Archive for October, 2011

Big Bang Monday: H.U.D.F.

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Hubble Ultra Deep Field
WTF is HUDF? Hubble Ultra Deep Field, KWIM?

It’s the deepest ever. Seriously:

The Hubble Ultra-Deep Field (HUDF) is an image of a small region of space in the constellation Fornax, composited from Hubble Space Telescope data accumulated over a period from September 24, 2003, through to January 16, 2004. It is the deepest image of the universe ever taken,[1] looking back approximately 13 billion years (between 400 and 800 million years after the Big Bang), and it will be used to search for galaxies that existed at that time. The HUDF image was taken in a section of the sky with a low density of bright stars in the near-field, allowing much better viewing of dimmer, more distant objects. The image contains an estimated 10,000 galaxies. In August and September 2009, the Hubble’s Deep Field was expanded using the infrared channel of the recently attached Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). When combined with existing HUDF data, astronomers were able to identify a new list of potentially very distant galaxies.[2]

Located southwest of Orion in the southern-hemisphere constellation Fornax, the image covers 11.0 square arcminutes. This is just one-seventieth the solid angle subtended by the full moon as viewed from Earth, smaller than a 1 mm-by-1 mm square of paper held 1 meter away, and equal to roughly one thirteen-millionth of the total area of the sky. The image is oriented so that the upper left corner points toward north (−46.4°) on the celestial sphere.

This would look good on your wall.

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 10/14/2011

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Defense Information Systems Agency proposes completely new approach to commercial satcom buying practices by creating Assured SATCOM Services in Single Theater program.
[Defense Systems – 10/14/2011]

From Skyterra to present day LightSquared – tiny satellite company takes gutsy risks in ambitious plan for nationwide wholesale satellite/terrestrial LTE network, finds itself embroiled in political partisan and lobbying battle.
[National Journal – 10/14/2011]

KORE makes available their KORE Global Connect M2M network delivering cellular and satellite services complemented by Iridium satellite services, enabling ubiquitous global coverage.
[SatNews – 10/14/2011]

Viasat airborne satellite communications systems exceed 500,000 operational flight hours; over 200 satcom equipped government aircraft transmitting ISR and C2 in theater.
[MarketWatch – 10/14/2011]

October 20 launch of Europe’s first Galileo navigation satellites will also mark the first Russian Soyuz rocket launch from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
[SatNews – 10/13/2011]

Charlie Ergen moving to fashion Dish Network into media empire based on delivery of video and data, leveraging acquired assets such as Hughes Communications and Blockbuster, and targeted online TV service Hulu.
[Business Week – 10/13/2011]

Eutelsat Board of Directors proposes Jean-Martin Folz as Board member; if elected he will be appointed by the Board as Chairman of Eutelsat, to succeed Giuliano Berretta.
[SatNews – 10/13/2010]

Orbcomm successfully launches VesselSat1, an Automatic Identification Service (AIS) enabled satellite built by OHB affiliate LuxSpace Sarl, onboard Indian Space Research Organization rocket.
[Satellite Today – 10/13/2011]

Two companies working on “remote robot gas stations” that could extend life of aging satellites running out of fuel.
[ – 10/13/2011]

KVH bundles TracPhone V3 hardware with 1 GB data plan in special 3-year mini-VSAT broadband package in bundle promotion.
[MarketWatch – 10/13/2011]

Emerging Markets Communications announces first HD on demand pay as you go satellite videoconferencing service available for deployment to Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia (soon to include China and Central and South America).
[AMEinfo – 10/13/2011]

ORBCOMM and Locas Traxx to enable shipment tracking and monitoring solution.
[MarketWatch – 10/13/2011]

Connectify announces strategic partnership to offer Iridium AxcessPoint Connect to the mobile communications market.
[MarketWatch – 10/13/2011]

Home2US renews long-term capacity agreement on SES-1 and adds six new television networks and five new radio channels from Greece and Cyprus to its DTH lineup.
[MarketWatch – 10/13/2011]

French Navy patroller Cormoran to use Vizada’s satellite broadband connection and airtime for everything from surveillance to crew welfare.
[SatNews – 10/13/2011]

Netherlands plans to join the Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) program to increase its satellite communications capacity.
[Aviation Week – 10/12/2011]

Indian Space Research Organization uses strategic delay to avoid possible encounter with space debris; accomplishes successful launch of four satellites, including Indo-French Megha-Tropiques.
[SatNews – 10/12/2011]

Lockheed Martin successfully completes end-to-end system test of first MUOS satellite, whose payload will provide immediate 16-fold increase over legacy UHF satellite communications in number and capacity of satellite links.
[PR Newswire – 10/12/2011]

