WBMSAT News Bits 08/15/2014

Industry Reports

New TDG report finds 4K TV forecast overly optimistic, predicting that it will be a niche market for at least another five years, finally seeing widespread viewing in 2019 and growing quickly beyond.
[Satellite Markets & Research - 08/14/2014]

New Euroconsult report finds modest revenue growth for commercial FSS operators in 2013.
[Satellite Markets & Research - 08/13/2014]

High Throughput Satellites definitely have a role to play in consumer broadband, enterprise applications, and mobility – but will they face a zero-sum game in the energy market?
[Northern Sky Research - 08/13/2014]

New UK Satellite Telecommunications activities Market report finds rising demand for mobile internet access is encouraging expansion, with 5-year compound growth through 2014 of 5.8%, to £1.7 billion.
[Live-PR - 08/12/2014]

Industry Groups, Trade Shows

Leading industry experts to meet at MilSatCom Latin America in Rio de Janeiro August 27, 28.
[Brazil Business - 08/14/2014]

The Satellite Interference Reduction Group (IRG) has announced that its next workshop will be hosted by Inmarsat at its London Headquarters from 21st – 22nd October.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 08/13/2014]

Satellite Launches

Galileo satellite – GPS Daily file image

First operational Galileo GPS satellites integrated for Soyuz launch.
[GPS Daily – 08/15/2014]

Optus 10 – Space Daily file image

Return of Optus 10 to French Guiana sets stage for Sept launch of Optus 10 and co-passenger MEASAT-3b.
[Space Travel – 08/15/2014]

ULA Atlas V successully launches DigitalGlobe WorldView-3 satellite out of Vandenberg AFB.
[NASA Spaceflight - 08/13/2014]

Satellite Construction

Orbital selected by Avanti Communications to build HYLAS 4 High-Throughput commercial Satellite.
[TMCnet - 08/14/2014]

Artist’s concept of Solar Probe Plus – NASA photo

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory awards contact to Northrop Grumman for Scalable Space Inertial Reference Unit for NASA’s Solar Probe Plus satellite.
[Via Satellite - 08/14/2014]

Satellite Technology

RapidEye PCM combines BlackBridge’s RapidEye satellite imagery with MDA’s PCM technology to accelerate the comparison of images from different times and identifying lasting changes.
[Via Satellite - 08/14/2014]

6 kilowatt Hall-effect thruster – Credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory photo – Space News

NASA is exploring a wide range of propulsion technologies to enable cubesats to maneuver.
[Space News – 08/11/2014]

Ground Systems Technology

MaxLinear’s new low-cost USB tuner-demodulator brings digital broadcast high-definition TV to consumers throughout Latin America.
[Satellite Spotlight - 08/14/2014]

Luso Microwave announces a new family of modular C–band to KA-band antennas in a range of reflector sizes from 1.2m to 4.2m.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 08/12/2014]

NovelSat conducts successful trial of its “free bandwidth” product, NovelSat Freeband, at the Redo Novo Tempo de Comunicação broadcast center in Brazil.
[Via Satellite - 08/12/2014]

Government, Military & Defense

Russian Federal Space Agency image

Russia is considering creating a new satellite system for transmitting secret military communications as it continues to beef up its defense capacities in a bid to re-emerge as a global military power.
[The Moscow Times - 08/14/2014]

Next generation satellite communications system to see testing aboard Coast Guard Cutter Healy during Arctic Shield 2014.
[dvids – 08/14/2014]

SSL and NanoRacks partnership for Hosted Payloads Solutions program one of most unique approaches to Air Force’s recently announced IDIQ contract.
[Via Satellite - 08/14/2014]

Newly confirmed U.S. Space Command Chief makes forceful case for adopting a new space architecture.
[Space News - 08/13/2014]

Schriever Air Force Base 3 SOPS bids farewell to oldest DSCS satellite, shutting down the final components on July 30.
[Air Force Space Command - 08/13/2014]

General Dynamics successfully demonstrates the promise of the MUOS satellite communications system using PRC-155 Manpack radios in Phoenix, Arizona and Taunton, Massachussets.
[MarineLink - 08/13/2014]

Kratos Defense & Security gets $$38.7 million SPAWARS contract to provide satellite communications, radio frequency and navigation systems support services.
[Yahoo Finance - 08/12/2014]

DoD signs situational awareness agreement with Space Data Association.
[Via Satellite - 08/12/2014]

Airbus Defense and Space awarded contract to provide services related to hosting U.S.A.F. communications systems onboard commercially operated satellites.
[Satellite Spotlight - 08/11/2014]

Government Regulation

Inmarsat gets approval to sell IsatPhones in Colombia.
[Via Satellite - 08/13/2014]

Cobham’s AVIATOR 200 SwiftBroadband solution has received Administración Nacional de Avianción Civil (ANAC) Brazil Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approval for installation by King Air operators.
[Satnews - 08/12/2014]

Aeronautical

Inmarsat announces first successful installation and ongoing trials of its ACARS1-capable SwiftBroadband Safety equipment on an Airbus A319.
[HispanicBusiness - 08/15/2014]

Consumer Broadband

ViaSat Inc. to offer Exede(R) high-speed satellite internet plans that provide households in select locations across the country with virtually unlimited broadband data usage.
[The Wall Street Journal - 08/12/2014]

