Archive for May, 2013

Gamma-Ray Burst from WR 104?

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Wow, a gamma-ray burst from a star 8,000 light years away could trash our atmosphere in seconds. It could happen today — or 500,000 years from now. That’s worse than the cable guy’s estimate.

I’m not changing my plans.

However, there are a bunch of astronomers who are working on the estimate in Australia and Hawaii. Bruce Dorminey’s piece in Forbes the other day puts all the details together:

Although WR 104, a Wolf-Rayet star some 8000 light years distant, has thus far remained largely quiescent, it is ripe to undergo a core-collapse supernova of the sort that could generate a seconds-long burst of gamma-rays that, in turn, might potentially wipe out a quarter of earth’s protective atmospheric ozone.

“We could see it go supernova anywhere from tomorrow to 500,000 years from now,” said Grant Hill, an astronomer at the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii. “For all intents and purposes, the gamma-ray burst and optical photons from the supernova would arrive simultaneously.”

Later in the article, physicist Adrian Melott used the term “extinction event” — HULK NO LIKE THAT.

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 05/24/2013

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

French space agency, CNES, to freeze final design of new-generation Ariane 6 launcher by July, triggering work on new launch pad in French Guiana whose location has already been decided.
[Space News – 05/24/2013]

Russian biological research satellite mission termed a “success” in spite of the deaths of most of the animals on board.
[Space Daily – 05/24/2013]

Hopes are high for a successful launch of the WGS-5 satellite today, which was scrubbed yesterday for an issue with a ground support helium pressurization line. [SatNews – 05/24/2013]

Weather satellite glitch prompts NOAA to activate on-orbit spare.
[Space News – 05/23/2013]

Ecuador’s new and only satellite collides with debris from old Russian rocket, but it’s not clear whether damage resulted.
[Space Mart – 05/23/2013]

Leading global satellite players look to capitalize on expected $17 billion military communications sector.
[AMEinfo – 05/23/2013]

Intelligence community and military face challenges from High Throughput Satellites, including jamming, increased demand and routing issues.
[Satellite Today – 05/23/2013]

Draft bill in House of Representative would put greater emphasis on the NOAA operation weather forecasting activities at the expense of climate research, and create inroads for increased government use of commercial satellites and weather data.
[Space News – 05/23/2013]

NASA’s plans to downsize Kennedy Space Center and shift shuttle-era facilities into private sector hands get $20 million boost from Florida.
[Space News – 05/23/2013]

ScheduALL releasing new ScheduALL 5 (S5) software for automating previously labor-intensive functions such as slack capacity optimization, media system integration and third-party connectivity.
[Satellite Today – 05/23/2013]

ViaSat executes contract for Boeing to build next generation broadband satellite, expected to be by far the world’s highest capacity satellite at the time of its launch in 2013.
[Satellite Spotlight – 05/23/2013]

Astrium to expand its space propulsion production facilities in Germany.
[Space News – 05/23/2013]

Newtec to host a Government and Defense Seminar in Washington DC on the topic of satellite communications efficiency and best practices in the market.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 05/23/2013]

Advantech Wireless announces release of new Sapphire Series 2,500W Ku-band UltraLinearTM GaN SSPA/BUC modular design with built-in redundancy.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 05/23/2013

Sprint Emergency Response Team in Moore, OK shortly after tornado, providing local responders and officials with mobile devices, and wireless voice and secure IP data communications using its Satellite Cell on Light Trucks.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 05/23/2013]

Atrexx adds new service platform to its portfolio targets at meeting broadband demand in Libya and Afghanistan.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 05/23/2013]

ORBCOMM’s self-powered M2M asset tracking and monitoring device wins 2013 CTIA E-Tech award.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 05/23/2013]

Hermes Datacomms Malaysia provides VSAT services across Malaysia’s offshore fields via the MEASAT-3 satellite.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 05/23/2013]

House defense legislation would enable long-term commercial satellite leases and fair evaluation of companies seeking to win U.S. Air force satellite launch contracts.
[Space News – 05/22/2013]

EUsatcom 2013 is a new type of fast-paced satcom event which for the second year provides opportunity for those in the European satellite industry to come together and learn about major developments in the industry.
[infoTECH News – 05/22/2013]

ITT Exelis gets $435 million deep space network contract from NASA.
[Space News – 05/22/2013]

