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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 
4 weeks ago by pierredv
ESA spacecraft dodges potential collision with Starlink satellite - SpaceNews.com Sep 2019
"The European Space Agency said Sept. 2 it maneuvered one of its Earth science satellites to avoid a potential collision with a SpaceX Starlink satellite, the first time the agency said it’s had to maneuver to avoid a satellite associated with a broadband megaconstellation."

“The case just showed that, in the absence of traffic rules and communication protocols, collision avoidance has to rely on the pragmatism of the involved operators,” Krag said. “This is done today by exchange of emails. Such a process is not viable any longer with the increase of space traffic.”

"While ESA sounded worried about the close approach, others in the industry were nonplussed by the attention it received. "
SpaceNews  SpaceX  Starlink  ESA  space-debris  space-junk 
6 weeks ago by pierredv
Soyuz launch completes first-generation O3b constellation - SpaceNews.com Apr 2019
"European launch provider Arianespace completed SES’s first-generation O3b constellation April 4 [2019] with the Soyuz launch of four satellites."

"SES now has 20 O3b satellites in medium Earth orbit. Franco-Italian manufacturer Thales Alenia Space built the Ka-band satellites, each of which carries 20 gigabits per second of throughput. "

"John-Paul Hemingway, SES Networks CEO, stood by SES’s decision to focus on medium Earth orbit, arguing that low Earth orbit systems will face latency challenges similar to GEO satellites because their closer proximity to the Earth means smaller coverage areas, necessitating routing traffic through multiple stops for long-distance communications. "
SpaceNews  O3b  space  launch  Soyuz  SES  MEO 
april 2019 by pierredv
Air Force experiment NTS-3 could point the way to the next generation of GPS - SpaceNews.com Mar 2019
"As an immediate response, the Air Force has begun deploying more-advanced GPS satellites, called GPS 3, designed to be more resistant to jamming and spoofing.

The Air Force also is looking for ways to shore up the PNT capabilities provided by GPS. One approach the Air Force believes could work is to supplement its medium Earth orbiting GPS constellation with an additional layer of smaller satellites in geosynchronous Earth orbit.

To test that idea, the Air Force Research Laboratory in 2022 will launch an experimental PNT satellite called NTS-3, short for Navigation Technology Satellite 3."

"As the U.S. military’s first Navigation Technology Satellite mission in 40 years, NTS-3 is intended to test new hardware including a digital signal generator that can be reprogrammed on orbit, enabling operators to quickly deploy new signals as they encounter electronic threats."

"The Air Force still has 31 GPS 2 satellites in service and has only just begun to deploy its GPS 3 constellation. "
SpaceNews  GPS  satellite  USAF  DoD 
march 2019 by pierredv
Lawmakers to form bipartisan caucus to promote the economic, national security benefits of GPS - SpaceNews.com Mar 2019
The Global Positioning System constellation will have its own caucus of supporters on Capitol Hill, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) announced on Monday.

The caucus will seek to promote the economic, national security and infrastructure benefits of GPS technology, and will drive attention to the risks and oversight challenges that face the GPS industry, the senators said in a news release.
SpaceNews  GPS  Congress 
march 2019 by pierredv
Telesat signs New Glenn multi-launch agreement with Blue Origin for LEO missions - SpaceNews.com Jan 2019
"Canadian fleet operator Telesat has agreed to launch satellites for its future low-Earth-orbit broadband constellation on multiple New Glenn missions, Blue Origin announced Jan. 31.

The agreement, for an unspecified number of launches and satellites, makes Telesat the fifth customer to sign up to use the reusable launcher, which is slated for a maiden flight in 2021. "

"Blue Origin already has eight other New Glenn missions in backlog: one each for Paris-based Eutelsat, Sky Perfect JSAT of Japan and Thai startup Mu Space, plus five launches for low-Earth-orbit megaconstellation company OneWeb. "

"Telesat is preparing a constellation of roughly 300 communications satellites for global internet connectivity services. The satellite operator plans to select a manufacturer — either Airbus Defence and Space or a team comprised of Thales Alenia Space and Space Systems Loral — later this year. "

"In a separate Jan. 31 announcement, Telesat said Loon has agreed to deliver a network operating system design that Telesat can use to support its LEO constellation. Loon, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, said last fall it sees non-geostationary satellite operators as customers for a variation of the software-defined network it uses to deliver mobile connectivity via high-altitude balloons."