Maritime

Interior of world’s largest passenger ship, Allure – (LEHTIKUVA, REUTERS / October 28, 2010)

Royal Caribbean cruise ships Allure of Seas and Quantum of the Seas to get high-speed Internet powered by O3b Networks.
[Sun Sentinel - 08/13/2014]

Oil & Gas

North Sea oil rig – Wikepedia photo

RigNet upgrades VSAT bandwidth of global offshore drilling customer in the Barents Sea to 8 Mbps.
[Via Satellite - 08/14/2014]

Space

Astronauts aboard ISS release Cygnus supply ship, now full of trash for disposal, after month-long space station visit.
[R&D Magazine - 08/15/2014]

XCOR LYNX – Space Travel file image

XCOR Lynx spacecraft full scale model “Space Corvette” lands at Monterey Jet Center.
[Space Travel – 08/15/2014]

Purdue Univ. student team designs, builds and tests critical part of new rocket engine as part of a NASA project to develop spacecraft technologies needed for cosmic venues.
[R&D Magazine - 08/13/2014]

Credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory artist’s concept – Space News

NASA’s OCO-2 satellite reaches operational orbit.
[Space News - 08/13/2014]

Legal

Loral wins reversal of $283 million damages award – new trial on damages set for November – ViaSat seeks court order barring further patent infringement.
[Via Satellite - 08/11/2014]

Capacity Agreements

Kacific signs multimillion-dollar agreement with Solomon Telekom Company for broadband services on the upcoming HTS Kacific 1.
[Via Satellite - 08/13/2014]

Azercosmos signs first TV channel, Afghan Paiwestoon Media Communication’s free-to-air Batur TV, for Azerspace 1 satellite.
[Via Satellite - 08/11/2014]

Services Contracts

Optus will provide ITC Global with expanded satellite capacity, equipment hosting, up-linking and downloading services via its major satellite facility in Perth, Australia.
[SatNews 08/15/2014]

Air Astana has selected SITA to assure its general and operational communications needs, including communications with partners and advanced datalinks for air traffic control.
[The Astana Times – 08/15/2014]

GenCom, the communications arm of Genco Energy Services (GES) signed an additional contract with SCS Networks to use iDirect technology for a private satellite network.
[Via Satellite - 08/12/2014]

Operator Market Strategy & Revenues

ViaSat asks investors to focus on revenue and gross profit, and not raw subscriber numbers.
[Space News - 08/13/2014]

Globalstar hopes half of its subscriber base will be made of non-North American customers by 2017.
[Via Sateilite - 08/12/2014]

TCS selected to join O3b’s exclusive partner program.
[PCB007 - 08/11/2014]

History

On this day in history – August 12, 1960 – NASA’s 1st successful communications satellite, Echo 1A, is launched from Cape Canaveral.
[EDN - 08/12/2014]

Human Interest

Inmarsat-supported aid agency Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) has been required to leave an Iraqi camp as civil war develops.
[Via Satellite - 08/12/2014]


T-Dish: The Timing is Perfect

Earlier this month, Charlie talked about how he liked Sprint’s potential to be successful in wireless.

Not really: I think he wants Son to pay more for it!

The real value in wireless communications is in its spectrum licenses. Without that, you don’t have much to grow with. Add ready-to-go infrastructure to your spectrum and you can make some dough. Dish’s video business has probably reached its limit and they’ve been accumulating spectrum for an eventual “wireless play.” Competing against the cable and telco “triple-play” (voice, video, data) — or quad-play of Verizon and AT&T (landline voice, video, data, wireless/mobile) — left Dish an an inherent disadvantage. Without any landline business, using satcom for Internet is inefficient. If, however, Dish could make a “modern triple-play” (video, wireless data, wireless voice) then it could retain a substantial portion of its subscriber base. In general, triple-plays help reduce churn rates.

T-Mobile is on a tear; five quarters of 1.5 million net-adds. They just need some more spectrum and Dish has it — and cash flow to help pay down debt. LightReading has the best analysis:

The appeal of the Dish position is that the satellite provider holds 50MHz of spectrum in the US — 40MHz in the AWS-4 band and 10MHz in the H-Band — that is very close to the AWS spectrum that T-Mobile has been deploying its 4G LTE network in.

“We could certainly very rapidly deploy on his spectrum,” Carter noted.

This would give the pair the opportunity to offer really large LTE channels for faster over-the-air services, possibly doubling up on the 2x20MHz LTE channels that T-Mobile can offer today. Although Carter noted that the operator will move beyond that by itself anyway, without offering much further detail.

Of course, that would mean striking a deal between the two and — as Carter noted — Ergen is a “tough negotiator.” Still, he opined, it would be very difficult and expensive for Dish to deploy a wireless network on its own, and the provider is running out of time to strike a 4G deal with a partner.

Everybody seems to agree.

The timing is perfect for Dish to buy T-Mobile and turn their wireless service into a very strong #3 quickly — and grow it to some day become #2.


Hacking “Best Korea” With Satellite

Years ago, we marveled at the sophisticated simplicity of the Luneberg Lens and how cool it was to use technology developed 70 years ago to receive multiple satellite TV feeds. Something you couldn’t imagine in 1944. Now those principles are being used to win a “hackathon” in San Francisco.