Fort McMurray, Alberta to become major gateway for satellite broadband in Canada, as Xplornet Communications announces completion of 4G satellite ground station.
[Canada Newswire – 10/12/2011]

General Dynamics SATCOM technologies chooses Wavestream’s 16 Ka-band amplifier for their Model 20 Satcom-on-the-Move terminal.
[SatNews – 10/12/2011]

Eutelsat announces successful launch of W3C satellite by a Longh March 3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China, Eutelsat’s 2nd launch in 2 weeks.
[TMCnet – 10/11/2011]

United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket placed atop its Cape Canaveral pad for the next Delta 4 launch which will carry the 4th WGS satellite aloft in January 2012.
[Spaceflight Now – 10/11/2011]

Canadian Telesat satellite outage blamed on software error.
[Satellite Spotlight – 10/11/2011]

Sofradir wins key contract to supply technology to new European Union Earth observation satellites.
[Satellite Today – 10/11/2011]

Spacenet Mexico launches digital cinema distribution network powered by iDirect’s Evolution platform.
[PR Newswire – 10/11/2011]

NASA releases interactive educational video game called NetworKing that allows players to “build” complex communications systems and gives an insider’s perspective into how astronauts, mission controllers, and scientists communicate during space missions.
[MarketWatch – 10/11/2011]

RRSAT offers customers 26% data rate increase using NovelSat3G-Sat modulation technology.
[The Street – 10/11/2011]

Expand Networks to demonstrate innovative satellite network optimization techniques that dramatically increase bandwidth efficiency at SATCON NY,
[SatNews – 10/11/2011]

Globecomm to discuss “File-based Distribution Over Satellite” at SATCON NY.
[Business Wire – 10/11/2011]

Satcom Direct includes Aircare Access(R) assistance 24/7 tele-medical support in suite of business aviation services.
[San Francisco Chronicle – 10/11/2011]

European Commission adopts decision meant to allow it to “adopt appropriate enforcement measures” in use of 2 GHz MSS spectrum as deadlines for 2 operators to deploy services there expired in May.
[EUROPOLITICS – 10/10/2011]

Hughes Europe will provide satellite communications support to the Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness project in Turkey.
[Satellite Today – 10/10/2011]

Satcom Direct launches Satcom Integration, offering consulting services, products, custom integration, and software applications.
[Digital Journal – 10/10/2011]

WBMSAT satellite communications systems consulting services

No Sand Worms on Mars

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Missed the images from Mars over the last three years? Don’t worry, there’s a video.

If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting Mars, buckle up: The following video of NASA’s Mars Opportunity Rover crawling the surface of the red planet between September 2008 and August 2011 is about as close as you’re going to come at this point.

Opportunity’s panoramic still-image camera captured 309 photos as the rover crawled 13 miles to get from Martian Victoria to another, larger crater, the 14-mile-diameter Endeavor, where the rover is currently still located, busy inspecting Martian rocks. The still images were then stitched together to create the video slideshow. A soundtrack was also added by taking data from Opportunity’s accelerometers and speeding it up by 1,000 times to achieve an audible frequency.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Dune (1984), you’ll recall the dramatic worm sightings when you see the Mars terrain…

Space Game

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Now that World Space Week is over, its time to play games.

NASA just released NetworKing, a game based on how the Space Communication and Navigation (SCaN) network works:

Developed by the Information Technology Office at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., NetworKing gives players an insider’s perspective into how astronauts, mission controllers and scientists communicate during space missions.

“For any young person who ever dreamed of one day contributing to space missions, NetworKing lets players develop a kingdom of multiple space communication networks working together to support space missions,” said Barbara Adde, policy and strategic communications director for SCaN at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

To successfully construct fast and efficient communication networks, players must first establish command stations around the world and accept clients conducting space missions, such as satellites and space telescopes. Resources are earned throughout the game as players continue to acquire more clients. Players can strategically use accumulated resources to enhance and increase their networks’ capabilities.

Players with the most integrated communications networks will have the ability to acquire more complex clients, such as the International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope and the Kepler mission.

“As a simple and fun introduction to the complex world of space communications, NetworKing gives players the opportunity to enjoy a challenging game while absorbing the basic concepts of space communication,” said Daniel Laughlin, games researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “It’s an engaging way to increase interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics areas of study and open minds to potential careers in those fields.”

Awesome game.

Big Bang Monday: Back Garden Variety

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Good show, I say!

Today’s Daily Mail (U.K.) writes of Damian Peach, Astronomer Photographer of the Year (2010)…

From detailed solar flares to an amazing image of Jupiter and two of its moons, this tour of our solar system has been captured by an amateur British astronomer in his back garden.