"The rocket can carry 45 metric tons to low Earth orbit, and features a payload fairing twice the size of any other rocket on the market, according to Blue Origin."
space  satellite  SpaceNews  launch  BlueOrigin  Telesat  Loon  Alphabet  Google 
january 2019 by pierredv
Wyler claims breakthrough in low-cost antenna for OneWeb, other satellite systems - SpaceNews.com Jan 2019
"OneWeb founder Greg Wyler says a self-funded side project of his has developed an antenna module costing $15, paving the way for user terminals priced between $200 and $300.
Wyler, in an interview, said he invested just under $10 million into Wafer LLC, a Danvers, Massachusetts-based company that has created a prototype antenna. After three to four years of effort and more than 500 iterations, the antenna could be commercially available as soon as 2020, he said. "

"Wyler said the Wafer antenna is designed first to work in Ku-band — the same frequency as OneWeb’s first satellites — but could also work in Ka-, X-, V- and other bands with little change in cost. "
satellite  SpaceNews  antennas 
january 2019 by pierredv
Swarm, after FCC blunder, hires satellite regulatory veteran Kalpak Gude - SpaceNews.com Jan 2019
"Swarm Technologies, a satellite communications startup infamous for launching four satellites without regulatory approval last year, has hired Kalpak Gude, a well-known spectrum and regulatory expert, to lead its global regulatory activity."

"The FCC fined Swarm $900,000 last month, and stipulated that the startup designate a regulatory compliance director to prevent similar missteps. "
SwarmTechnologies  SpaceNews  FCC  enforcement  satellite  EB 
january 2019 by pierredv
OneWeb scales back baseline constellation by 300 satellites - SpaceNews.com, Dec 2018
"Greg Wyler, OneWeb’s founder, said the company will need only 600 satellites or so instead of 900 after ground tests of the first satellites demonstrated better than expected performance."

"OneWeb had been under increased scrutiny within the satellite industry amid speculation that its satellite costs had grown well beyond their initial $500,000 target. Wyler confirmed the satellites had passed $500,000 a unit, but said the exceedance was minimal. "

"Wyler said 600 is the minimum needed for global coverage. Beyond that, OneWeb is deciding whether it will add 300 first-generation satellites or shift to a second-generation constellation designed to layer on more capacity. "
SpaceNews  OneWeb  NGSO  constellations  satellite  business  Greg-Wyler 
december 2018 by pierredv
Satellite antenna companies divided on near-term feasibility of cheap flat panels - SpaceNews.com Oct 2018
"Builders of satellite antennas disagree on whether flat panel antennas — widely considered a necessity for planned broadband megaconstellations — can be produced cheaply enough to address the mass consumer market in the near term. Antenna makers say so much enthusiasm exists for such antennas that sorting fact from wishful thinking among buyer expectations and seller claims has become a difficulty all its own. "

"“We’ve all heard the crazy requests from some operators asking for millions of antennas for multiple hundreds of dollars,” said Drew Klein, director of international business development at C-Com Satellite Systems, a company that builds dish antennas and is working on a flat panel antenna with the University of Waterloo. Such prices are achievable “within the next decade” — and have to be, he said, in order to address new markets. "

"Some antenna companies, like Israel-based Gilat Satellite Networks, are focused first on building flat panel antennas for customers who are willing to pay higher prices than consumers. "

“I think we are a long ways away from seeing a consumer flat panel antenna in the couple-of-hundred-dollars price point, which is where it needs to be to compete with consumer terminals that we have today for [high-throughput] satellites,” said Andre Jones

"In the absence of commercial flat panel antennas, SES has been forced to rely on two dish antenna systems with mechanical steering to keep constant links with O3b satellites in 8,000-kilometer medium Earth orbits, but this approach is very expensive. "

"John Finney, Isotropic CEO, said his company is making progress on an antenna designed to fit within a $300 to $700 price range stipulated by OneWeb"

"Kymeta antennas are priced up to $39,000 today, though the company plans to drive those prices down to below $1,000 through volume."
satellite  antennas  SpaceNews  Phasor  SES  O3b  Kymeta  Isotropic  AvL  Gilat  C-Com 
october 2018 by pierredv
Does the satellite industry have antenna deficit disorder? - SpaceNews.com Oct 2018
"To connect the masses, megaconstellations will need mega antennas mega cheap. Antenna makers need mega orders to make that happen."

David Hartshorn: “There are business plans, big ones, hanging out there that depend if not entirely then at least to a very large extent on the availability of high-performance, low-cost, high-volume, low-profile antennas,”

"Northern Sky Research expects companies to ship 1.8 million flat panel antennas between now and 2027 with revenues topping $8 billion for the decade."

"For years, antenna manufacturers have produced high-performance alternatives to gimbaled parabolic antennas pointed at geostationary communications satellites. Price tags range from a few thousand dollars to $250,000 depending on the application."