ARS Technica gave a comprehensive summary…

 

The team’s idea, which hasn’t moved beyond the concept phase, was deceptively simple: import a bunch of satellite receivers into North Korea so that people can simply receive TV stations from SkyLife, a major South Korean broadcaster.

At present, SkyLife’s satellite footprint easily extends into North Korea, and it includes many Korean-language stations including KBS and SBS, two of the largest. It also includes some English-language programming, including BBC, Eurosport, and Animal Planet, among others. The team realizes that getting a little more independent information into North Korea won’t create an overnight revolution in the country. But under this plan, the team claims, North Koreans could start to learn more about how their South Korea cousins live via news, sports, entertainment, and more.

“I think our initial hope is to get North Korea to the state of Iran, where information is flowing in,” one of the team members, Matthew Lee (a pseudonym), told Ars. “Right now North Korea is a hermit state. If we can at least get to a state where you can use Twitter, then people will understand what’s going on outside. That’s the first catalyst and then they can use our device to create a shadow network and with that, they can bring about a change within their own social context.”

Specifically, the team wants to use new developments in Luneburg lens research that would allow for a traditional curved, bulk satellite dish receiver to be manufactured into something flat. They hope this could eventually be mounted (and camouflaged) onto walls and windows of North Korean homes. One big problem is that such antennas have yet to be manufactured on a widespread basis.

The trio won a round-trip ticket to Seoul, South Korea paid for by HRF, where they will meet with North Korean defector groups and other organizations. HRF says that it will work to secure funding to fully realize this project.

Kim Heung-kwang (second from left) is a former North Korean cyberwarfare professor and a judge at the HRF event. Justice Suh (third from right) was one of the winning team members.


Putin’s Proton

ILS is laying off 25% of it’s workers. For those of you keeping score at home, chalk up another Russian-controlled business fail.


Big Bang Monday: The White Hole

Check out this abstract

While most of the singularities of General Relativity are expected to be safely hidden behind event horizons by the cosmic censorship conjecture, we happen to live in the causal future of the classical big bang singularity, whose resolution constitutes the active field of early universe cosmology. Could the big bang be also hidden behind a causal horizon, making us immune to the decadent impacts of a naked singularity? We describe a braneworld description of cosmology with both 4d induced and 5d bulk gravity (otherwise known as Dvali-Gabadadze-Porati, or DGP model), which exhibits this feature: The universe emerges as a spherical 3-brane out of the formation of a 5d Schwarzschild black hole. In particular, we show that a pressure singularity of the holographic fluid, discovered earlier, happens inside the white hole horizon, and thus need not be real or imply any pathology. Furthermore, we outline a novel mechanism through which any thermal atmosphere for the brane, with comoving temperature of 20% of the 5D Planck mass can induce scale-invariant primordial curvature perturbations on the brane, circumventing the need for a separate process (such as cosmic inflation) to explain current cosmological observations. Finally, we note that 5D space-time is asymptotically flat, and thus potentially allows an S-matrix or (after minor modifications) AdS/CFT description of the cosmological big bang.

Got your head wrapped around it yet? Probably not. Our friends at Science Daily explain it a little more…

What we perceive as the big bang, they argue, could be the three-dimensional “mirage” of a collapsing star in a universe profoundly different than our own.

“Cosmology’s greatest challenge is understanding the big bang itself,” write Perimeter Institute Associate Faculty member Niayesh Afshordi, Affiliate Faculty member and University of Waterloo professor Robert Mann, and PhD student Razieh Pourhasan.

Conventional understanding holds that the big bang began with a singularity — an unfathomably hot and dense phenomenon of spacetime where the standard laws of physics break down. Singularities are bizarre, and our understanding of them is limited.

“For all physicists know, dragons could have come flying out of the singularity,” Afshordi says in an interview with Nature.

The problem, as the authors see it, is that the big bang hypothesis has our relatively comprehensible, uniform, and predictable universe arising from the physics-destroying insanity of a singularity. It seems unlikely.

So perhaps something else happened. Perhaps our universe was never singular in the first place.

Their suggestion: our known universe could be the three-dimensional “wrapping” around a four-dimensional black hole’s event horizon. In this scenario, our universe burst into being when a star in a four-dimensional universe collapsed into a black hole.

In our three-dimensional universe, black holes have two-dimensional event horizons — that is, they are surrounded by a two-dimensional boundary that marks the “point of no return.” In the case of a four-dimensional universe, a black hole would have a three-dimensional event horizon.

In their proposed scenario, our universe was never inside the singularity; rather, it came into being outside an event horizon, protected from the singularity. It originated as — and remains — just one feature in the imploded wreck of a four-dimensional star.

The researchers emphasize that this idea, though it may sound “absurd,” is grounded firmly in the best modern mathematics describing space and time. Specifically, they’ve used the tools of holography to “turn the big bang into a cosmic mirage.” Along the way, their model appears to address long-standing cosmological puzzles and — crucially — produce testable predictions.

Of course, our intuition tends to recoil at the idea that everything and everyone we know emerged from the event horizon of a single four-dimensional black hole. We have no concept of what a four-dimensional universe might look like. We don’t know how a four-dimensional “parent” universe itself came to be.

