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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

This Week in Satellite News! (Jan 23 – Jan 30 2017)


Iridium buys eighth Falcon 9 launch, shares with Earth science mission

Iridium announced Jan. 31 it has purchased an additional Falcon 9 launch from SpaceX that the satellite services company will share with a German-U.S. Earth science mission.
The additional launch, planned to take place by early 2018 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, will carry five Iridium Next satellites as well as the two satellites for the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, a joint project of NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences, known by the German acronym GFZ.

Falcon 9 Iridium-1 launch
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Raytheon Moves James Webb Space Telescope Closer to Scheduled Launch

Raytheon has completed factory acceptance testing of the flight operations system for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). With seven times the light-collecting power of its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope, this next-generation telescope will gather data and images of dust clouds, stars and galaxies deeper into space.
More than 800 requirements were successfully verified on the JWST ground control system during the testing conducted at Raytheon’s Aurora, Colorado, facility, bringing NASA’s next space observatory one step closer to the scheduled 2018 launch, according to the company.

NASA engineers and technicians position the James Webb Space Telescope (inside a large tent) onto the shaker table used for vibration testing. Credits: NASA/Chris Gunn
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SpaceX, finishing launch pad work, shuffles launch schedule

The first flight of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from a repurposed shuttle pad at the Kennedy Space Center is now targeted for around the middle of February to give the company more time to complete extensive modifications and testing of new launch pad systems and support equipment, officials said Sunday.
SpaceX had been gearing up to launch an EchoStar communications satellite from complex 39A at the Florida spaceport as early as this week, but that flight now will follow the launch of a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship carrying supplies to the International Space Station.

Image result for SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket
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Japan launches first military communications satellite

Japan on Tuesday launched its first military communications satellite to boost the broadband capacity of its Self Defence Forces as they reinforce an island chain stretching along the southern edge of the East China Sea.
Under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the military is operating further from Japan’s home islands as it takes on a bigger role to counter growing Chinese military activity in the region. The satellite lifted off from Japan’s Tanegashima space port aboard an H-IIA rocket at 0744 GMT and successfully entered orbit, said a spokesman for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which builds the launcher.

H-IIA Kirameki Japan
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The New Normal: Satellite’s Collaborative Answer to Cyber Threats

As the cyber threat landscape intensifies for satellite operators and the world at large, Via Satellite examines how the industry is tackling the issue on multiple levels. To stay ahead of the threat, manufacturers, operators and customers all must band together, increase their vigilance and collaborate more closely.

Cyber security concerns continue to dominate headlines as one of the most far-reaching cross-industry threats facing an interdependent digital world. With space becoming more contested than ever before, the threat to space-based assets is growing.

Image result for Cyber security satellite
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Proton launches delayed until mid-May

Launches of Russia’s Proton rocket will be postponed until the middle of May in order to replace faulty engines on several vehicles, a top Russian official said Jan. 28.
In a series tweets, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin discussed a meeting he held Jan. 28 with representatives of the Voronezh Mechanical Plant, which makes engines used in the upper stages of the Proton and Soyuz launch vehicles.

ILS Proton M
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Kymeta, Aurum Team to Offer HTS Antennas to Armored Vehicles

Kymeta has announced plans to work with Aurum Security to bring Kymeta mTenna High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) connectivity to VIP and Civilian Armored Vehicles (CAV).
According to a statement released by Kymeta, with the new antenna CAV manufacturers and integrators will be able to deliver global mobile connectivity without impacting the natural design lines of the vehicle.

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Phasor, Thales Alenia Space Collaborate on Ka Satellite Smart Terminal

Phasor and Thales Alenia Space (TAS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a software-defined, smart terminal for commercial Ka-band satellite communications.
The companies call on Phasor’s knowledge in the field of Electronically Steerable Antennas (ESAs), and Thales Alenia Space’s experience in satellite broadband technology across Geostationary, Medium and Low Earth Orbits (GEO, MEO and LEO).