"To work with low Earth orbit constellations, the antennas need to track two or more satellites simultaneously — something parabolic dishes can’t do. They also need to be small and durable, prevent signal interference, instantly find satellites and secure links, degrade gracefully and have great signal efficiency.

“It turns out that according to the laws of physics, you cannot do all those things at the same time,” said Ralph Brooker, president of SatProf"

John Finney, Isotropic: “What OneWeb wants in terms of target price is in the very low hundreds of dollars. We see a way to get there.”
satellite  constellations  antennas  NGSO  SpaceNews  business  NSR 
october 2018 by pierredv
LeoSat and partners put satellites on a diet - SpaceNews.com Oct 2018
"“If we can get the number of required launches down from 14 to seven or from 12 to six, we could make savings that take the $3.5 billion plus down to close to $3 billion,” Rigolle said. “If the per unit cost of building the satellites could be pushed down by a few million a piece, it chips at the cost and improves the total viability of the project.”"
LeoSat  business  satellite  SpaceNews  NGSO  constellation 
october 2018 by pierredv
Analysts see demand for two or three megaconstellations - SpaceNews.com Oct 2018
"While there may be enough customer demand for two or three megaconstellations, it will be difficult for the ventures to attract enough financing, according to analysts speaking at the Satellite Innovation conference here."

Chris Quilty, president of Quilty Analytics, a financial services firm based in St. Petersburg, Florida, sees demand for two or three constellations serving distinct markets like broadband and machine-to-machine communications."

"Nick Flitterman, co-founder and telecommunications head for Portland Advisers, a financial advisory firm based in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong, sees global demand for two or three megaconstellations but said it will be difficult to finance that many."
SpaceNews  satellite  NGSO  constellations  investing  finance  business 
october 2018 by pierredv
Audacy customer MOUs top $100 million - SpaceNews.com Oct 2018
"Customers for Audacy, a Silicon Valley startup, have signed memoranda of understanding to spend more than $100 million annually on the company’s proposed inter-satellite data relay network"

"Audacy plans to send satellites into medium Earth orbit in 2020 to provide data relay services for satellites, human spaceflight missions and launch vehicle operators. The Mountain View, California, company has raised about $11.1 million to date"

"Audacy is constructing two ground stations, which it plans to begin operating in April 2019. One is near the firm’s Mountain View headquarter. The second is in Singapore"
SpaceNews  Audacy  NGSO  satellite  business 
october 2018 by pierredv
Capella Space raises $19 million for radar constellation - SpaceNews.com Sep 2018
"Capella Space, a startup planning a constellation of radar imaging satellites, has raised an additional $19 million to fund continued development of its system. ... has raised approximately $35 million to date...

That funding will support development of what Capella Space ultimately plans to be a 36-satellite constellation providing synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery with hourly revisit times. "

"SAR offers the benefit of being able to collect imagery regardless of time of day or amount of cloud cover, unlike optical imagery. However, it’s also had a reputation for being more difficult to work with, an issue Banazadeh said is fading with the rise of automated systems to interpret the imagery and extract the desired information."

Matt Ocko of DCVC: “Commodity trading, urban development, critical infrastructure, shipping and security: businesses across the board realize that milliseconds matter in today’s global economy, and a steady stream of reliable, easily accessible Earth information just does not exist.”

"Commercially, he said major customers will likely come from the infrastructure monitoring, maritime and agricultural markets."
SpaceNews  remote-sensing  EO  CapellaSpace  satellite  SAR  radar 
september 2018 by pierredv
Amid concerns, OneWeb gets vague about constellation’s cost - SpaceNews.com
Jeff Foust's summary: "Speaking at World Satellite Business Week, Eric Béranger, president and COO of OneWeb, would no longer affirm that the company's satellites would cost $500,000 each, instead saying the satellites would cost less than $1 million. Other analysts project the satellites to cost $700,000 to $900,000 each once large-scale production gets underway. OneWeb, meanwhile, has assigned the CEO role that Béranger prevuously had to Adrian Steckel, making Steckel OneWeb's fourth CEO is as many years. "

"OneWeb in 2015 set the goal of building 900 satellites for $500,000 each or less, with the total estimated cost of building, launching and operating the constellation at $3.5 billion. ... Asked by SpaceNews if the satellites could still come in under $500,000 each, Béranger said only that they were now “below $1 million” per unit. Industry analysts who follow OneWeb said as recently as August that OneWeb is looking at roughly $700,000 to $900,000 per satellite"

"OneWeb has raised $1.7 billion in equity since 2015, with Japanese tech giant SoftBank providing $1 billion of that total."
SpaceNews  OneWeb  satellite  NGSO  business  investing 
september 2018 by pierredv
Kepler, Phasor test flat panel antenna with LEO cubesat - SpaceNews.com Sep 2018
"Startups Kepler Communications and Phasor said Sept. 10 that they successfully demonstrated a link between Kepler’s cubesat and a Phasor flat panel antenna."

