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pierredv : iridium   24

LEO constellation operators OneWeb, Iridium announce collaboration - SpaceNews.com, Sep 2019
"Iridium and OneWeb, two companies pursuing different types of telecommunications businesses from low Earth orbit, said Sept. 17 that they would work together on a combined service offering. "

"Iridium CEO Matt Desch has long said that his company’s 66-satellite constellation doesn’t compete with broadband startup OneWeb because the companies use two different frequencies. "

"Iridium’s recently completed Iridium Next constellation uses L-band, a robust, but lower throughput frequency. . . . OneWeb has six of a planned 650 initial satellites in orbit using Ku-band, a higher frequency with a slightly weaker signal but the ability to carry significantly more throughput."

"Dylan Browne, OneWeb’s vice president of government, said . . . maritime will likely be an early focus area for collaboration"
SpaceNews  Iridium  OneWeb  satellite  NGSO  business 
september 2019 by pierredv
Hacking Iridium Satellites With Iridium Toolkit - RTL-SDR, Sep 2019
"Over on YouTube TechMinds has uploaded a video showing how to use the Iridium Toolkit software to receive data and audio from Iridium satellites with an Airspy. Iridium is a global satellite service that provides various services such as global paging, satellite phones, tracking and fleet management services, as well as services for emergency, aircraft, maritime and covert operations too. It consists of multiple low earth orbit satellites where there is at least one visible in the sky at any point in time, at most locations on the Earth.

The frequencies used by the older generation Iridium satellites are in the L-band, and the data is completely unencrypted. That allows anyone with an RTL-SDR or other SDR radio to decode the data with the open source Iridium Toolkit."

Cf. https://www.rtl-sdr.com/talk-decoding-data-from-iridium-satellites/ : "they discuss how Iridium security is moderate to relaxed, pointing out that Iridium claims that the majority of ‘security’ comes from the complexity of the system, rather than actual security implementations"
RTL-SDR  Iridium  hacking  satellite 
september 2019 by pierredv
A Price War Coming for Satcom IoT? - NSR Nov 2018
"on the horizon are many competing IoT network deployments that promise to significantly lower the cost of hardware and airtime costs associated with IoT and to open new markets. Given these new cut-price alternatives, where does that leave existing M2M operators, which have a higher cost base and higher service price?"

"New competition in this space includes the rise of small satellite constellations for IoT (despite some questionable business cases), Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks, and 5G connectivity, which is just around the corner. These new smallsat operators and LPWA networks intend to offer ARPUs of $1 per month, or even just a few euros per year. Low prices are also available on the terrestrial side, with Unabiz also announcing offerings as low as $1 per year. Sigfox even demonstrated a 20 cent terminal, which could bring in a new large market of disposable devices and tracking packages."

"By comparison, Iridium’s commercial IoT service ARPU was an order of magnitude higher at $13 per month in 2017, compared to $18 in 2012, indicating a decline in ARPU. "

"Will mass price cuts be unveiled once smallsat IoT constellations and LPWA networks are fully rolled out? The short answer: No"

"Like-for-like ARPUs will remain significantly higher than smallsats and terrestrial competitors, but taking into account MoUs and dual mode connectivity, overall satcom ARPUs will be lower."
NSR  satellite  IoT  Sigfox  Iridium  M2M  Globalstar  Orbcomm 
november 2018 by pierredv
The ROI Challenge of IoT Smallsats - NSR, Oct 2018
"In the recently released M2M and IoT via Satellite, 9th Edition report, NSR projected over 3.7 million smallsat IoT in-service units by 2027; this will generate approx. $133 million in retail revenues during the same year, but it only represents an overall share of only 5% of total satellite M2M/IoT revenues. ARPUs will be low on smallsat IoT networks"

"To turn a profit on these small satellite constellations purely from IoT, millions of IoT devices will be required. On each constellation. With only several million connected devices to come online on smallsats over the coming decade, competition will be extremely fierce between the 15+ constellations for this purpose, with most either merging or never actually launching."