But our fallible human intuitions, the researchers argue, evolved in a three-dimensional world that may only reveal shadows of reality.

They draw a parallel to Plato’s allegory of the cave, in which prisoners spend their lives seeing only the flickering shadows cast by a fire on a cavern wall.

“Their shackles have prevented them from perceiving the true world, a realm with one additional dimension,” they write. “Plato’s prisoners didn’t understand the powers behind the sun, just as we don’t understand the four-dimensional bulk universe. But at least they knew where to look for answers.”

Still interested? I bet you are! Read more here. Relax: there’s a video on the Perimeter Institute site.


WBMSAT News Bits 08/08/2014

European DTH market may be poised for a significant shakeup in the coming months, following a proposed merger between three of the continent’s largest DTH platforms.
[NSR - 08/08/2014]

There is a mismatch between what entrepreneurs building large cubesat constellations want to buy and what traditional suppliers are offering.
[Space News - Space News - 08/08/2014]

Credit: Dennis Wingo graphic/Inset ISEE-3 Reboot Project artist’s concept by Mark Maxwell – Space News

A group including Google is to offer live streaming of data from satellite missions beginning with the Aug. 10 lunar flyby of NASA’s 36-year-old International Sun-Earth Explorer (ISEE)-3) through a new website called SpacecraftForAll.com.
[Space News - 08/08/2014]

SingTel Satellite joins forces with three of the world’s main maritime charities to help seafarers use onboard technology to keep in touch with loved ones at home.
[Satellite Spotlight - 08/08/2014]

Orbcomm expects revenue boost now that SpaceX has patched the firm’s “hole in the sky.”
[Space News - 08/08/2014]

Dismissed SpaceX employees sue over lack of warning.
[Space News - 08/08/2014]

MSTelcom extends agreement with Intelsat to expand satellite broadband services in Angola.
[TMCnet - 08/08/2014]

Avanti and iSAT sign multi-year contract to extend East Africa satellite broadband coverage.
[4-traders - 08/08/2014]

Afghan TV channel to be broadcast via Azerspace-1 satellite. [News.Az - 08/08/2014]

GVF launches online training courses to prepare students to complete the EUI Basic Technical Operator certification exam.
[SatNews - 08/08/2014]

Walton Enterprises expands de-ice systems manufacturing capacity through move to new facilities in San Bernardino, California.
[SatNews - 08/08/2014]

July 2014 marked end of period of no orders for full electric propulsion satellites since the March 2012 deal between Boeing, SpaceX, ABS and Satmex – SES, Eutelsat, and Aniara announced orders.
[NSR - 08/07/2014]

IBISWorld Satellite & Earth Communication Systems Services Procurement Category market research report updated; expects decline in prices in three years to 2014.
[PRWeb - 08/07/2014]

U.S. looks to Japan space program to close Pacific communications gap.
[Space Daily - 08/07/2014]

Well-known hacker to demonstrate ability to hack satellite communications equipment that ground troops use to co-ordinate movements and airlines use for navigation..
[News.com - 08/07/2014]

A new attitude system developed by the Air Force and a small business offers improved maneuverability capabilities for small space research satellites.
[SatNews - 08/07/2014]

UAE sets its sights on space by announcing a mission to Mars.
[Khaleej Times - 08/07/2014]

CASBAA is hopeful that India is closer to enacting long-awaited reforms to its satellite policies under the leadership of new Indian Prime Minister.
[Via Satellite - 08/07/2014]

COM DEV gets Authorizaton and Proceed contract for C- and Ku-band multiplexers and coaxial and waveguide switches for a customer’s high throughput satellite.
[Via Satellite - 08/07/2014]

Inmarsat establishes office in Beijing, China.
[CRIENGLISH.com - 08/07/2014]

Though departing subscribers have undercut subscriber additions, EchoStar still enjoys satellite broadband revenue gains.
[Space News - 08/07/2014]

Norsat secures $1.7 million order from Datacom for X-band marine VSAT terminals for a military project in Asia.
[The Wall Street Journal]

Digital rendering of a Firefly launch system. Photo: Firefly Space Systems – Space News

Small satellite startup launch company Firefly Space Systems recruits General Astronautics to join its strategic team.
[Via Satellite - 08/07/2014]

Cubesat – Satellite Evolution Group file image.

Universal Space Network moderated a meeting of 20 CubeSat industry leaders in an effort to develop a standardized communications package.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 08/07/2014]

Space Daily File image: Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite.

Fourth MUOS communication satellite clears launch-simulation test.
[Space Daily - 08/06/2014]

C-COM iNetVu antenna systems deployed to assist with communications during recent earthquake in China.
[Market Wired - 08/06/2014]

ILS forming review board in September to determine whether Proton should be cleared to return to commercial flight this fall.
[Space News - 08/06/2014]

Delivery of an RD 180 engine – Credit ULA photo – Space News

Notwithstanding sanctions, ULA is standing by for RD-180 deliveries through 2017.
[Space News - 08/06/2014]

Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA image – Space News

Europe’s comet-hunting Rosetta probe reaches “scientific Disneyland” after 10 years of cruising through space on trajectory to bring it to the comet.
[Space News - 08/06/2014]

Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA image – Sports Illustrated