Australian satellite company NewSat buys land next to its existing premises at Mawson Lakes to double its presence and hopefully create up to 50 high-tech jobs over the next few years.
[ – 05/22/2013

Hughes will showcase next generation broadband satellite technology at SatCom Africa 2013.
[Yahoo Finance – 05/22/2013]

Hermes Datacomms wins contract to support Tullow Oil with their African operations using Hermes’ pan-African satellite platform.
[Satellite Today – 05/22/2013]

Congress debates best location for deep-space dry run for future Mars mission – an asteroid, or the moon?
[Space News – 05/22/2013]

DISA cancels $45 million sole source contract to store terabytes of satellite and drone imagery files, planning to pursue contract through competitive means.
[Nextgov – 05/21/2013]

5th WGS satellite is prepared for launch on May 23.
[Los Angeles Air Force Base – 05/21/2013]

House panel inserts language in next year’s defense budget bill that would prevent Defense Department from entering into contracts for satellite services with countries like China and North Korea.
[Wired – 05/21/2013]

Dish remains hopeful it can show Sprint the superiority of its offer to acquire the U.S. wireless giant.
[Satellite Today – 05/21/2013]

Hughes Communications India is named best VSAT operator in India for sixth year in a row at Telcom Operator Awards.
[Yahoo Finance – 05/20/2013]

Telit Communications to expand its line of multi-constellation satellite global positioning receivers for the M2M market.
[4-traders – 05/20/2013]

Inmarsat Plc announces Satcom Direct as a distributor of GX Aviation to the business aviation market.
[4-trader – 05/202013]

Ottawa, Ontario – SkyWave Mobile Communications announces SCADAconnect, and end-to-end connectivity solution targeting the oil & gas, utilities, heavy equipment and industrial automation markets.
[eon – 05/20/2013]

 WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

Thuraya Heep

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Ah, integrating an iPhone with satellite services. We’ve been after that for years and I’m sure we’ll see both talk, text, broadband data and TV — some by satcom, but mostly by terrestrial (GSM, CDMA, LTE, whatever). Dish Network will be the first.

When you’re out in the wilderness, you wish you could connect by satellite. The first was TerreStar with their Genus a few years ago. That sold for $1,100+ back then — which was nuts.

Thuraya had their system — using GSM and satellite when signal was unavailable — up and running in deserts of Asia and Africa since 2001. How many handsets have they sold? Would you believe 600,000? That’s right: it took 12 years to sell that many — and I don’t think you’re counting net handsets in use today (churn, upgrades, etc., over the years). The new boss from Michigan is really getting this moving.

A couple of months ago, they introduced SatSleeve — an enclosure, battery supplement and satellite transceiver. It costs around $650 and probably many dollars per minute to use.

Sorry I wasn’t paying attention, but I had a lot going on. I think this is a brilliant product and I hope they sell a ton of them. It takes a big thinker from Detroit to make it happen.

Just in time for the magician’s birthday.

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 05/20/2013

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

NASA-built nanosatellite launch adapter is ready for flight.
[Space Daily – 05/20/2013]

United Launch Alliance launch of Delta IV carrying the fifth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-5) satellite is rescheduled for Thursday, May 23.
[SatNews – 05/20/2013]

European Space Agency’s Proba-V earth observation satellite is in good health following last week’s launch.
[SatNews – 05/20/2013]

Indian Space Research Organization ready to launch the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System on June 12th.
[SatNews – 05/20/2013]

Pakistan is set to become the fifth Asian country to use China’s domestic satellite navigation system.
[GPS Daily – 05/18/2013]

ViaSat-2, to be built by Boeing, will employ a design that has never been seen before to enable broad geographic reach and 2.5 times the capacity of ViaSat-1.
[Space News – 05/17/2013]

Europe’s billion-dollar Alphasat I-XL satellite, with 400 spot beams, is being readied for a launch that may be the program’s last.
[Space News – 05/17/2013]

United Launch Alliance launches fourth Global Positioning System satellite for U.S. Air Force.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 05/16/2013]

U.S. believes Chinese missile launch was first test of new interceptor that could be used to destroy a satellite in orbit.
[Yahoo News – 05/16/2013]

High speed satellite communications help facilitate disaster relief in tornado-struck Texas town.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 05/16/2013]