"Further, satellite renewals must be considered, as the average life span for these satellites is up to 3 years. Any launch failure would significantly impact latency and IoT performance. Nonetheless, NSR expects a few smallsat IoT constellations to reach positive ROIs within the next 10 years, assuming additional financing is available to maintain positive cash flow over the first few years of launch."

"Low data rates (a few bytes) per packet transferred are fine for now; however, this fails to consider the growth of data requirements coming from big data analysis. This results in additional levels of data that will be transmitted, despite more analysis being done at the ‘edge’ and not transmitted via satellite. This is where ‘bigsat’ constellations such as Iridium NEXT and Globalstar’s second generation network come into play."

Bottom line: "the ROI on comparatively low-cost CAPEX of smallsats is depressed by even lower ARPUs and end-user demand."
NSR  market-research  business  satellite  smallsats  IoT  M2M  investing  Kepler  Iridium  Globalstar 
october 2018 by pierredv
Iridium NEXT-8 launch date dependent on satellite manufacturing, availability – NASASpaceFlight.com Sep 2018
"Iridium Communications is nearing the end of its two-year campaign with SpaceX to place 75 Iridium NEXT communication satellites into orbit. The company has launched 65 of those satellites to date, with the final 10 scheduled to launch on a Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, before the end of the year. The completion of the launch campaign will purposefully leave six NEXT satellites on the ground to serve as launch-replacement spares should they ever be needed over the life of the new constellation."

"The reason for the hiccup in launch processing for this final Iridium mission has to do with a specific and very important part that all of the Iridium NEXT satellites need."
NASASpaceflight  Iridium  launch 
september 2018 by pierredv
Iridium posts sharply higher revenue, forecasts decade-long capex holiday - SpaceNews.com Aug 2018
"With seven of eight launches completed for Iridium Next, its $3 billion second-generation constellation, Iridium is poised to begin a 10-year “capex holiday,” CEO Matt Desch said during a call with investors, projecting a reduction to $35 million in annual spending after the final launch. McLean, Virginia-based Iridium spent $132 million in capital expenditures the past three months, most of it on Iridium Next."

"... reiterated that Iridium is on track to complete the full constellation of 75 in-orbit satellites this year. "

"Desch said 80 percent of Iridium’s telecom traffic is traveling over Next satellites, of which 65 are in orbit. ... The full Iridium Next constellation consists of 66 operational satellites, nine orbiting spares and six ground spares."

"Iridium subscribers totaled 1,047,000 at the end of June, up 15 percent year over year, with commercial IoT subscribers counting for 576,000, up 25 percent from the same time in 2017. "

"Desch declined to describe pricing for the new contract Iridium is working on, but hinted that Iridium is pitching Certus, its new higher throughput broadband offering, to the government in addition to traditional services of secure voice, push to talk, and IoT narrowband connectivity."
Iridium  business  space  satellite  broadband  IoT 
august 2018 by pierredv
Iridium breaks Inmarsat monopoly on maritime safety communications - SpaceNews.com
"The UN certified Iridium Communications to provide Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) services, ending Inmarsat’s monopoly on the internationally required service for ships"

"The International Convention of the Safety of Life at Sea treaty requires ships of 300 gross tonnage or more have GMDSS equipment onboard for international trips. Inmarsat had been the sole provider of GMDSS equipment since 1999.

