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Monday, November 14, 2016

This Week in Satellite News! (Nov 7 – Nov 14 2016)


Inmarsat delivers record-breaking data rate to support small-aperture aero capability for global C4ISR

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Inmarsat the leading provider of global mobile satellite communication services, today announced the operational availability of enhanced aeronautical services in support of critical U.S. government Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) operations.
In use today on multiple platforms and missions, government operations are using Inmarsat’s reliable, worldwide L-band space and ground network through micro-antennas as small as 5 inches at unmatched speeds. Inmarsat’s partners now have the ability to deliver record-breaking data rates as high as 10Mbps x 10Mbps. Using high-order modulation, efficiencies up to 4.5 bits per hertz are achieved allowing cost-efficient bandwidth utilization.

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Elon Musk’s rocket blew up in September. Here’s why one of his main customers isn’t worried.

Few have more riding on SpaceX’s next launch than Iridium Satellite Communications. The McLean-based company has spent $3 billion to build a fleet of new, state-of-the-art satellites that would replace an aging constellation that’s been in orbit for years. The company has hired SpaceX for seven missions over the next year to launch dozens into orbit.
The only problem: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has blown up twice. The company is currently grounded again for the second time in two years. And even though SpaceX’s Elon Musk has said the company should fly by mid-December, the investigation into the explosion on Sept. 1 isn’t yet complete and the Federal Aviation Administration hasn’t yet given it the green light to fly.

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NASA Sets Launch Date for First Smallsat Constellation

NASA is set to launch its first Earth science small satellite constellation, which will help improve hurricane intensity, track, and storm-surge forecasts, on Dec. 12 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) hurricane mission will measure previously unknown details crucial to accurately understanding the formation and intensity of tropical cyclones and hurricanes.
“As a constellation of eight spacecraft, CYGNSS will do what a single craft can’t in terms of measuring surface wind speeds inside hurricanes and tropical cyclones at high time-resolution, to improve our ability to understand and predict how these deadly storms develop,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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WorldView-4 launches successfully after two-month fire delay
WASHINGTON — After nearly two months of delay due to wildfires, United Launch Alliance successfully launched an Atlas 5 rocket Nov. 11 carrying an important imaging satellite for DigitalGlobe.
The Atlas 5 lifted off at 1:30 p.m. Eastern from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, carrying the Worldview-4 satellite. DigitalGlobe later confirmed that it received signals from the spacecraft 45 minutes after launch, confirming it was in good health after separation from the rocket’s upper stage.
“This morning’s Atlas 5 launch delivered the WorldView-4 satellite into near sun-synchronous orbit during a flawless flight,” Gary Wentz, ULA’s vice president of human and commercial services, said in a press release. “ULA is proud to have launched the entire constellation of DigitalGobe’s satellites and served in an essential role to get this revolutionary capability to orbit.”

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket stands ready for launch early Friday morning, carrying DigitalGlobe's WorldView-4 advanced imaging satellite. Credit: ULA
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How the GX for Aviation Tour showcased aviation’s connected future

It reads like a famously hedonistic Rolling Stones tour from the early 1970s: 10 cities visited across four continents and 80,128km travelled. Rest assured, however, Inmarsat Aviation’s 38-day global trek during summer 2016 was anything but retro.
The GX for Aviation Tour was, in fact, a showcase of the future of connected flying. Together with onboard hardware partner Honeywell, our aviation team took to the skies in Honeywell’s B757 test aircraft. This saw them successfully complete system integration in preparation for the launch of GX for Aviation, the world’s first truly global high-speed broadband service from a single provider.

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U.S. defense agency encourages allied nations to join unlimited-use Iridium program
LONDON — The agency providing U.S. government access to Iridium’s global constellation of mobile communications satellites on Nov. 9 urged other nations to join the program to take advantage of its fixed-price, unlimited-access feature.
Clare Grason, who manages the Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services (EMSS) program at the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency, said allied nations are welcome to join the other “Five Eyes” nations — Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand — which have already joined the program as EMSS Fair Share members in addition to the United States.
“They have the same privileges as the U.S. Department of Defense,” Grason said at the Global Milsatcom conference here, organized by SMi Group.

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Low-cost Satellite Communications Option for Currents and Waves

Ocean Scientific International Ltd has added a low-cost, low-power satellite modem to its range of telemetry equipment. The system will publish data (including traditionally high cost/volume currents and waves) from any location globally using the Iridium satellite network. Monthly line rental costs are minimal and data costs are kept low (as little as GBP0.04 per message) by using SBD messaging with big bundle deals available for multiple or long-term deployments.
Conventionally current and wave data transmitted via satellite has proved expensive for the end user owing to the large amount of data produced, however OSIL are able to vastly reduce the costs by handling this data differently within the Iridium system.

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Intellian launches one-meter military grade, Inmarsat type-approved Global Xpress maritime terminal

Intellian Technologies, the world’s leading provider of maritime satellite antenna systems announced today the launch of the GX100PM, a 1m GX terminal specially designed for use in Defense and Intelligence applications.
The GX100PM is the 1m military grade maritime terminal, Type Approved for use on Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network. It is compatible with Inmarsat’s Global Xpress ‘SATCOM as a Service’ capability, which allows maritime users to access seamless reliable commercial wideband connectivity delivered as managed service worldwide.

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Heavy Duty Ahead For Iridium Communications With Komatsu Limited
Now all set to provide the world’s second largest manufacturer of heavy equipment for the construction and mining industries—Komatsu Limited—is Iridium Communications Inc.
This agreement will enable Komatsu to integrate their vehicle monitoring system, KOMTRAX, with the Iridium® network to further extend the firm’s reach into global markets that are currently not served by the company. Iridium will provide global asset tracking and monitoring for Komatsu’ KOMTRAX system, a system with more than 400,000 vehicles in the field today.

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EchoStar 19 reaches Cape Canaveral for mid-December Atlas 5 launch
WASHINGTON — Hughes’ latest high-throughput satellite, EchoStar 19, reached Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station last week in preparation for a Dec. 16 launch atop an Atlas 5 rocket.
EchoStar, the parent company of Hughes, switched launch providers last year after it became evident that the satellite, also known as Jupiter 2, would be too large to launch as a co-passenger on an Ariane 5 rocket as originally planned.
EchoStar 19/Jupiter 2 — which reached Cape Canaveral Nov. 4 — is a Ka-band satellite that will use high-throughput spot beams to provide consumer broadband under the HughesNet brand.

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