The test, according to the companies, “represents the first example of a wideband [low-Earth orbit] satellite to have been auto-acquired, auto-tracked, and communicated with, by a commercial flat panel, electronically-steerable antenna.”

"the tests show the company should be able to achieve a 10 Mbps downlink, 10 Mbps uplink connection with a 30-square-centimeter Phasor antenna."
SpaceNews  Kepler  Phasor  satellite  NGSO  antennas  LEO 
september 2018 by pierredv
Army turns to artificial intelligence to counter electronic attacks - SpaceNews.com aug 2018
"A team of eight engineers from Aerospace Corp. won a $100,000 Army prize by correctly detecting and classifying the greatest number of radio frequency signals using a combination of signal processing and artificial intelligence algorithms"
SpaceNews  AI  ML  spectrum  USArmy  competition  signal-classification 
august 2018 by pierredv
Viasat’s Dankberg explains medium Earth orbit thinking, global expansion strategy - SpaceNews.com Aug 2018
"Viasat is still working on a medium-Earth-orbit satellite constellation idea revealed almost two years ago, but has not finalized what that system would look like, Mark Dankberg, CEO of Viasat, said Aug. 9. Viasat is “putting a bunch of work” into optimizing a 24-satellite system disclosed in a 2016 application to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission that would provide connectivity using Ka-band and the lesser used V-band spectrum. "

“The direction we’ve been looking at is really looking at the non-GEO and the GEO as an integrated system, and that relieves that constraint. We don’t have to use the non-GEO to provide coverage everywhere.”

Viasat’s approach to globalization is to “really understand each market and be able to deliver services to end users in those markets, not just sell to intermediaries,” [Mark Dankberg] said.
SpaceNews  Viasat  MEO  NGSO  satellite  business 
august 2018 by pierredv
“No encryption, no fly” rule proposed for smallsats - SpaceNews.com Aug 2018
"Small satellites that have propulsion systems, but don’t have encrypted commanding systems, pose a small but real threat of being hacked and endangering other satellites, according to a new study."

"The concern, then is a scenario where hackers are able to take control of a satellite and redirect it quickly. Government satellites, as well as many commercial ones, have security measures like encryption that make it unlikely they could be hacked. However, many satellites run by academic institutions don’t have such security, often because of funding or technical limitations."
SpaceNews  smallsats  hacking  encryption  cybersecurity  Communications 
august 2018 by pierredv
Electric propulsion to send smallsats from LEO to GEO orbit, moon - SpaceNews.com aug 2018
"Blue Canyon Technologies, a small satellite supplier based in Boulder, Colorado, is bidding on two missions to transport spacecraft from low Earth to geostationary orbit with electric propulsion in addition to a mission to send a satellite from low Earth orbit to the moon. The missions are scheduled to fly within the next couple of years, said George Stafford, Blue Canyon chief executive and president. With electric propulsion, it will take a satellite about four months to move from low Earth to geostationary orbit and six months to reach the moon, said Daniel Hegel, Blue Canyon advanced development director."
SpaceNews  space  propulsion  BlueCanyon  smallsats 
august 2018 by pierredv
Small satellite sector grapples with cybersecurity requirements, cost - SpaceNews.com Aug 2018
"For cybersecurity experts, it’s clearcut: smallsat operators should take the same precautions as large satellite operators, including encrypting uplinks and downlinks, safeguarding ground stations and monitoring network activity."

"In many cases, however, small satellite developers and operators are not focusing on cybersecurity. Many of the hallmarks of the rapidly growing sector — low-cost satellites, lean operations and continual hardware and software improvements — are the same characteristics that make cybersecurity challenging."

"Gregory Falco, a research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center Cyber Security Project, underscores the threat posed by internet connections. Falco, who has focused extensively on the Internet of Things, equates cubesats to IoT devices."
SpaceNews  smallsats  satellite  cybersecurity 
august 2018 by pierredv
Smallsat developers focus on improving reliability - SpaceNews.com aug 2018
"As cubesats and other smallsats transition from technology demonstration and student projects to operational missions supporting a growing array of applications, companies large and small are working to improve their reliability. ... The on-orbit performance of cubesats has long been a sore point."

[Jeroen Cappaert, a co-founder] said Spire is now considering providing mission services to companies, who they would fly their payloads on Spire satellites. “We think of Spire today as a data provider, but we’re also a mission provider,” he said. “We’ve built all this infrastructure and we think we can provide value to other companies that don’t necessarily want to spend the time and capital building all this from scratch.”