Iridium said it expects to begin GMDSS service in 2020."
SpaceNews  Iridium  satellite  space  maritime  GMDSS 
may 2018 by pierredv
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 10 more Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit - CBS News Mar 2018
"the fifth batch in a $3 billion 81-satellite constellation"

"66 of the 1,896-pound [860 kg] satellites operating in six orbital planes are required to complete the Iridium NEXT network. The company plans to eventually launch 15 in-orbit spares, using SpaceX to put 75 of the 81 planned satellites into orbit at a cost of more than $500 million"

"SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket streaked away from California early Friday, boosting the fifth set of 10 Iridium NEXT relay stations into orbit,"

"The new spacecraft feature a phased-array antenna that can generate 48 beams over a footprint 3,000 miles across"

"Iridium NEXT satellites, designed by the European aerospace giant Thales Alenia Space and built by Orbital ATK in Arizona, feature a different design that will not routinely result in flares"
CBSNews  Iridium  ThalesAlenia  OrbitalATK  launch  SpaceX  antennas  satellite  space 
may 2018 by pierredv
LEO constellation rush not a threat to Iridium, CEO says - SpaceNews.com Apr 2018
"Large constellations of satellites planned for low Earth orbit (LEO) present little threat to Iridium’s business despite sharing the same orbit, CEO Matt Desch said April 26."

"Both Iridium’s legacy satellite constellation and its upgraded Iridium Next fleet that is mid-deployment operate using L-band frequencies. L-band is smaller swath of spectrum that can’t offer the same high throughputs as higher frequency spectrum like Ku- and Ka-band, but is known for its robust signal strength, often making it the frequency of choice for safety communications. Most large LEO constellations that have gained significant attention, including SpaceX, OneWeb, Telesat, LeoSat and Kepler Communications, are designing satellites in Ku and/or Ka-band."

"Iridium reported a 14-percent increase in revenue growth for the first three months of 2018 as compared to the same period last year. Money generated from Iridium subscribers, which numbered 996,000 as of March 31 and make up 75 percent of the company’s total revenue base, grew 10 percent."

"Desch said the majority of network traffic going through Iridium is now on the company’s Next satellites, of which 50 out of 66 are currently in orbit. "

"Iridium has since 2014 sought approval from the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) to break competitor Inmarsat’s sole hold on emergency maritime communications."
SpaceNews  Iridium  LEO  investing  finance  satellite  L-band  Inmarsat  maritime 
april 2018 by pierredv
Iridium celebrates latest satellite launch as part of major tech upgrade in space | FierceWireless Apr 2018
When finished later this year, the $3 billion next-generation satellite network will consist of 75 Iridium Next satellites in orbit; it now has 50. Iridium’s Next system will provide global coverage for its Certus L-band broadband service and support Aireon’s aircraft surveillance and tracking—supporting real-time flight tracking for better efficiencies for airlines looking to cut fuel costs and plan more effective routes.

Last week, Iridium also announced a major milestone as it surpassed 1 million active subscribers, fueled in large part by growth in IoT.
FierceWireless  Iridium  IoT  satellite  aviation 
april 2018 by pierredv
Megaconstellations: Recipe for Disaster or Biggest Opportunity Yet? | Via Satellite, April 2018
"within this enthusiasm for large, powerful LEO constellations and the applications they’ll deliver, the voices of caution are growing louder, tempering much of the fervor around pushing fleets of fresh satellites into the skies. Some of the biggest concerns orbit around the topic of space debris"

"Since 2014, space industry consulting firm Northern Sky Research (NSR) has tracked $2.1 billion in investments for broadband megaconstellations (such as LeoSat and OneWeb), plus an additional $1.5 billion in SpaceX. Additionally, since 2016, NSR has tracked $23.7 million invested in satellite Internet of Things (IOT) startups. "

"Over the last several years, the company has spent more than $3 billion on a massive undertaking — refreshing the company’s existing fleet of satellites with a new constellation known as Iridium Next, an architecture consisting of 66 small, interconnected mobile satellites (plus nine on-orbit spares and six ground spares), which will reportedly cover 100 percent of the Earth’s surface, including oceans and polar regions. "

"One of the younger companies in this space, LeoSat Enterprises, is positioning itself as filling the space between traditional satellite and fiber-optic networks."