Image result for Ka Satellite Smart Terminal
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Google Lunar XPRIZE Winners Announced

XPRIZE and Google have announced that a $1 million diversity prize will be split among 16 Google Lunar XPRIZE teams, and that five teams have verified launch contracts and are moving forward to the final phase of the competition to land an unmanned spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. “XPRIZE and Google have been awestruck by the educational outreach activities conducted by all of the competing teams and have decided to split the $1 million Diversity Prize across all 16 teams to recognize each of their unique approaches and initiatives over the years,” said Chanda Gonzales-Mowrer, senior director of Google Lunar XPRIZE. “Each of these teams has pushed the boundaries to demonstrate that you don’t have to be a government superpower to send a mission to the Moon, while inspiring audiences to pursue the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”

Photo: Google Lunar XPRIZE, Jackie Lee // MATTE
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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

This Week in Satellite News! (Jan 16 – Jan 23 2017)


Air Force satellite launches successfully after delay

An Air Force missile warning satellite launched successfully Friday, a day after it was delayed due to a series of technical and range issues. The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5, in a 401 configuration, lifted off successfully from Cape Canaveral, Fla., at 7:42 pm Eastern. It’s the company’s first launch for 2017.
The launch had originally been planned for one day earlier, but was eventually scrubbed after a series of delays, including reports of a plane that wandered into restricted airspace. The second attempt Friday was successful, launching the Air Force’s Space Based Infrared System satellite into geosynchronous orbit.

The Air Force's missile warning satellite, SBIRS GEO-3, lifted off aboard a ULA Atlas 5 rocket Jan. 20, after a 24-hour delay. Credit: ULA
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With An Operations Center In Leesburg, Iridium Launches Largest Tech Refresh In History

On Saturday, dozens of the best engineers and scientists in the world will guide and oversee the first step of space's largest tech refresh in history.
And they'll be doing it from Leesburg.
Iridium communications will embark this weekend upon its first of several “satellite swaps,” an initiative to change out the company's 66 satellites orbiting Earth. A global communications company, Iridium houses its operations center in the Lansdowne area.
The company will use a Falcon 9 rocket from Elon Musk's SpaceX for the satellites' commute. The venture will be SpaceX's first launch since a Falcon 9 exploded upon launch last September.

File:Iridium Coverage Animation.gif
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It’s getting harder for a plane to vanish and not be found

Nearly three years after a Malaysian airliner vanished, it’s still possible, if unlikely, for a plane to disappear. But that’s changing with new satellites that will soon allow flights to be tracked in real time over oceans.
New international safety standards also begin to kick-in beginning next year, although the deadline for airlines to meet most of the standards is still four years away. Even then, it could be decades before the changes permeate the entire global airline fleet because some of the requirements apply only to newly manufactured planes.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished from radar on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board. An exhaustive search of a remote corner of the southern Indian Ocean has failed to turn up the aircraft’s remains, and search efforts were called off this week.

Image result for flights tracked in real time
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Canada on Path to Provide High Speed Internet to All

On Dec. 21, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) declared that broadband access internet service is now a “basic telecommunications service for all Canadians,” vowing to bring high-speed internet access to all citizens. With the government setting its sights on speeds of 50 megabits per second (Mbps) downloads and 10 Mbps upload for fixed broadband internet access services, the CRTC will now look to expand internet infrastructure throughout the country through $750 million in funding that will come available in the next five years for areas that do not meet the targets. But what piece of that pie belongs to the satellite industry?
As a large country with far-reaching remote regions, the government is looking to all players in the communication landscape to do their part to ensure Canadians have access to “the services they need to participate in the digital economy,” Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman and CEO of the CRTC, said in a statement released along with the December announcement.

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Cyberspace in Outer Space: New Challenges, New Responses

The cybersecurity and outer space communities seem only now to have started to realize the interdependence between these two areas and the need to avoid compartmentalized approaches with relation to cyber in space.
The central and vital role of satellite systems in human societies, together with the growth of attacks against satellites, has shown that the security aspects of satellite systems cannot be overlooked. Indeed, an attack against a satellite (as well as to its ground stations and communication links) can have profound negative impacts on a set of diverse sectors and activities that rely on satellites.
Such security aspects are all the more important not only due to the increasing reliance, cross-sector and cross-borders, on satellite systems, but also in light of the dual-use nature of satellite technology, the use of IP-based technologies in the space sector, as well as the recourse to the private sector for procurement of sensitive technology and management of critical infrastructures.