ViaSat announces landmark deal for Boeing to build ViaSat-2, an eagerly anticipated move following years of delay.
[Satellite Today – 05/16/2013]

Thuraya to provide a maritime broadband product by early 2014, to compete directly with Inmarsat’s Fleet Broadband.
[Space News – 05/16/2013]

High speed satellite communications help facilitate disaster relief in tornado-struck Texas town.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 05/16/2013]

PhotoSat completes satellite topography mapping of WesternZagro’s Garmian Block in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 05/16/2013]

International SunSat design competition launched to design next-generation of Solar Power Satellites with supportive infrastructure.
[indiegogo – May 2013]

Gogo gets FCC blanket license to operate up to 1,000 Ku-band satellite aircraft for international and domestic service.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 05/16/2013]

Dish asks FCC to suspend review of SoftBank’s bid for Sprint.
[Reuters – 05/16/2013]

Skybox announces strategic partnership with Japan Space Imaging to prov ide high-resolution imagery and full motion commercial video to the Japanese market.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 05/16/2013]

Eutelsat 3D is successfully launched by Proton M from Baikonur.
[NASA Spaceflight – 05/15/2013]

Pentagon renews lease of Chinese satellite for another year, stating that Apstar-7 remained to only satellite solution available that meets AFRICOM’s satellite communications requirements.
[Bloomberg Businessweek – 05/15/2013]

Senator McCain’s Televisions Consumer Freedom Act woul eliminate regulatory barriers ranging from blacking out sports games to how cable plans are priced, and would allow satellite providers to provide “a la carte” programming.
[Satellite Today – 05/15/2013]

Planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft loses second momentum wheel, of four, and it’s planet-hunting days may be over.
[Space News – 05/15/2013]

Astrium is selected to build Express-AMU1/EUTELSAT 36C satellite to be launched in 2015 to provide broadcast services in European part of Russian Federation in Ku and Ka bands.
[Yahoo Finance – 05/15/2013]

Dish gets four banks to finance $9 billion of its $25.5 billion bid for Sprint
[Reuters – 05/15/2013]

Russia’s Proton rocket to launch 7 ton Echostar satellite in 2015-2016.
[Russia & India REPORT – 05/15/2013]

Viasat and the L-3 Platform Integration Division sign memorandum of agreement to collaborate on complete broadband satellite communication system for airline-sized planes.
[financial news – 05/15/2013]

CASBAA’s annual Satellite Industry Forum to take place June 17 at Shangri-La, Singapore.
[Media Mughals – 05/14/2013]

By Light gets task order to provide satellite bandwidth and terrestrial services to the Missile Defense Agency.
[Satellite Spotlight – 05/14/2013]

The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin deliver the second Mobile User Objective System satellite to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for a launch scheduled in July.
[4-traders – 05/13/2013]

Cobham purchases Axell Wireless Ltd., a privately-owned supplier of wireless communications for commercial and public safety markets.
[Microwave Journal – 05/13/2013]

Hughes signs Morsviazsputnik in Russia, the licensed operator of Inmarsat’s mobile satellite services sector in Russia, as a distribution partner for Hughes BGAN mobile satellite products.
[Yahoo Finance – 05/13/2013]

Global satellite and terrestrial connectivity provider Emerging Markets Communications commits to join the Global VSAT Form’s Satellite Spectrum Initiative Campaign, combating satellite interference.
[Satellite Spotlight – 05/13/2013]

KVH acquires media and entertainment services company Headland Media Limited.
[Satellite Today – 05/13/2013]

NSR publishes 3rd edition of its Satellite Manufacturing & Launch Services report as a guide for opportunities within the sector over the next 10 – 15 years.
[NSR – May 2013]

NSR publishes Aeronautical Satcom Markets report to answer critical questions affecting the in-flight connectivity business.
[NSR – May 2013]

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WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 05/13/2013

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

Countdown To Launch – webcast of EUTELSAT 3D launch will begin at 11:00 am EDT on May 14th, with the live launch at 12:02 pm EDT / 10:02 pm Baikonur.
[ILS – Countdown to Launch]

EchoStar returns to International Launch Services to contract for launch of the heaviest commercial satellite to date.
[Space News – 05/13/2013]