Damian Peach, an electronic engineer from Selsey, West Sussex, has spent the last ten years documenting the changing face of our solar system.

Spending a relatively modest £10,000 on a high-speed telescope and electrical equipment, Mr Peach’s crystal clear images are good enough to rival those of Nasa and the European Southern Observatory in Chile.

So much so that in 2010, he became the only Briton to win the prestigious Astronomy Photographer Of The Year Award for his composite photograph of Jupiter’s moons, Ganymede and Io, orbiting the stormy surface of the gas giant.

Mr Peach said: ‘It’s just fantastic that it’s possible to do something like this from your own back garden.

‘This has been made possible by recent leaps in technology. These days surprisingly good results are possible with small telescopes and low cost webcams.

‘The results possible for home astronomers now were not achievable until the 1990s by even the largest telescopes on Earth.

‘The resolution possible with large amateur telescopes could now be considered of a professional quality in what the images reveal on the planets.’

Great job, mate!

You can skip this step and go directly to the million-dollar images the space agencies put out, and get a monster-size print for a few bucks.

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 10/07/2011

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Will you be at SatCon NY? Email me if you’d like to meet there.

Attend Satellite Interference Forum the day before SatCon Expo – see details.

Intelsat 18 launched from Baikonur Space Center by Sea Launch provided Land Launch Zenit-3SLB launch vehicle.
[SatNews – 10/06/2011]

Thales Alenia Space, prime contractor for second generation of Globalstar mobile communications satellites, rejects Globalstar’s order for six quick-delivery spacecraft, alleging that the company “has no right to place the order.”
[SatNews – 10/06/2011]

Telecommunications par Satellite Mobiles launches Globalstar’s satellite telephone service in Belgium, France, Portugal, and Spain, bringing total number of locations where service is available to 15 countries across Europe, Asia, North America, and South America.
[SatNews – 10/06/2011]

U.S. military concerned about American dependence on space satellites, especially GPS birds – sees long endurance UAVs as salvation in event of space satellite apocalypse.
[Strategy Page – 10/06/2011]

Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund manager Philip Falcone asked by U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for records of communications with Obama administration officials over LightSquared, beset by technical challenges and concerns over interference with GPS.
[Wall Street Journal – 10/06/2011]

With Avanti Communications Group stock in tailspin in recent months, Avanti Executives purchase large blocks of shares, as the startup company that launched Hylas 1 broadband satellite announces lower revenue and higher losses for year ending June 30.
[Space News – 10/06/2011]

ASC Signal awarded $3.8M sub-contract by L-2 Communications for ground satcom systems to support U.S. Navy MQ-4C Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System program.
[Market Watch – 10/06/2011]

Telesat satellite malfunction causes major communications disruption across Nunavut and much of Canada’s North.
[Nunatsiaq online – 10/06/2011]

Viasat’s first-ever satellite, ViaSat-1, slated for blast off on Oct. 19.
[Signon San Diego – 10/06/2011]

Senior Iranian commander says the Islamic Republic’s air defense has acquired the know-how to disrupt military and spy satellite communications.
[Press TV – 10/05/2011]

W3C satellite built for Eutelsat by Thales Alenia Space is set for October 7 launch by a Long March 3BE rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China.
[SatNews – 10/05/2011]

ESA’s first two Galileo navigation satellites set for launch by Soyuz from French Guiana on October 20.
[SatNews – 10/05/2011]

Eutelsat targets high-growth video markets across Europe as it adds new 9B satellite to occupy 9degree East neighbourhood.
[Rapid TV News – 10/05/2011]

Plans announced during Interference-Prevention Summit to address satellite interference problems already being implemented in several Asian nations.
[SatNews – 10/05/2011]

MIL-SAT Global Communications is awarded $11.9M contract for marine stabilized satellite communications terminals for the Force Training Assessment Department at the Naval Surface Warfare Center.
[AFCEA – 10/05/2011]

Al Yah Satellite Communications Company signs Memorandum of Understanding with DSEI Thales allowing it to offer highly secure satellite communications to military forces and government agencies through Yahsat’s Y1A satellite.
[AME Info – 10/05/2011]

Gilat Satellite Networks hires Brigadier General and creates new defense division to cater to U.S. defense establishments.
[Globes – 10/05/2011]

Boeing to host MILCOM 2011 conference and exposition at Baltimore Convention Center November 7th though 10th.
[SatNews – 10/05/2011]

Berkely students building CubeSat CINEMA (CubeSat for Ions, Neutrals, Electrons, and MAgnetic fields) could be at the forefront of the future of space research.
[R&D Magazine – 10/04/2011]