Charter Communications will broadcast the SEC Network after ESPN reached an agreement with the satellite company.
[Sports Illustrated - 08/06/2014]

An oil rig towing. Photo: Jay Phagan (Flickr) – Space News

Nearly a quarter of RigNet’s revenue for the second quarter of the fiscal year came from the $25 million acquisition of Inmarsat’s enterprise energy business unit.
[Via Satellite - 08/06/2014]

Generation Orbit’s Flight Experiment Testbed. Photo: Generation Orbit – Space News

Generation Orbit Launch Service successfully completed captive-carry test flight for its air-launch SmallSat vehicle.
[Via Satellite - 08/06/2014]

D’Amico launches shipboard communications app, toctoc, that acts as hub to synchronise and connect to smartphone contacts and across range of social media channels.
[Digital Ship - 08/06/2014]

PAR Technology Corporation subsidiary Rome Research Corporation gets contract potentially worth $23.5 million to continue support to operate and maintain NAVSATCOMMFAC Northwest.
[The Wall Street Journal - 08/06/2014]

Orange Niger taps Intelsat for cellular backhaul services.
[Via Satellite - 08/06/2014]

SpaceX Falcon 9 launch of Asiasat 8 – Credit: SpaceX – CBS News

SpaceX Falcon 9 launches AsiaSat 8 communications satellite.
[CBS News - 08/05/2014]

SpaceX to build world’s first commercial site for orbital rocket launches in the southernmost tip of Texas.
[R&D Magazine - 08/05/2014]

SSL to build Intelsat 36 satellite.
[Via SAtellite - 08/05/2014]

Google closes Skybox Imaging purchase.
[Via Satellite - 08/05/2014]

Empowering Mission-Critical Broadband Satellite Communications for Naval Vessels – SatNews

ORBIT Communication Systems announces that it has received a $2.5 million order to provide satellite communication systems to one of the world’s principal navies.
[SatNews - 08/05/2014]

SkyVision wins VSAT deal with Bank of Africa Burkina Faso.
[Via Satellite - 08/05/2014]

Steadily increasing capacity, reduced costs, modular functionality and higher data transfer rates now mean satellite communications can exceed even the most stringent requirements for public safety communications, all delivered through a more robust network than 4G LTE.
[Government Video - 08/05/2014]

Frontline Communications partners with TVU Networks to introduce new cellular/microwave/satellite IP vehicle solution.
[CNN Money - 08/05/2014]

United Launch Alliance carries the Air Force’s seventh Global Positioning System (GPS 2F-7) satellite to space.
[Via Satellite - 08/04/2014]

Iridium has delivered the first satellite engineering model for the upcoming Iridium NEXT constellation.
[SatNews - 08/04/2014]

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. CEO feels that applying Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) consumer technology to satellite will continue to revolutionize satellite design over the next decade.
[Via Satellite - 08/04/2014]

Booz Allen Hamilton Engineering Services will introduce to the public safety community its new next-generation broadband deployable communications system.
[MarketWatch - 08/04/2014]

NSR Report provides comprehensive market analysis of the three major methods of UltraHD consumption via satellite – DTH, IPTV, and Cable distribution.
[NSR Report - August 2014]

WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

Technical Proposals System Acceptance Testing
Link Analysis System Quality Testing
Systems Engineering Project Management
Systems Integration Satellite Industry Research

360-895-0478   email:  [email protected]


Black Eye for Satcom at Black Hat?

This week, at Black Hat USA in Las Vegas, Ruben Santamarta is to present his findings of how he was able to hack satcom terminals, at least in theory.

At first glance, especially with lots of alarming details from DailyTech, you’d think the party for in-flight WiFi via satcom was over. Their piece was based on a Reuters story, which wasn’t as frightening.

The theoretical hack involves low-bandwidth services using Inmarsat and Thuraya. In-flight broadband uses more bandwidth and wasn’t really included in the study. Managing unmanned terminals is common in this industry segment.

Take a look at the white paper (PDF) published by IOActive and see for yourself. You can be sure all those mentioned in the 25-page report are asking their engineers if this is indeed possible.

I wouldn’t worry about it much.


WBMSAT News Bits 08/01/2014

DigitalGlobe revenue up despite steep drop in Russian business.
[Space News - 08/01/2014]

Artistic rendition of WorldView-4 courtesy of Lockheed Martin. – SatNews

DigitalGlobe announces plans to accelerate the launch of WorldView-4 to mid-2016 to meet demand from its Direct Access and other commercial customers.
[SatNews - 08/01/2014]

MEASAT Satellite Systems gets an agreement with Pilipinas Global Network Limited for capacity on MEASAT-3 to distribute Aksyon TV International and Kapatid TV5 to over 120 countries.
[SatNews - 08/01/2014]

Euroconsult report projects that on average 115 satellites will be launched per year over the next decade, generating U.S. $248 billion in revenue.
[Satellite Markets & Research - 07/31/2014]

Congressional study states the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office is buying intelligence satellites faster than necessary and calls for a slowdown.
[Space News - 07/31/2014]

NEC Corporation and the Mexican Space Agency have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of advanced satellites.
[PCB Design - 07/31/2014]

Eutelsat orders all-electric satellite, EUTELSAT 172B, from Airbus Defence and Space; pledges to investors that it will limit capital spending.
[Space News - 07/31/2014]