Air Force expects to shave $1 billion from its space acquisition portfolio over the next five years, primarily through efficiencies that include reduced oversight of key programs.
[Space News – 05/10/2013]

Boeing wins contract from undisclosed customer for small classified satellite.
[Space News – 05/10/2013]

FCC committee votes 4-0 to advance Qualcomm plan for 150 – 200 ground stations using 500 MHz of spectrum in the 14.0 to 14.5 GHz band to provide broadband to aircraft.
[Fierce Broadband Wireless – 05/10/2013]

Intelsat adds its name to the list of commercial satellite owners whose business is feeling the effects of Sequestration.
[Space News – 05/10/2013]

DigitalGlobe’s NGA contract is protected from Sequestration.
[Space News – 5/10/2013]

On the sidelines at Milsatcom Middle East, regional governments are warned to beef up protection of military and government satellite communications in the face of increasing cyberattacks.
[The National- 05/10/2013]

Singapore Army is enhancing battlefield communications through its Wide Area Communications (WAC) system that includes the Ku-Band Satellite Communications system.
[asiaone – 05/10/2013]

Intelsat buying four more Epic satellites from Boeing.
[Space News – 05/09/2013]

Astrium to sell Yahsat military Ka-band capacity on Yahsat 1B to the U.S. military.
[Space News – 05/09/2013]

Canadian space hardware and service provider MDA, which recently acquired Space Systems/Loral, is investing in SS/L’s California campus to pursue U.S. government business.
[Space News – 05/09/2013]

Inmarsat acquires TC Communications of Australia, a satellite communications specialist, to support Inmarsat’s expanding Global Government and Enterprise Business Units.
[telecompaper – 05/09/2013]

TCS (TeleCommunication Systems) receives $2 million in incremental funding to deliver communications systems support for U.S. Marine Corps.
[Satellite Spotlight – 05/09/2013]

SatADSL, a Belgian company providing satellite Internet access and communications service in SubSaharan Africa completes capital increase aimed at financing its development over the next 5 years.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 05/09/20132]

DISA looks for new, secure capability to replace some Iridium satellite phones that are over 15 years old and going out of production.
[Defence Systems – 05/08/2013]

Telesat’s new Anik G1 satellite begins commercial service.
[NASDAQ – 05/08/2013]

New Kazakh satellite to offer paid telecommunication services to neighboring countries.
[Satellite Spotlight – 05/08/2013]

Astrium enhances it hybrid communications network offering for mining companies in remote areas with an extension of MPLS capabilities through a new POP in Paris.
[Satellite Today – 05/08/2013]

NavigationArts creates application to view and manage satellite beam information on moving military aircraft for iDirect Government Technologies.
[EON – 05/08/2013]

More than 400 space and satellite experts attend fourth edition of the Global Space & Satellite Forum and Milsatcom Middle East in Abu Dhabi.
[TradeArabia – 05/08/2013]

Startup partners with Russian firm to stream earth observation video from the International Space Station.
[Quartz – 05/07/2013]

Pentagon launches “long overdue” effort to safeguard U.S. national security satellites and develop ways to counter the space capabilities of potential adversaries.
[Reuters – 05/07/2013]

Texas House Bill supporting construction of rocket launch site in South Texas by SpaceX is blocked by longest-serving member of the Senate.
[Chron – 05/07/2013]

Berg Insight report cites ORBCOMM as the largest vendor of intermodal container tracking solutions.
[EON – 05/07/2013]

By Light is awarded a five year contract to provide a global broadband, two-way, IP data services capability in support of the Defense Logistics Agency worldwide logistical mission.
[Business Wire – 05/06/2013]

Armada’s associate CMSCG achieves swift distribution of Thuraya mobile satellite phones for fast-growing China market.
[4-traders – 05/05/2013]

 WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

Space Oddity

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Awesome video by Chris Hadfield of Sarnia, Ontario, recorded on the ISS.