"[NanoRacks] has, to date, deployed 223 satellites from the ISS"
SpaceNews  satellite  Spire  business  smallsats  NanoRacks 
august 2018 by pierredv
Former space executive Sirangelo joins University of Colorado - SpaceNews.com Aug 2018
"Mark Sirangelo, who left Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) in June after heading the company’s space division for a decade, has joined the University of Colorado Boulder as an “entrepreneur-in-residence” in its aerospace engineering program."
SpaceNews  space  CU-Boulder 
august 2018 by pierredv
MEO startup Methera plans “high density” HTS constellation - SpaceNews.com aug 2018
"In medium Earth orbit, the only system providing satellite broadband today is SES Networks’ constellation of 16 O3b satellites. A British startup with its own 16-satellite constellation idea wants to change that. Methera Global Communications estimates it needs $500 million to build and launch a constellation of satellites each equipped with 40 gigabits of capacity to beam down Ka-band connectivity to highly concentrated areas. If successful, Methera will launch its first spacecraft in 2022, with service starting that same year."

" “Instead of trying to put a thin veneer of coverage around the globe, what we’re doing is looking at a small number of targets where we will put lots of capacity,” [CEO Chris McIntosh] said. Methera’s 700-kilogram satellites — the same mass as the first-generation O3b satellites — will hone capacity on extremely specific locations, targeting a small number of high-value customers "

"But positioning the satellites in medium Earth orbit means customers of Methera’s system will need advanced antennas that can track the satellites as they move relative to the Earth’s surface. ... O3b faced the same challenge and, finding flat panel, electronically steerable antennas commercially unavailable, started service in 2014 with terminals using two dishes ensuring a constant link for uninterrupted service. ... Methera is focusing initially on parabolic antennas as well"

"Methera has a pending application with the U.K.’s telecom regulator Ofcom to license its low-latency satellite system, McIntosh said. The company has not applied for market access in the U.S. with the Federal Communications Commission because the U.S. is not an area of initial focus, he said. "

"16 satellites in 18,000-kilometer polar orbits — about 2,000 kilometers below the U.S. Air Force’s GPS satellites"
SpaceNews  Methera  UK  NGSO  MEO  satellite  broadband  O3b  antennas  Ofcom 
august 2018 by pierredv
Commercial space bill clears Senate committee - SpaceNews.com Aug 2018
"The Senate Commerce Committee approved a bill Aug. 1 that would streamline commercial launch and remote sensing regulations but also includes language conflicting with a House bill. The committee favorably reported S. 3277, the Space Frontier Act of 2018, on a voice vote without any members speaking out against it. "

"The revised version leaves in place a section that gives the Department of Transportation, though the Federal Aviation Administration, the ability to use the payload review portion of the launch licensing process to authorize non-traditional space activities that are not overseen by other agencies. "

"The second [approved amendment], by Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), calls on the U.S. government to develop “consistent standards across Federal agencies” to minimize the risks posed by orbital debris. "
SpaceNews  legislation  space  commerce  orbital-debris 
august 2018 by pierredv
Telesat picks Airbus Defence and Space as second constellation design partner - SpaceNews.com aug 2018
"Telesat awarded a second constellation design contract Aug. 1, choosing Airbus Defence and Space to begin studies on the company’s proposed system of 117 low Earth orbit communications satellites.

The contract follows a similar deal awarded July 30 to a team of Maxar Technologies and Thales Alenia Space."

"Airbus is already under contract to build 900 small telecom satellites for OneWeb, producing the first 10 in France before shifting production to a new $85 million factory in Florida."

"It is not clear what role OneWeb Satellites could play in building satellites for Telesat. Erwin Hudson, vice president of Telesat LEO, told SpaceNews earlier this summer that the satellites Telesat envisions will be materially larger than the 145-kilogram satellites OneWeb plans."

“They are more substantial, larger, more complex satellites than some of the other LEO constellations because we’ve got phased array antennas and onboard processing in addition to the [inter-satellite link] terminals,” Hudson said of Telesat LEO.
SpaceNews  Telesat  Airbus  space  broadband  satellite  business  antennas 
august 2018 by pierredv
National Space Council officials to attend WRC-19 spectrum conference - SpaceNews.com
"Michael Beavin, senior policy adviser at the National Space Council, confirmed the council “is planning to send folks” next fall to the four-week conference, referred to as WRC-19, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt."

"The satellite industry fared better than expected at the previous WRC in 2015, protecting the majority of the 800 MHz C-band from mobile operators wanting the spectrum for cellular networks. The satellite industry also flustered the U.S. Federal Communications Commission by uniting against U.S.-led efforts to examine satellite Ka-band spectrum’s potential for 5G cellular networks. . . . Francois Rancy, director of the ITU’s radiocommunication bureau, said last November that C- and Ka-band look like prime targets for cellular 5G ‘harmonization,’ or coordinating the spectrum on a regional or global basis for a single purpose."

"FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly echoed the importance of satellite communications, but said he remained frustrated with the satellite industry’s deflection on Ka-band at WRC-15."
NationalSpaceCouncil  WRC-19  SpaceNews  space  spectrum  ITU-R 
july 2018 by pierredv
Telesat selects Thales-Maxar team for LEO constellation design work - SpaceNews.com Jul 2018
"Telesat on July 30 selected Thales Alenia Space and Maxar Technologies’ Space Systems Loral division to collaborate on the design of its low Earth orbit broadband satellite constellation."

"Telesat’s schedule for manufacturing and service activation has slipped by about a year. The company now plans to have the constellation in service in 2022, instead of 2021 as originally envisioned."

"Telesat says its LEO constellation will offer multiple terabits of secure throughput with latency low enough to rival fiber. Targeted applications include broadband to aircraft, boats and land vehicles, corporate networks, governments and rural connectivity. "

"Thales is the manufacturer for the 81 LEO satellites in Iridium Next, integrating the spacecraft with Northrop Grumman, and has a study contract with startup LeoSat for its proposed constellation of 84 broadband satellites. Maxar’s MDA division in Canada is a supplier to OneWeb for the company’s 900-satellite constellation. "
SpaceNews  Telesat  space  satellite  broadband  LEO  business  Thales  Maxar 
july 2018 by pierredv
Senate introduces bill to streamline commercial space regulations - SpaceNews.com, Jul 2018
"Three senators introduced legislation July 25 to reform commercial space regulations, including a provision that conflicts with language in a bill passed by the House. The Space Frontier Act, S. 3277, primarily focuses on reforms to regulation of commercial launches and remote sensing. It includes language calling for streamlining of processes for licensing launches and reentries as well as for licensing remote sensing spacecraft."

"Many of the bill’s provisions are in line both with Space Policy Directive (SPD) 2, signed by President Trump in May, and the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act, a bill that the House approved in April. "

"The Senate, though, differs with the House and the White House in one area, authorization of so-called “non-traditional” commercial space activities... The House bill gives that authority to the Commerce Department while SPD-2 endorsed more generally the creation of a “one-stop shop” for most commercial space regulations in that department. The Senate bill, though, would give that authority to the FAA, though the Department of Transportation."

"The Senate bill does have the support of the leadership of the House Transportation Committee."
SpaceNews  legislation  space  commerce  FAA  DoC 
july 2018 by pierredv
Earth observation startup Planet trims workforce by "less than ten percent" - SpaceNews.com Jul 2018
"Planet, the startup that operates the world’s largest constellation of Earth imaging satellites, laid off dozens of workers July 13. One source put the number at 38."

Per Jeff Foust, seem to be "shifting from developing its imaging satellite constellation to creating new commercial products based on the images those satellites provide"

"Planet was founded in 2010 with a small team and a big idea: to deploy an enormous constellation of cubesats to offer daily, global Earth imagery. The San Francisco startup, which grew to employ nearly 500 people, achieved that goal late last year with 200 satellites, including its own cubesats and larger spacecraft it acquired when it took control of BlackBridge’s RapidEye fleet in 2015 and Google’s Terra Bella constellation in 2017."
SpaceNews  space  remote-sensing  satellite  business  EO  EarthObservation 
july 2018 by pierredv
Satellite operators view antennas as weak link in broadband business plans - SpaceNews.com Jul 2018
"As new high-tech satellite antennas start hitting the market, several satellite operators expressed concern that existing and future antennas won’t meet their needs."

"Last year Kymeta, the front-runner in flat panel antennas, started shipping its first units. Phasor anticipates starting production of flat panel antennas late this year or in the first half of next year, CEO David Helfgott told SpaceNews by email July 6. And several other companies intend to follow in 2019.

[Imran Malik, SES Networks vice president for the Asia Pacific] said he is confident that flat panel antennas will help take satellite communications from niche applications to a mainstream means of connectivity. Others didn’t share his view, however. "

"“Flat panels are nice to have, but the main problem is the throughput that you can achieve,” said Ken Loke, Eutelsat Asia’s chief commercial officer.” It’s great for airplanes, great for trains, great for cars also, but the amount of data you can put through it is limited based on the uplink capability. And of course, the price point is probably $1,500 to $2,000 per [unit], the cheapest you can get.”