"But while LEO possesses latency advantages, Steve Collar [SES O3b mPower] says the cost of deployment is too prohibitive. SES plans to launch seven next-generation MEO satellites in 2021"

"The University of Southampton's debris simulation model, Debris Analysis and Monitoring Architecture to the GEO Environment (DAMAGE), offers scientists a glimpse of the worst-case scenario — whereupon a hypothetical large constellation operator disregards existing space debris mitigation guidelines, leading to series of collisions."

"While international guidelines currently recommend that operators remove spacecraft from LEO within 25 years of the end of the life of the spacecraft, Holger Krag [ESA's Space Debris Office] reportedly told attendees at 2017’s European Conference on Space Debris that only 60 percent of operators actually do that."

"a growing number of startups whose business case is based on their power to mitigate debris [e.g. Singapore-based Astroscale] raised $25 million [in 2017, for a] total raise to $53 million"
orbital-debris  ViaSatellite  LEO  satellite  space  LeoSat  Iridium  IoT  SES  NSR  investing 
march 2018 by pierredv
GPS guidance can be fooled, so researchers are scrambling to find backup technologies
" ... government and industry researchers are developing systems and algorithms to collect many different sources of data that could help determine a user's position, assist with navigation or establish the time. Together, those various data sources can be used to double-check the answer given by GPS — or, in the absence of GPS, potentially might be enough to triangulate a location.

One of those data sources could be Satellite Time and Location, also known as STL, a signal delivered by Satelles that can determine position and time independent of GPS.

The service, which began in 2016, was integrated onto a commercial network of satellites operated by Iridium Communications Inc."

"At DARPA, researchers are working on a project called Adaptable Navigation Systems that would rely on sensors to collect other signals, such as those from mobile networks or commercial satellites. That information would then be translated by the algorithm, fused together, and a location and time would be determined. "

"Technology being tested in El Segundo by Aerospace Corp. could eventually pull in even more diverse data sources, such as signals from television antennas, radio stations or even visual imagery, and match those to a location."
GPS  LATimes  Iridium  DARPA 
march 2018 by pierredv
New Satellites Should Boost 2018 Revenues for Major Operators - Via Satellite - Feb 2018
ViaSat, Eutelsat, SES, Intelsat and Iridium Communications have all published their financial results for the last quarter of 2017. To see how they fared, check out a quick wrap-up of each below.
ViaSatellite  Viasat  Eutelsat  SES Intelsat  Iridium  finances  satellite  business 
february 2018 by pierredv
Eight Satellite Constellations Promising Internet Service From Space | Aviation Week, Dec 2017
"A number of in-development constellations of satellite telecommunications from low and medium Earth orbit (LEO and MEO) are set to pass milestones in 2018."
AviationWeek  Iridium  Boeing  LeoSat  OneWeb  SpaceX  Samsung  O3b  Telesat 
january 2018 by pierredv
Iridium’s time sequencing solution may be a player in 5G to augment GPS | FierceWireless Nov 2017
"Iridium Communications doesn’t discuss 5G all that much, but its time sequencing solution could be of interest to mobile carriers that rely on the GPS clock in urban canyons, where GPS doesn’t perform well inside buildings."

"Last year, Iridium officially launched its Satellite Time and Location (STL) technology, enabling end users to access accurate navigation and timing anywhere on the planet, even indoors. The company says the unique architecture of its 66-low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation makes uniquely capable of this offering."

