013]

MTN Communications experiences a surge in demand, claiming customers increased demand for additional bandwidth on its network by 61% since 2013.
[Via Satellite – 10/31/2013]

Astrium Services is expanding its global VSAT coverage following the signing of new separate Ku-band capacity agreements with SES and Eutelsat.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 10/31/2013]

UltiSat signs multi-year contract with Eutelsat for capacity on EUTELSAT 5 West A to provide C-band service to nongovernmental organizations (NGO) in Africa.
[The Wall Street Journal – 10/31/2013]

Ocean Dream – Via Satellite

Having recently signed a new deal with MTN Communications to enhance its onboard suite of connectivity options for passengers and crew, cruise ship operator Pullmantur executive explains the need for satellite.
[Via Satellite – 10/31/2013]

Signalhorn is selected for ht operation and management of a pan-African network for one of the world’s leading providers of offshore service vessels in the global energy industry.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 10/30/2013]

SimbaNET uses iDirect’s Evolution platform to advance Nigeria-based satellite network.
[Via Satellite – 10/31/2013]

Dreamchaser hoisted by helicopter – R&D Magazine

Sierra Nevada Corp.’s Dream Chaser space plane skids off runway in test flight landing as landing gear collapses.
[R&D Magazine – 10/30/2013]

Arianespace reschedules SES, Hispasat and ESA’s launch dates, with consent of its customers.
[Via Satellite – 10/30/2013]

Raytheon is awarded $11.9 million contract for sustainment services supporting the Military Satellite Communications System (MILSATCOM) Global Broadcast System (GBS). [Signal online – 10/30/20103]

High speed satellite broadband provider ViaSat defies the naysayers who have stigmatized satellite communications as impractical, flawed, and slow.
[Chicago Tribune – 10/30/2013]

Comtech Telecommunications Corp is awarded $1.4 million for communications jamming high-power amplifier systems.
[Satellite Spotlight – 10/30/2013]

Dish and Southwest start in-flight iPad lending program for on-demand entertainment on Wi-Fi enabled Southwest flights..
[Via Satellite – 10/30/2013]

Maxwell Technology, in partnership with Cable Wise, expands satellite internet to Northern KwaZulu-Natal.
[Human IPO – 10/30/2013]

Global Maritime VSAT market expected to grow at CAGR of 7.71 percent between 2012 and 2016 according to new Research and Markets report.
[Satellite Spotlight – 10/29/2013]

Data product differentiation beginning to become important again in the Earth Observation market.
[NSR – 10/29/2013]

Eutelsat and Es’hailSat announce that their jointly owned EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 satellite launched August 29, went into commercial service October 29.
[The Wall Street Journal – 10/29/2013]

Astrium to build new satellite for DIRECTV.
[Space Daily – 10/29/2013]

Space training in China – asiaone

Hundreds of space professionals from developing economies receive space training in China, including Pakistan, Nigeria, and Bolivia.
[Asia One – 10/29/2013]

Artist’s rendering of the Ball Smallsat – Via Satellite

Ball Aerospace & Technologies’ Green Propellant Infusion Mission is selected to test advance form of thermal insulation that could become standard on future satellites and cryogenic subsystems.
[Via Satellite – 10/29/2013]

Artist’s rendering of the LADEE – R&D Magazine

NASA’s Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration makes history, successfully transmitting data from lunar orbit to Earth at a rate of 622 Mbps.
[R&D Magazine – 10/28/2013]

ESA approves sale of Artemis telecom satellite to Avanti.
[Spaceflight Now – 10/28/2013]

Measat CEO says company is open to partnerships.
[Via Satellite – 10/28/2013]

ILS Proton successfully launches the Sirius FM 6 satellite.
[Via Satellite – 10/28/2013]

Gogo signs deal with Japan Airlines to deliver in-flight connectivity.
[Via Satellite – 10/28/2013]

Oil and Gas companies – will High Throughput Satellites change the equation?
[Via Satellite Webinar November 14, 2013]

 WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

DIY Friday: ArduSat To Go

Friday, November 1st, 2013


From NanoSatisfi, a way to conduct your own in-orbit experiments…

Space has never been closer, which brings with it innumerable possibilities. And these are just a few of the things that we think are pretty neat about it:

1) Affordability. NanoSatisfi is driving down the cost to build, launch and maintain satellites in space—it’s a rocket scientist thing, no big deal. The important part is that it means we can offer access to space, and all of the possibilities therein, at a cost that won’t break anyone’s piggy bank.

2) Simplicity. Space is more than a playground for rocket scientists and astrophysicists—NanoSatisfi is building technology to make exploring and interfacing with space accessible for everyone, starting with ArduSat.

3) Creativity. We’re empowering tomorrow’s explorers with ArduSat, the world’s first open space platform. Whether it’s a dream to map every river of the world, or an aspiration to build the first live-action version of space Invaders the game, we are making the tools available.

And to think it all started with a successful Kickstarter campaign.