Astrium is selected to build Eutelsat’s next satellite, EUTELSAT 9B, a high-power broadcast satellite to address high-growth video markets in Europe, to be launched ad end of 2014.
[SatNews – 10/04/2011]

Nigeria launches first African built imagery satellite.
[Satellite Today – 10/04/2011]

South African Minister of Science and Technology addresses International Astronautical Congress, outlining plans to develop all aspects of space industry for the benefit of the whole of Africa.
[DefenceWeb – 10/04/2011]

Hughes to address SATCON 2011 on future trends in satellite communications, the U.S. government’s “Future Commercial Satellite Communications Services Acquisition,” and the future of military satellite communications.
[Market Watch – 10/04/2011]

Boeing demonstrates high data-rate transmission between FAB-T system and a test terminal for the U.S. Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite.
[UPI – 10/04/2011]

Newtec’s Business Partner Program called bePART quick to win acceptance as global satellite communications industry brands in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America join the program.
[SatNews – 10/04/2011]

TCS awarded $16.2m contract tfrom U.S. Army to continue to provide satellite communications equipment, engineering support, training, and maintenance.
[MENAFN – 10/04/2011]

Goodrich Corporation, builder of KH-9 spy satellite, was platinum sponsor of event at which National Reconnaissance Office revealed to the public details of the satellite, over 60 ft. long and 10 ft. in diameter, of which 20 were launched during cold war.
[SatNews – 10/04/2011]

Globalstar announces that second of six satellites launched in July now operational and processing mobile satellite voice and data traffic to customers in North America and around the world.
[SatNews – 10/04/2011]

SES secures further long-term contract with Channel 4 in UK to provide additional capacity on its recently launched ASTRA 1N spacecraft.
[SatNews – 10/04/2011]

Russia’s first test firing of new secret intercontinental missile with features to defeat air defence systems fails due to problem with the missile’s second stage.
[SatNews – 10/03/2011]

Soyuz-2.1B carrier rocket with Glonass-MN navigation satellite is launched from Plesetsk Space Center in northern Russia.
[SatNews – 10/03/2011]

Japan plans to establish network of four satellite GPS constellation.
[SatNews – 10/03/2011]

First Advanced Extremely High Frequency that failed to reach orbit when launched in August 2010 is now expected to reach its orbital slot in late October, as a result of orbit-raising activities by team of Air Force and civilian engineers.
[SatNews – 10/03/2011]

Hughes Network Systems launches new 9202 class 2 portable satellite terminal fully compatible for operation over Inmarsat’s BGAN satellite service.
[Satellite Spotlight – 10/03/2011]

Surrey Satellite Technology plans to jump-start space innovation by combining state-of-the art avionics with flight proven systems in low cost microsatellite.
[SatNews – 10/03/2011]

DigitalGlobe and Ball Aerospace & Technologies jointly announce successful completion of Critical Design Review for next generation remote-sensing satellite WorldView-3.
[SatNews – 10/03/2011]

Avanti Communications secures more clients for its satellites, and HYLAS 2 is insured for less than expected, with its launch on track for second quarter of 2012.
[Proactive Investors – 10/03/2011]

Stratos Global opens Global Installation & Service Centers in Rotterdam, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Lafayette, Louisiana to provide complete managed-communications services for ship owners and ship management companies.
[PR Newswire – 10/03/2011]

Canadian Space Agency looks at launching pair of satellites that could improve weather forecasting and telecommunications in the Arctic.
[Montreal Gazette – 10/01/2011]

SpaceX plans to build fully re-useable orbiter.
[R&D Magazine – 09/30/2011]

U.S. Government Market Focus: The Risks of Insatiable Demand vs. Overloaded Supply
[Via Satellite Webinars – Free Webinar October 19]

MSS, FSS, and HTS (High Throuput Ka-band Satellites) – who will win the mobility battle?
[NSR free webinar October 19]

Earth Observation providers and data users spread around the globe, as revenues of two main satellite operators grew in 2010.
[NSR Report – October 2011]

WBMSAT satellite communications systems consulting services

Big Bang Monday: NGC 281

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Today’s image comes to us courtesy of the Spitzer Space Telescope

This composite image of NGC 281 contains X-ray data from Chandra (purple) with infrared observations from Spitzer (red, green, blue). The high-mass stars in NGC 281 drive many aspects of their galactic environment through powerful winds flowing from their surfaces and intense radiation that heats surrounding gas, “boiling it away” into interstellar space. This process results in the formation of large columns of gas and dust, as seen on the left side of the image. These structures likely contain newly forming stars. The eventual deaths of massive stars as supernovas will also seed the galaxy with material and energy.

Read more about NGC 281.