"Iridium has been working with Satelles, a division of iKare Corporation, to provide technology that would address the problem. Due to STL's signal strength, it can help make GPS systems more difficult to "spoof," which has been a growing problem n the GPS world. The solution transmits its signals through Iridium's satellite constellation to deliver a unique code to each position on the ground that can be independently authenticated, proving that a device is located in a specific place in the world, thereby enabling applications to be "location aware," and allowing operation or access only if the user is in the location expected."
Iridium  GPS  GNSS  5G  spoofing 
november 2017 by pierredv
Big Four Satellite Operators Banking on Long-Term Strategies - Via Satellite - Oct 2017
Intelsat, Eutelsat, SES and Iridium each released their financial results for the third quarter this week. Check out a quick summary of how they fared below.
ViaSatellite  Intelsat  Eutelsat  SES  Iridium 
october 2017 by pierredv
Iridium explores LPGAN tech for space-based IoT | FierceWireless, Sep 2017
"Iridium Communications has signed a deal with Magnitude Space, an emerging small satellite company, signaling Iridium's interest in exploring collaborative partnerships with players in the small satellite low-power arena. . . the companies will begin discussions on how to collaboratively expand opportunities for space-based IoT services with the development of reliable, Low-Power Global-Area Network (LPGAN) technologies."

"Magnitude Space, headquartered in Amsterdam, is planning to build a network of 18-24 small satellites that will deliver LPGAN connectivity to remote areas of the world. "
FierceWireless  Iridium  IoT  satellite  NewSapce  LEO 
september 2017 by pierredv
New intergalactic signals prompt calls for better co-ordination of other services — PolicyTracker:Jan 2017
Benjamin Winkel, a spectrum manager and scientist at the Effelsberg Observatory, told PolicyTracker that “in practice we more often have problems with unlicensed interferers. For example, short range radars with their large fractional bandwidth do a lot of harm”.

However, Winkel said typical signal levels from GSM at 900 MHz or 1800 MHz were high enough at the Effelsberg Observatory to drive its receivers into saturation, which causes blocking or produces intermodulation products that could masquerade as an astronomical source.

Satellite services can also be a problem, said Winkel. “Iridium is a prominent example. Their satellites have polluted 1610.6-1613.8 MHz, which is our band, for more than a decade, because their spectral sidelobe suppression isn't good enough. But obviously it is often impossible to fix the satellites when they are in orbit."
PolicyTracker  astronomy  interference  Iridium  intermodulation 
january 2017 by pierredv
HOPE Hacker Conference Shows Off New Tricks - IEEE Spectrum
"Another session focused on reverse engineering the Iridium satellite communications network. Stefan Zehl and “Schneider” from the Munich Chaos Computer Club (CCC) used software-defined radio systems to look at and decode the signals streaming down from orbit. Each Iridium satellite uses beam antennas to illuminate roughly 400-kilometer-wide spots as it passes over the Earth, so a message intended for a recipient anywhere in that area is broadcast over the entire spot. When Iridium was originally designed in the 1990s, the difficulty of receiving signals without the network’s own hardware made amateur surveillance impossible, so much of the traffic on the network is not encrypted. But now the CCC hackers claim a modified GPS antenna and a software radio is all that’s required to pick up and demodulate signals. By studying packets on a byte-by-byte basis, they were able to identify and decode a number of the different types of messages transmitted by the satellite constellation—including pager messages, emails, and even voice calls, albeit not yet in real time—and presented several samples of each. (Iridium will soon begin launching a new generation of satellites, but they will be backward compatible with existing equipment, so a lot of unencrypted traffic is still likely to flow over the network.)"
IEEE-Spectrum  Iridium  SDR  hacking 
august 2016 by pierredv
Globalstar not interested in Iridium's latest spectrum sharing proposal - FierceWirelessTech April 2015
"Iridium Constellation says it can share additional 1.6 GHz band spectrum without causing harm to Globalstar, but a Globalstar representative says the satellite company is just acting in its own best interests."
FierceWireless  Globalstar  Iridium 
april 2015 by pierredv
Europe's radio astronomers want action over Iridium interference - PolicyTracker Mar 2014
"Iridium's plans for its new constellation of satellites appear to scuttle radio astronomers' hopes that they will be able to use the 1610.6–1613.8 MHz band without restrictions."
Iridium  satellite  astronomy  CRAF  FCC  interference 
march 2014 by pierredv

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