MDA satellite exports feel the effect of Canada’s tough stance on Russia.
[Space News - 07/31/2014]

Map of projected ground station sites. Photo: Spaceflight Inc – Via Satellite

Spaceflight Inc. to build 12 ground stations for new division, Spaceflight Inc., to provide satellite communications through a global network.
[Via Satellite - 07/31/2014]

Credit: NASA artist’s concept – Space News

NASA budgets around $130 million for seven-instrument science payload for the Mars 2020 rover.
[Space News - 07/31/2014]

Geolink Satellite Services to deploy iDirect’s X7 remotes to improve speed and performance for customers in the oil and gas, mining and maritime industries.
[Market Watch - 07/31/2014]

Eutelsat sees most important growth engine as broadcast, with potential for steady growth for many years to come, especially in the emerging markets.
[Bloomberg Businessweek - 07/31/2014]

SES has moved the operations for 23 satellites — roughly half the company’s fleet — to a new Satellite Operations Center (SOC) in Princeton, N.J.
[Via Satellite - 07/31/2014]

Airbus Group and Safran have selected a chief executive officer and outlined the board of directors for their new 50-50 joint European launch venture.
[Via Satellite - 07/31/2014]

DirecTV beats earnings estimates on demand for World Cup.
[Bloomberg - 07/31/2014]

SSTL subsidiary Surrey Satellite Technology US announced it is pursuing a second Orbital Test Bed (OTB) mission for 2016.
[Via Satellite - 07/31/2014]

Asia at Night. Photo: NASA Earth Observatory – Via Satellite

New report by Media Partners Asia predicts that DTH numbers in Asia will reach 110 million by 2018, up from 56.3 million in 2013.
[Via Satellite - 07/30/2014]

SSL delivers AsiaSat 6 to Cape Canaveral launch base where it is to be launched next month by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
[Digital Journal - 07/30/2014]

China certifies Iridium satellite communications systems for installation on 737-700 and -800 aircraft.
[MRO Network - 07/30/20104]

Spaceflight announces Spaceflight Networks to address need for cost-effective small-satellite data communications.
[Digital Journal - 07/30/2014]

Artist’s concept, GPS III satellite – Digital Insight Research

Lockheed Martin has awarded a contract to General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems to provide network communication systems for two more GPS III satellites.
[airforce-technology.com - 07/30/2014]

Iridium NEXT leverages Radisys’ T-series platform for its next generation ground station infrastructure.
[The Wall Street Journal - 07/30/2014]

Digital rendering, EUTELSAT 36C – Photo: Airbus Defence and Space – Via Satellite

MultiChoice Africa purchases entire 15 Ku-band payload on Eutelsat’s upcoming satellite EUTELSAT 36C.
[Via Satellite - 07/30/2014]

Orbcomm GES facility in South Korea. Photo: Orbcomm – Via Satellite

Orbcomm purchases GES site in Brazil; service provider partner Mahd Telecom gets regulatory approval to provide Orbcomm services in Oman.
[Via Satellite - 07/30/2014]

Satellite Information Services selects Level 3 Video Cloud to help improve quality of online streamed and broadcast content.
[Market Watch - 07/30/2014]

Type 3 X/Y tracking antenna. Photo: TSC – Via Satellite

Planet Labs contracts with Telecommunications Systems to build global satellite-tracking network.
[Via Satellite - 07/30/2014]

Delta 4 launches space surveillance satellites for the U.S. Air Force.
[Space News - 07/29/2014]

Digital rendering of Thales U.K. satellites. Photo: Thales U.K – Via Satellite

Thales UK planning to take lead role in creation of a new “mini” geostationary satellite bus.
[Via Satellite - 07/29/2014]

SASL selected for study on accommodating a NASA instrument to monitor air pollutants over North America on a commercial satellite. [Satellite Evolution Group - 07/29/2014]

Peter Beck, founder and CEO, Rocket Lab. Photo: Rocket Lab – Via Satellite

Rocket Lab announces Electron carbon-composite dedicated small satellite launch vehicle; first 30 launches have been booked.
[Via Satellite - 07/29/2014]

Boeing, in a first-of-its-kind arrangement for the company, is working with ViaSat to provide an integrated satellite service to a U.S. Government customer.
[PCB Design - 07/29/2014]

An O3b satellite. Photo: O3b – Via Satellite

GSA approves SES Government Solutions to sell O3b service to U.S. government.
[Via Satellite - 07/29/2014]

Techdemosat-1 – Space Daily image

SSTL marks completion of TechDemoSat-1 LEOP phase with a “selfie.”
[Space Daily - 07/29/2014]

NBN Co appoints IPSTAR as wholesaler for Australian Internet service .
[Satellite Evolution Group - 07/29/2014]

Lockheed Martin approves DeLorme’s inReach satellite communicator for use in the company’s Adverse Condition Alerting Service and Surveillance-Enhanced Search and Rescue.
[Via Satellite - 07/29/2014]

A GOES-R Spacecraft System and Propulsion Modules in Lockheed Martin Cleanroom // NOAA – Nextgov

NOAA satellite data stolen from contractor’s PC in 2013 but incident could not be investigated since employee would not turn over PC.
[Nextgov - 07/28/2014]