Loke said Eutelsat is able to provide 70-centimeter antennas systems, including the modem and other components, for around $350. "

"SES in March announced investments into three companies — Viasat, IsoTropic Systems and Alcan Systems — to build flat panel antennas compatible with its next-generation O3b mPower constellation. Malik said SES’s goals for mPower are “to reduce the cost per megabit by tenfold, reduce the cost per terminal by fivefold, and also increase the throughput by at least tenfold.”"
SpaceNews  antennas  satellite  SES 
july 2018 by pierredv
OneWeb says regulatory concerns main reason it’s forgoing inter-satellite links - SpaceNews.com Jul 2018
"Among the major new privately financed satellite broadband constellations, OneWeb stands alone in not planning to feature inter-satellite links on its spacecraft.

Greg Wyler, OneWeb’s founder, told SpaceNews the reason his constellation of 900 or more low Earth orbit satellites won’t include inter-satellite links is because national regulators have expressed concerns about where traffic from their country will travel and where it will come back down to Earth. "

"Not everyone agrees with Wyler’s view. Erwin Hudson, vice president of Telesat LEO, said Telesat is prepared to address sovereignty concerns nations have on a case-by-case basis."

"Wyler said regulators are concerned about eavesdropping and manipulation of their country’s data. The “fundamental problem” with inter-satellite links, he said, is that once traffic goes up, “you have no idea whether it is being copied and sent to a secondary location.”"

"Wyler said regulators are concerned about eavesdropping and manipulation of their country’s data. The “fundamental problem” with inter-satellite links, he said, is that once traffic goes up, “you have no idea whether it is being copied and sent to a secondary location.”"
SpaceNews  OneWeb  Telesat  LeoSat  regulations  sovereignty 
july 2018 by pierredv
Boeing constellation stalled, SpaceX constellation progressing - SpaceNews.com
"Boeing is not actively building any satellites for the constellation it proposed to U.S. regulators two years ago, an industry executive said June 25.

“We have a filing but we haven’t really started developing it yet, so I would call that not really moving forward,” Dawn Harms, vice president of global sales and marketing at Boeing Satellite Systems International, said at the CASBAA Satellite Industry Forum here. "

"SpaceX anticipates starting service with around 800 satellites in 2020 or 2021. "
SpaceNews  space  LEO  NGSO  satellite  Boeing  SpaceX 
june 2018 by pierredv
House Science Committee approves space traffic management bill - SpaceNews.com June 2018
"The House Science Committee approved a bill June 27 that would give the Commerce Department new responsibilities for space traffic management despite opposition by some Democrats that the bill “rubber stamps” the administration’s space policy. The committee favorably reported on a voice vote H.R. 6226, the American Space Situational Awareness and Framework for Entity (SAFE) Management Act.

The legislation, announced by the committee June 22, would authorize the Commerce Department to provide space traffic management services, such as collision warnings, to civil and commercial satellite operators within one year of the bill’s enactment.

The bill authorizes NASA to develop a space traffic management science and technology plan, outlining research to be done to improve work in the area. It also calls on the Commerce Department to develop a pilot program for space traffic coordination."
space  SpaceNews  legislation  STM 
june 2018 by pierredv
C-Com, University of Waterloo test hardware for new phased array antenna - SpaceNews.com Jun 2108
"Canadian satellite antenna manufacturer C-Com said June 21 it successfully tested the building blocks of a phased array antenna it hopes to sell next year.... C-Com tested a module 1/25th the size of a phased array antenna that would match the performance of a small 65- to 70-centimeter dish antenna"

"Priced at $10,000, C-Com will be able to reach “a very large number of vertical markets” for constellation operators, Klein said. ... Klein said C-Com hopes to achieve reasonable consumer prices, perhaps below $1,000, through scale over time. "
SpaceNews  satellite  antennas  C-Com 
june 2018 by pierredv
NASA, Defense Department support giving space traffic management role to Commerce - SpaceNews.com June 2018
"At a rare joint hearing of the strategic forces subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee and space subcommittee of the House Science Committee June 22, officials said they backed the plan in Space Policy Directive 3 announced four days earlier to give Commerce Department authority to provide safety-related space situational awareness data to civil and commercial satellite operators."
space  SpaceNews  legislation  DoC  NASA  DoD 
june 2018 by pierredv
President to sign space traffic management policy - SpaceNews.com June 2018
"One of the most significant parts of that policy is transferring responsibility for providing “space safety data and services,” including warnings of potential collisions, from the Defense Department to the Commerce Department. The Defense Department will retain the role of maintaining the “authoritative catalog” of space objects, offering the “releasable” part of it to Commerce to provide those services."

"That shift, though, will take time, with Pace estimating it would take a “few years” to set up that transfer of responsibility from Defense to Commerce."