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Aireon hosted payload on Iridium satellites taps Harris hardware to transform air traffic management

MCLEAN, Va. Part of the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation, Aireon’s space-based ADS-B network will transform air traffic management (ATM) capabilities, providing real-time air traffic surveillance and flight tracking across 100 percent of the planet. Currently, more than 70 percent of the earth, including oceanic and remote airspace, has no existing air traffic surveillance.
“Today is a landmark moment in history for global air traffic surveillance, air traffic safety. and the aviation industry as a whole,” says Aireon CEO Don Thoma. “This successful first launch brings us one step closer to changing the way the world flies by enabling the ability to track aircraft anywhere on the planet. Once our global ADS-B surveillance service is fully deployed, every ADS-B equipped aircraft can have its precise location accounted for 24/7.”

Aireon hosted payload on Iridium satellites taps Harris hardware to transform air traffic management
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Many questions, few answers when it comes to space traffic management, experts say

With an ever growing number of countries and corporations launching satellites into orbit, there’s never been a greater need for thorough tracking of objects in space, but many questions need to be answered first, according to a panel of experts at a recent conference.
“The time is now to address this issue,” said George Nield, Federal Aviation Administration associate administrator for commercial space transportation, speaking at a panel on space situational awareness (SSA) at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Science and Technology Forum held in Grapevine, Texas, Jan. 11. “We need to avoid the temptation because it is a complex and challenging problem to try to get everything perfect before we start taking action.”

Orbital_Debris_ESA-879x485
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Thuraya Launches Smartphone-Based Command and Control System

Thuraya Telecommunications Company has announced the launch of Crypttia, a command and control platform developed by Eyeonix. With the platform, smartphone users can use unified Thuraya and cellular networks for mission-critical, crisis management, defense and civil protection operations.
Crypttia is an IP-based, end-to-end, global platform combining both terrestrial and satellite voice technologies to bring push to talk services to smartphone users. The solution offers “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) capability for fast and reliable communications in mission-critical environments.

Crypttia portable solution.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

This Week in Satellite News! (Jan 09 – Jan 16 2017)


Success! The First Ten Iridium NEXT Satellites Have Arrived in Low-Earth Orbit

January 14, 2017, marks a historic day in Iridium history – the first payload of ten Iridium NEXT satellites have been launched and deployed into low-Earth orbit (LEO) by our launch partner, SpaceX. This highly anticipated first launch took place at SpaceX’s west coast launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, at approximately 9:54:39 am PST.
This is the first in a series of seven Iridium NEXT launches, which are scheduled over the next 15 months with SpaceX. Each launch will include a payload of ten Iridium NEXT satellites – the heaviest payload yet to fly on a Falcon 9 – and begin a one-for-one satellite replacement of Iridium’s existing global satellite constellation, the largest commercial satellite constellation in space.

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Apollo astronaut Gene Cernan, last man to walk on the moon, dies at 82

U.S. astronaut Gene Cernan, who as the commander of the final Apollo lunar landing mission in 1972 became known as the "last man on the moon," died on Monday (Jan. 16). He was 82. NASA confirmed Cernan's death on its website and social media channels, noting he was surrounded by his family at the time he died. The cause of death was not stated, but he was known to have been ill in recent months.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement after Cernan's death, "Truly, America has lost a patriot and pioneer who helped shape our country's bold ambitions to do things that humankind had never before achieved."

Astronaut Eugene A. Cernan, Apollo 17 commander, is pictured inside the lunar module following the third session of extravehicular activity on the 20th century's last lunar landing mission. Credit: NASA
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3D Printing Rocket Fuel Could Cut Launch Costs in Half

Rocket Crafters (RCI) Co-founder, President and Chief Technology Officer Ronald Jones has been granted a U.S. patent for a method of designing and fabricating fuel grains for hybrid rocket engines using additive manufacturing technology, also known as 3D printing. This method aims to allow the fabrication of an inherently safe and less expensive launch vehicle with only two moving parts, according to a Jan. 10 statement released by the company. Jones stated that 3D printing of the rocket combustion chamber allows RCI’s expendable motors to deliver small satellites to orbits at as low as half current launch costs.