Chief scientist for orbital debris with NASA’s orbital debris program office says cooperation between the U.S. and Russia is essential to reign in proliferation of space debris.
[Via Satellite - 07/28/2014]

Intelsat General and 13 other U.S. space companies will have an opportunity to bid on task orders designed to streamline the process of getting government capabilities into orbit (hosted payloads).
[Wall Street Journal - 07/28/2014]

The Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) launches “How Satellites Make a Better World” infosite to catalogue enormous contributions of satellite technology to the world.
[SatNews - 07/28/2014]

55th Strategic Communications Squadron receive DISA top award in recognition of excellence.
[SatNews - 07/28/2014]

Iridium announces broad availability of the world’s first truly global mobile satellite hotspot, Iridium GO!.
[Market Watch - 07/28/2014]

Xplornet plans “unprecedented” expansion of high-speed Internet to all of rural Canada.
[The Globe and Mail - 07/28/2014]

WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services


WBMSAT News Bits 07/28/2014

Free NSR webinar July 30 – Energy Markets via Satellite: Is There a Market Beyond Deep Water?
[NSR - July 30]

The United States claims China conducted a “non-destructive” test of an anti-satellite missile July 23 and called for China to end the development of such capabilities.
[Space News - 07/28/2014]

Bandwidth demand for maritime markets to exceed 160 satellite transponders by 2023.
[NSR - 07/28/2014]

Communication with Russian satellite Photon-M restored.
[Science Recorder 07/26/2014]

Ariane 5 approaches the launch pad – SatNews file photo.

Ariane 5 gets ready for launch of heaviest-ever payload as is rolls out the rocket for the July 29 liftoff of the final ATV mission.
[SatNews - 07/28/2014]

Europa concept is a nuclear-powered probe known as Clipper (above). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech artist’s concept – Space News

If NASA sends a nuclear-powered probe to Jupiter’s moon Europa, it would launch no sooner than 2024, and effectively rule out other nuclear missions to the outer solar system before then.
[Space News - 07/28/2014]

Eutelsat America Corp has been awarded a contract by the US Air Force to support the deployment of future US Government payloads (hosted payloads) on its satellites.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 07/28/2014]

MTN continues to lead the cruise market.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 07/28/2014]

Viasat acquires Gray Labs and gets  its high-rate modem product line and custom spacecraft technologies for Earth observation.
[SatNews - 07/28/2014]

Avanti and Yahsat reportedly first to order satellites from Orbital Sciences based on the new GeoStar-3 higher-power satellite frame.
[Space News - 07/25/2014]

SES 12 – Credit: SES – Space News

SES ordered its first high-throughput satellite because it was unable to provide optimal service to certain government and mobility customers with a conventional wide-beam satellite.
[Space News - 07/25/2014]

ULA rocket with DMSP satellite – Credit: ULA photo – Space News

U.S. Department of Defense wants to reprogram money this year to boost the number of competitively awarded contracts under its primary satellite launching program.
[Space News - 07/25/2014]

WB-57 – Credit: NASA photo by Sean Smith – Space News

NASA crew of WB-57  caught sight of the SpaceX Falcon 9 as it ascended, and of the first stage as it plummeted toward the ocean, but was unable to get a good shot of the descending stage’s first engine burn.
[Space News - 07/25/2014]

Rockwell Collins sells its military ground-based satellite communications business.
[Market Watch - 07/25/2014]

In preparation for Iridium NEXT, the company has issued more than 30 RFPs to build new broadband subscriber products.
[Via Satellite - 07/25/2014]

Thales Alenia Space claims it holds a profit advantage over rival Airbus. Defence and Space.
[Space News - 07/25/2014]

API Technologies wins million dollar order for manufacture of commercial satellite communication systems.
[Market Watch - 07/25/2014]

SpaceX Dragon capsule berths at the International Space Station // NASA // Nextgov

SpaceX scores partial victory in bid to get slice of government contracting, as a federal judge agrees to review a multi-bi8llion-dollar contract awarded to ULA without competition.
[Nextgov - 07/25/2014]

Japanese airline Skymark Airlines is providing In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) free of charge to fliers via Panasonic Avionics’s eXConnect global connectivity service.
[Via Satellite - 07/25/2014]

RSCC, in partnership with OOO Isatel, put satellite-supported broadband equipment on board the Russian research/survey vessel Akademik Tryoshnikov for Artic mission.
[SatNews - 07/25/2014]

Surrey Satellite Technology US has decided on five payloads to carry on the company’s Orbital Test Bed (OTB) mission in 2016
[Via Satellite - 07/25/2014]

Rally – OFFROAD.COM file photo – OFFROAD.COM

SATMODO provides satellite phones for BAJA RALLY.
[Off-Road.com - 07/25/2014]

Intelsat completes move from Washington DC’s Van Ness neighborhood to Tysons.
[Tech Bisnow - 07/25/2014]

Hughes, Thales showcase rapidly deployable LTE network using 700 MHz public safety spectrum & satellite.
[PCC Mobile Broadband - 07/25/2014]

The launch of three U.S. Air Force space surveillance satellites July 24 was postponed for the second time in as many days, this time because of weather conditions.
[Space News - 07/24/2014]