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 05/05/2013

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Khathmandu government forms committee to study feasibility of launching Nepal’s first satellite to a slot assigned the the ITU in 1984.
[The Himalayan – 05/05/2013]

Second launch of Vega rocket is scrubbed by Arianespace due to high altitude winds.
[NASA Spaceflight – 05/03/2013]

U.S. Air Force has been quietly developing and has finally fielded measures to counter interference and electronic attacks directed against satellite communications.
[Defence Update – 05/03/2013]

China launches state-owned communications satellite to transmit TV and data to commercial customers across Asia, Africa and Australia for the next 5 years.
[RapidTV news- 05/03/2013]

Pentagon indirectly leases capacity on a Chinese satellite, leading to criticism from Capitol Hill – situation could become commonplace without reform in the way the military procures commercial satellite capacity.
[SpaceNews – 05/03/2013]

Steve Birnbaum of the Global VSAT Forum (GVF) is honored by the White House for expertise and innovative HTS satellite solutions that enabled locally-driven community response during Hurricane Sandy relief operations.
[SatNews – 05/03/2013]

Inmarsat and Honeywell partner with Ka-band; as Inmarsat prepares to launch first Global Xpress Ka-band satellite, Honeywell completes preliminary design review of satcom hardware for aircraft.
[AIN online – 05/03/2013]

A top line-up of global satellite communications experts to meet in Abu Dhabi and discuss next steps forward in global military telecom market expected to reach $7.4 billion in 2013.
[TradeArabia – 05/02/2013]

Iridium joint venture Aireon, developer of world’s first satellite-based global air traffic surveillance system, signs long-term commercial. data services contract with NAV CANADA.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 05/02/2013]

Harris Caprock completes installation of advanced communications solutions onboard 33 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. vessels that will improve crew morale, guest experiences, and company operational efficiencies.
[Harris Caprock – 05/02/2013]

Comtech Xicom gets $1.2 million contract from a leading European integrator for antenna-mount Ku-band ampliviers to be used in transportable uplink systems for a TV broadcast network.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 05/02/2013]

NASA pays Russia $70 million per astronaut to ISS; blames Congress for expense.
[R&D Magazine – 05/01/2013]

Chinese launch Chinasat-ll (Zhongxing-1) aboard a Long March 3B/E (Chang Zheng-3B/E) rocket form the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
[NASA Spaceflight – 05/01/2013]

Militaries worldwide forced to face same questions as businesses and demand for satellite capacity increases – is Ka-band the way forward, and can they modernize while cutting costs?
[Satellite Today – 05/01/2013]

Sea Launch failure identified as hydraulic oil pump not built to specifications, company aims to return to flight by year’s end.
[Space News – 05/01/2013]

TeleCommunicaton Systems receives $4 million funded order for satellite modems from U.S. Army.
[Sacramento Bee – 05/01/2013]

Hiltron products to be showcased at Broadcast Asia 2013 include advanced motorized antenna mount. control system, and SNG satellite link monitor and controller that allow SNG uplinks to be operated on inclined orbit satellites.
[ – 05/01/2013]

Advantech Wireless releases new Sapphire Series 600W Ku-band UltraLinearTM GaiN SSPA/BUC, the ultimate solution for Direct to Home TV.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 05/01/2013]

May Satellite Executive Briefing magazine includes: ‘Update on the African Satellite Market’ by Virgil Labrador, ‘The Lack of Consensus on Spectrum Demand’ by Armand Musey, and ‘Back and Forth with O3b Networks CEO Steve Collar’ by Lou Zacharilla. [Satellite Markets – May 2013]

Russia wins, SpaceX loses, as NASA budget cuts force choice for manned space missions.
[Quartz – 04/30/2013]

SES hopes for strong impact in the UK satellite broadband market, signing a deal with BeyonDSL for the distribution of SES Broadband in the U.K. and Ireland.
[Satellite Today – 04/30/2013]

NordNet deploys Gilat’s SkyEdge II-c VSATs for high-end broadband-over-satellite service in France.
[Yahoo Finance – 04/30/2013]

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo makes its first powered flight, breaking the sound barrier in a test over the Mojave Desert.
[R&D Magazine – 04/29/2013]

As O3b’s first satellites arrive in French Guiana, the Exploration & Production, and Mining operations segment represents a small but high-end market awaiting the availability of fiber speeds by satellite.
[NSR – 04/29/2013]

Orbital sciences will design and build a new satellite for NASA that will investigate the connection between space weather and Earth’s terrestrial weather.
[R&D Magazine – 04/29/2013]

ViaSat Exede Internet receives 2013 Edison Award for Innovation.
[Yahoo Finance – 04/29/2013]

Is space junk a market waiting to be exploited?
[Quartz – 04/25/2013]

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