Image result for Rocket Crafters, Inc.
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New Space: Spotlight on Some of the ‘Next Big Things’

Companies like RedWorks, Deep Space Industries, Made in Space and Planetary Resources have breathtaking ambitions with their business plans that involve space-based initiatives. We take a look at some of the hottest new companies entering satellite and what they are looking to bring to our industry.
Over the last few years, space has suddenly become hip with the likes of Spacebook, Google and Facebook resonating with young Millennials attracted by the possibilities of working on space-based initiatives. In Silicon Valley, there are many start-up companies with lofty goals and big ambitions. But, who are these companies and why should you be aware of them? We take a look at some of the hottest new companies entering satellite and what they are looking to bring to our industry. 

Image result for Deep Space Industries
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Missile-warning SBIRS GEO-3 looking good for Jan. 19 launch

The U.S. Air Force’s next missile-warning satellite is set to launch from Florida Jan. 19, mission leaders said during a Tuesday teleconference with reporters.
The military’s third Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite, or SBIRS GEO-3,  is checking out, and while there are still a few operational and launch readiness reviews to perform, there do not appear to be any issues that might delay the launch, officials said.
“This is the first national security space mission out of eight planned for this calendar year, and it helps honor the 70th anniversary of the Air Force,” said Col. Kent Nickle, the launch mission director.

SBIRS GEO Flight 3, the next satellite scheduled to join the U.S. Air Force’s Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS), in final assembly and test at Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, California. Credit: Lockheed Martin
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Russia’s Space Industry and the Move to Embrace IoT

The Russian space market is undergoing a period of change, as the industry faces up being a major part of the country’s overall economy. Space is intrinsically linked to Russia’s DNA, and new innovation will be needed for the industry to grow and prosper.

There was a definite change of tone at SatComRus 2016 where the Internet of Things (IoT) and how it could impact the Russian space market was the main theme. In a departure from previous events, which really focused on the state of the market as well as Russian Federal Programs, the main theme underpinning this year’s event was undoubtedly the industrial internet in Russia and how it could help the Russian space industry

Image result for Space Industry iot
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In The Fast Lane: The Connected Car

According to analyses by Statista’s Digital Market Outlook, the market for hardware that turns cars into connected cars with a permanently embedded Internet connection (via eSim) is growing at an exuberant rate.
It comes as no surprise that consumer demand is on the rise in our ever more connected world. In Europe, Brussels helps too: eCall is a technology that automatically calls 112 in case of a serious road accident and will be compulsory for all newly sold cars from April 2018 across EU-member countries. This will not only lead to juicy profits for hardware providers but also to 35.6 million connected cars in Europe by 2021.

Infographic: In The Fast Lane: The Connected Car | Statista
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Loss of Progress space vehicle probably caused by ‘foreign particles’ in pump

Presence of foreign particles inside the engine’s pump or violations of assembly procedures that occurred in the process of engine’s manufacturing may have been to blame for the loss of the Progress MS-04 cargo space vehicle last December, the Russian space corporation Roscosmos said on Wednesday.
The panel of inquiry has arrived at the conclusion that the oxidizer tank of the third-stage engine was ripped open with an impact of fragments that emerged with the destruction of engine 11D55 as a result of combustion and further destruction of the oxidizer pump. The oxidizer pump may have caught fire for various reasons, such as the likely presence of foreign particles inside or violation of the engine 11D55’s assembly procedures (wrong clearance between parts or the rotor’s unbalance and runout). Defective workmanship manifested itself in flight," the report runs.

Image result for Loss of Progress space vehicle
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Friday, January 13, 2017

Iridium NEXT Launch Anticipated for January 14th


SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will deliver 10 satellites to low-Earth orbit for Iridium, a global leader in mobile voice and data satellite communications. The 10 satellites are the first of at least 70 satellites that SpaceX will be launching for Iridium’s next generation global satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT.
SpaceX is targeting launch of Iridium-1 from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The instantaneous launch window opens on January 14 at 9:54:39 am PST or 5:54:39 pm UTC. The satellites will begin deployment about an hour after launch.
Following stage separation, the first stage of Falcon 9 will attempt a landing on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship that will be stationed in the Pacific Ocean.

Check out any live webcasts on SpaceX's website.