Roscosmos photo – The Moscow Times

Russian Communications and Mass Media Minister wants Russia to produce all of its communications satellites on home soil as sanctions threaten availability of high-tech components.
[The Moscow Times - 07/24/2014]

NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft passes above Mars’ south pole in this artist’s concept illustration handout released by NASA July 24, 2012. – Reuters

NASA puts out a call for a commercially owned and operated satellite network on Mars.
[Reuters - 07/24/2014]

Via Satellite file map – Via Satellite

NOAA has awarded a license to Tempus Global Data for a hyperspectral imaging and sounding system constellation.
[Via Satellite - 07/24/2014]

Space Systems/Loral (SSL is one of the companies selected by NASA to study system concepts and key technologies for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission.
[Satellite Evolution Group - 07/24/2014]

China Eastern Airlines offers broadband connected flights over China using China Telecom Satellite aeronautical service and Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s eXConnect system.
[Market Watch - 07/24/2014]

Retiring Senator Jay Rockefeller hopes to lay groundwork for congressional action that would allow online video services to offer even more programming options than cable and satellite companies could.
[National Journal - 07/23/2014]

Budget cuts and newly developing threats to operations in space demand change in calculus on resiliency of the Defense space program.
[U.S. Department of Defense - 07/23/2014]

SES launches first free-to-air digital TV platform in West Africa.
[ScreenAfrica - 07/23/2014]

Ultra-HD TVs make gains but still lack market penetration according to IHS.
[Satellite Markets & Research - 07/23/2014]

Web-connected cabins offer investment opportunities as the market for inflight internet is set to grow to $2.1 billion by 2023 according to Euroconsult report.
[Reuters - 07/22/2014]

Honeywell’s latest passenger survey on In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) shows just how much the mindset toward flying connected has changed.
[Via Satellite - 07/22/2014]

Purdue University students to test green rocket propellant they developed, partnering with Aerojet Rocketdyne to demonstrate the fuel can replace hydrazine.
[R&D Magazine - 07/22/2014]

UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has announced a ground-breaking strategic partnership with the private sector to deliver e-learning programs in Kenya to thousands of marginalized girls.
[SatNews - 07/22/2014]

Despite oversupply in a few regions and bands due to accelerated satellite construction, NSR projects the market will grow by 76 percent, from about $11.8 Billion currently to $21.1 Billion by 2023.
[SatNews - 07/21/2014]

Arianespace wins launch contract for Sentinel 1B satellite.
[Via Satellite - 07/21/2014]

O3b begins service with full initial constellation.
[Via Satellite - 07/21/2014]

China and Brazil agree to continue the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite program with an additional satellite, CBERS 4A.
[Via Satellite - 07/21/2014]

SatNews graphic – SatNews

Department of Defense awards satcom support contracts for SSC Pacific. [SatNews - 07/21/2014]

DARPA awards SSL contract for flight hardware capable of taking a variety of small missions to space aboard the company’s GEO satellite platform.
[Via Satellite - 07/22/2014]

NOAA photo of magnetometer – Nextgov

The fifth of six instruments to be carried by the GOES-R next generation weather satellites, the magnetometer, is now ready for integration.
[Nextgov - 07/21/2014]

Liquid Telecom steps up resources leased from Eutelsat to meet increasing demand for IP connectivity from broad portfolio of clients including national parks and mining and exploration.
[SatNews - 07/21/2014]

Airbus Defense and Space expands strategic agreement with Inmarsat on Global Xpress high-speed broadband to resell to U.S. government market.
[Space Daily - 07/21/2014]

AltegroSky Group’s acquisition of CJSC’s “Moskovsky Teleport” allow entry into new market segments of satellite communications.
[SatNews - 07/21/2014]

Inmarsat keen on offering India high-tech services of monitoring climate, power grids, and water levels in reservoirs in real-time without human intervention.
[Zee News - 07/20/2014]

NSR report, “Global Satellite Capacity Supply and Demand, 11th Edition” now available.
[NSR - July 2014]

WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services


Lost in Space: Fruit Flies, Mushrooms and Geckos

Too bad Geico doesn’t offer spacecraft insurance. The Russians could use some help, as they hold a large share of both launch and in-orbit failures.

I feel bad for the researchers suffering the latest Russian space program setback, the in-orbit loss-of-control for the Foton M-4 spacecraft, carrying a payload of geckos, fruit flies and mushrooms.

Russia’s Progress space firm confirmed Thursday that the Foton-M4 satellite was not responding to commands from the ground to start its onboard engine and lift it to a higher orbit.

However the company said in a statement that all other systems on the satellite, which was launched on July 19, were operating normally and information from the scientific experiments was being transmitted to the ground.

“The equipment which is working in automatic mode, and in particular the experiment with the geckos is working according to the programme,” said Oleg Voloshin, a spokesman of Russia’s Institute of Medico-Biological Problems, which is running the experiment.

The two-month mission is monitoring by video how well the geckos sexually reproduce in space, according to the Institute’s website.

Progress said the design of the Foton-M4 “allows for the functioning of the satellite in automatic mode for a long time.”

A space expert cited by Interfax said that in its current orbit the satellite could stay up in space as long as three or four months.

OK, so maybe they can’t control the thrusters, but all else is working.

Perhaps the resulting “Russian lizard sex in space” video will compete with the popularity of Russian dash cam videos.