Why is it Important?

Because as The Wall Street Journal explains: “A cluster of satellites set to launch in the coming days could move the aviation industry closer to overhauling the way air-traffic controllers track planes around the world.
For decades, controllers have used ground-based radar to direct planes over land. More recently, they have been finding aircraft locations via global positioning satellites, or GPS, but they can do so only over land or near the shore. They have had no real-time ability to track planes in flight over oceans, which cover 71% of the planet, or over remote polar regions.
A new satellite-based joint-venture called Aireon LLC would give controllers full visibility by next year, if all goes according to plan, providing real-time flight information from planes over both water and land.” (Carey and Pasztor, 01/13/17)

Image result for spacex launch
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Overall, Iridium NEXT will dramatically enhance Iridium's ability to meet the growing demand for global mobile communications on land, at sea and in the skies. Iridium enables partners to create innovative products and solutions that haven’t even been conceived of yet, made possible through the flexibility of Iridium’s network. Iridium NEXT will:
  • Support more bandwidth and higher speeds for new products
  • Enable partner solutions on a scale not yet imagined
  • Provide service continuity and backwards compatibility
  • Support Aireon’s aircraft tracking service as well as other Hosted Payload missions
  • Be the World’s First Turnkey Platform for Innovative New Capabilities by supporting new Iridium PRIME℠ satellites.
Image result for iridium next satellites
For more information on Iridium NEXT click here







Monday, January 9, 2017

This Week in Satellite News! (Jan 02 – Jan 09 2017)

 

SpaceX’s return to spaceflight pushed back to January 14th

SpaceX’s first rocket launch since August has been pushed back to January 14th, due to rain and heavy winds that are expected near the launch site in California over the next week. Prior to the delay, SpaceX had been aiming to launch on January 9th, after receiving a launch license from the Federal Aviation Administration. On Friday, the FAA announced it had accepted SpaceX’s explanation for what caused one of the company’s Falcon 9 rockets to explode on a Florida launch pad.

NASA SpaceX Falcon 9
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Smooth spacewalk latest step in space station battery upgrade

Two spacewalking astronauts working outside the International Space Station Friday completed work to replace aging batteries in one of the lab’s eight main solar power circuits. A second spacewalk next week, along with additional work with the station’s robot arm, will upgrade a second power channel.
Expedition 50 commander Shane Kimbrough and flight engineer Peggy Whitson -- at 56, the oldest woman to fly in space and one of NASA’s most experienced spacewalkers -- began the six-hour 32-minute excursion at 7:23 a.m. EST (GMT-5), leaving the Quest airlock and making their way to the right side of the station’s main solar power truss.

With near unanimity, the summit agreed to the following: “The long term goal of the human spaceflight and exploration program of the United States is to expand permanent human presence beyond low-Earth orbit and to do so in a way that will enable human settlement and a thriving space economy. This will be best achieved through public-private partnerships and international collaboration.”
Credit: NASA/Michael Fincke
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Globalstar embraces LTE in revamped terrestrial communications plan

After giving up a contested effort to pair licensed and unlicensed spectrum for a new wireless service, mobile satellite services provider Globalstar has revamped its terrestrial communications plan to create an LTE service instead, company officials told investors Jan. 6.
The  LTE service will rely solely on the satellite operator’s 11.5 MHz of spectrum located at the 2.4 GHz band, ending a multi-year dispute with other telecommunications and electronics companies that put up fierce resistance to Globalstar’s original plan of combining its spectrum with 10.5 MHz of unlicensed spectrum to offer what it called TLPS, or Terrestrial Low Power Service.

Image result for Globalstar’s TLPS plan
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NASA asks scientists to start planning first JWST observations

As NASA prepares to resume vibration testing of the James Webb Space Telescope after an anomaly last month, it’s asking astronomers to start developing proposals for observations to be carried out by the observatory after its launch.
At a town hall meeting during the 229th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society here Jan. 5, JWST officials said they were formally releasing calls for proposals for observations that would be carried out starting in April 2019, about six months after the telescope’s scheduled launch.
“This is really exciting for me,” said Eric Smith, the JWST program director at NASA, noting that, for years, the program has focused more on the development of the telescope than its science. “This year marks the return of the [science] community to the program.”

JWST clean tent
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NASA selects X-ray astronomy mission

NASA has selected an X-ray astronomy spacecraft to study black holes and other astronomical phenomena as the next flight in a program of small astrophysics missions, the agency announced Jan. 3.
The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) spacecraft, scheduled for launch in late 2020, will be a small spacecraft with three telescopes designed to measure the polarization of X-rays. Measuring how the X-rays are polarized can provide insights into the high-temperature environments where they are created.

IXPE
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Beyond Ka: Supporting Future Telecommunications

The satellite industry is developing at a rapid rate. New applications are emerging all the time. Due to the fact that satellite can be used for so many applications, such as broadcasting, mapping, meteorology, Earth observation and much more, the rapid increase in use over recent years has resulted in a serious shortage of bandwidth availability in the lower frequency bands.
The industry has been talking about this congestion for quite some time now. We have seen the industry move into new bands, from C to Ku and from Ku to Ka. The move to Ka band is expected to relieve the pressure on available bandwidth as there will be much more available. However, with demand growing for higher throughput, and the advent of Non-Geostationary Orbit (NGSO) constellations, the industry is considering the future. Now, the time has come to assess the potential that lies in other bands that can help support the growing demand for applications that require high throughput today and in the future.

Related image
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Arianespace Poised for 12 Launches in 2017

Following 11 successful launches in 2016, Arianespace reported on Jan. 4 that the launch company expects to maintain a sustained launch pace in 2017, with 12 planned launches.
The launch schedule will include up to seven launches with Ariane 5: Six Ariane 5 ECA launchers carrying satellites into Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) for global or regional operators and one Ariane 5 ES, which will orbit four more Galileo satellites for the European Commission and European Space Agency (ESA) in the second half of the year

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NASA selects two asteroid missions for Discovery program

NASA has selected two missions to asteroids in the latest round of its Discovery planetary science program, a move that NASA says puts the program back on track after a recent drought of missions.
NASA announced Jan. 4 that it has selected Lucy and Psyche for launch in the early 2020s. Each mission has a cost cap of $450 million, although NASA did not disclose the estimated costs of the individual missions.
“These small body missions complement NASA’s exploration and are crucial parts of learning about our solar system and crucial parts of our programs going forward,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, in a media teleconference about the missions.

Lucy and Psyche
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Spain’s GMV takes a stake in PLD Space’s reusable rocket quest

Spanish rocket startup PLD Space said Jan. 9 that it has raised the money it needs to continue development of its Arion 1 reusable suborbital launch vehicle thanks to a $7.1 million investment round lead by satellite ground systems provider GMV of Madrid, Spain.
Arion 1 is a kerosene-fueled, single-stage rocket designed to use a combination of parachute and propulsion to land after lofting its 200-kilogram payload into a 250-kilometer suborbital trajectory. PLD is positioning the Arion 1 as both a commercial suborbital launcher and technology demonstrator for Arion 2, a three-stage smallsat launcher designed to haul up to 150 kilograms to low Earth orbits between 400 and 1,200-kilometers.

PLD Space Arion 1
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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

This Week in Satellite News! (Dec 26 – Jan 02 2017)


Iridium Next Satellites Planned to be Launched on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket on Sunday Jan. 8

SpaceX has said it plans to launch on Jan. 8 the first batch of satellites for Iridium CommunicationsNEXT constellation after it determined the cause of the Sept. 1 explosion of the Falcon 9 rocket, the Washington Post reported Monday.
Christian Davenport writes the Elon Musk-owned company found that the explosion was caused by a pressure vessel in the second-stage liquid oxygen tank that led the tank to buckle due to supercooled liquid oxygen.
SpaceX also plans to make changes to the pressure vessels’ design in order to prevent the buckling issue.
Image result for iridium next satellite ready
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Inmarsat Gets GSN Homeland Security Award for Global Xpress Network; Peter Hadinger Comments

Inmarsat’s Global Xpress commercial Ka-band network has won the Best Satellite-Based Broadband Communications platform during Government Security News’ 2016 Homeland Security Awards.
Peter Hadinger, president of the U.S. government business unit at Inmarsat, said in a statement released Thursday the award from GSN seeks to reflect the company’s partnership with the U.S. government to supplement their military satellite resources and meet their mission-critical requirements.

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The Next 30 Years: Millennials Predict Progress

Looking back over the last 30 years, Millennials working across the satellite industry noted the vast amount of change that both the technology and markets have seen just in their lifetimes. This includes huge advancements in capacity with High-Throughput Satellites (HTS), new actors and concepts such as those touted by O3b, satellite payloads growing form 1 Gbps to 1 Tbps, and small satellites making more than a little splash in the commercial and even government industries.
“The industry has been rapidly changing in recent years with the creation of a lot of start-ups by Millennials, and the ever greater implication of universities through cubesats, among other things,” Kahina Aoudia, 25, director of legal and regulatory at the Space Partnership International (SPI), told Via Satellite.

Related image
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Europe has launched a new satellite navigation system that will be precise down to a few centimeters

We tend to use “GPS” the way we use “Kleenex” or “Band-Aid”—as a brand name substitute for the generic “satellite navigation system.” But the Global Positioning System is actually quite specific: It’s a constellation of 27 satellites and a global network of control facilities on the ground developed and operated by the US Department of Defense.
There are other sat-nav systems, though, and since 2011, most sat-nav consumer devices, including Apple’s and Samsung’s, have receivers for both the US’s GPS and Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS)—a 24-satellite network operated by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. (There are other regional systems, like the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System and China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System; but GPS and GLONASS are the only fully global networks.)

Image result for Galileo navigation system
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How Mobility and IoT are Transforming the Travel Industry

Smartphones and mobile apps are enabling tens of millions of road warriors to remain connected and productive as they travel the globe. Airlines are offering consumer facing mobile apps with the understanding that these apps will be the default connection point for communicating with passengers. An increasing number of airline and travel services companies are rolling out mobile apps for their own employees to improve the level of service provided to global travelers.
Mobile apps have taken the consumer world by storm, and businesses are following suit as the enterprise mobility market is expected to reach $360 billion by 2020. Organizations are seeing mobile as a tool not just for customer engagement, but for business process transformation as well. With its high percentage of mobile workers, the travel industry has the potential to reap outsized benefits from mobile apps.

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Tracking-as-a-Service 2016 Global Market Expected To Grow At CAGR 26% And Forecast To 2021

WiseGuyReports.Com Publish a New Market Research Report On – “Tracking-as-a-Service 2016 Global Market Expected to Grow at CAGR 26% and Forecast to 2021”.
The market research analyst predicts the global tracking-as-a-service market to grow significantly at a CAGR of nearly 26% by 2020.
This industry research report presents a detailed segmentation of the global tracking-as-a-service market by category (PaaS and SaaS). It also outlines the market shares for key regions such as the Americas, APAC, and EMEA. The leading vendors analyzed in this report are DigiCore, Trimble Navigation, Verizon, and Zebra.

Image result for git xtrack
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Satellite constellations could be poised to challenge the broadband industry

It’s been more than a decade since a handful of ambitious entrepreneurs saw their plans to provide global telecommunications service through massive satellite constellations blow up, doomed by runaway costs.
Now, a new generation of satellite entrepreneurs is headed back to the launch pad. Backed by billions of dollars from deep-pocketed investors, they plan to blanket the earth in the next few years with perhaps thousands of miniature satellites beaming cheap, ubiquitous broadband service.
What’s different? Launching one of these smaller satellites can cost a fraction of the price for a larger, school-bus-sized satellite. These new satellites will largely be mass-produced.  And consumers now demand high-speed Internet connectivity pretty much everywhere, on airplanes, cruise ships and in the remotest village in Africa.

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U.S. Army taps DataPath as new lead contractor for military satcom support

Georgia-based company DataPath will be the U.S. Army’s new lead support for satcom field services, as well as supporting the Pentagon’s Combatant Commands, after winning a more-than $300 million contract, the company announced.
“We’re providing the full range of support for basically every class of satcom terminal in the field, from a man-pack portable terminal to a vehicle mounted system to one that’s built into a trailer or a mobile command center,” said David Myers, DataPath’s president and CEO. “Every range, every mission type, if there’s satcom field equipment involved, DataPath is the primary support provider.”

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