"NASA, Pace said, will lead efforts to update orbital debris mitigation guidelines. Commerce will also work on plans for an “open data repository” for space situational awareness data from commercial and international sources to augment the information from the Defense Department’s catalog. The Commerce Department, along with Defense and Transportation, will develop standards and best practices for pre-launch risk assessments and on-orbit collision assessments. The State Department will lead work on “international transparency” in space traffic management, including development of non-binding guidelines."
SpaceNews  STM  orbital-debris  DoC  NASA  DoT  StateDept 
june 2018 by pierredv
FCC Approves Audacy license for commercial satellite data-relay constellation - SpaceNews.com Jun 2018
"The U.S. Federal Communications Commission granted a spectrum license June 7 to Audacy, the Silicon Valley startup planning to establish a space-based commercial communications relay network."

"Audacy plans to send large satellites into medium Earth orbit and to begin providing services in 2020 for satellite, human spaceflight and launch vehicle operators including data downlink, continuous monitoring and command services"
SpaceNews  FCC  Audacy  NGSO  space  satellite  MEO 
june 2018 by pierredv
Poll shows more public support for NASA science programs than human exploration - SpaceNews.com June 2018
Jeff Foust's summary:
The Pew Research Center poll, released Wednesday, found that 72 percent of Americans thought it was essential for the country to lead in space, and 80 percent thought the ISS has been a good investment, both significant increases over prior polls several years ago. However, 63 percent of respondents said that monitoring the Earth's climate was a top priority for NASA, and 62 percent said planetary defense was a top priority, versus only 18 percent for sending humans to Mars and 13 percent for sending humans back to the moon. The poll also found that Americas are, in general, confident in the capabilities of commercial space companies, but with concerns about their ability to prevent the growth of space debris.
SpaceNews  Pew  NASA  polls 
june 2018 by pierredv
Muddling through space traffic management - SpaceNews.com Sep 2017
"Experts continue to propose alternative terms that may be more technically precise, but consistently fail to catch on with policymakers or the public. And at its core, space traffic management is a “super wicked” public policy problem that involves balancing an indefinable set of technical, legal, and economic variables; conflicting interests and worldviews of many stakeholders; and a complex political environment with diffuse responsibilities and authorities. But with estimates of 16,000 or more satellites on the drawing board to be launched in the next decade, it is not a problem we can continue to kick down the road."

Recommendations
1. "needs to be a decision on whether the U.S. military will continue to provide all of the space situational awareness (SSA) data and services for the world"
2. "needs to be a decision on how such a civil SSA entity will leverage private sector capabilities for its mission"
3. "needs to be a link between civil SSA and the ongoing efforts to modernize U.S. government oversight of private sector space activities"
4. "needs to be an appropriate international component"
5. "needs to determine what principles it wants to promote internationally as the foundation of space governance for the future"
SpaceNews  orbital-debris  Brian-Weeden  STM  wicked-problems 
june 2018 by pierredv
Commerce Department to create “SPACE Administration” - SpaceNews.com May 2018
"In a statement issued after the May 24 signing of Space Policy Directive 2, the department said it plans to combine several existing offices into a new office called the Space Policy Advancing Commercial Enterprise (SPACE) Administration.

"The SPACE Administration, the department said, will incorporate the Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs office and the Office of Space Commerce, currently part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The department was already planning such a consolidation of the offices, which would be moved out of NOAA and directly under Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross."
DoC  SpaceNews  remote-sensing  NOAA 
may 2018 by pierredv
AGI establishes commercial deep space radar tracking system - SpaceNews.com
"AGI and Thoth Technology said they have set up a radar system on a 46-meter antenna at the Algonquin Radio Observatory in Ontario. The system is capable of tracking objects out to distances of 50,000 kilometers, and can detect objects about two meters across on GEO."

“We want to get down to 20 centimeters or less.”

"Johnson said that combining the radar observations with existing optical observations of GEO belt objects improves the accuracy of positions of those objects to 150 meters, compared to 250 meters using optical observations alone"
SpaceNews  AGI  SSA  space  radar  GEO  orbital-debris 
may 2018 by pierredv
FCC tells Eutelsat that Intelsat already called dibs on U.S. orbital slot - SpaceNews.com May 2018
"The U.S. Federal Communications Commission rejected a Eutelsat application for a satellite that would use the same spectrum as one planned by Intelsat. Eutelsat and Intelsat both told the FCC they wanted to field a new telecom satellite near 133 degrees west longitude to serve the U.S. market. Intelsat filed its application last May, some eight months ahead of Eutelsat, however. "

"Eutelsat, which says its filings at the United Nation’s International Telecommunication Union predate any filings supporting Intelsat’s Galaxy-15R, has not given up on securing the rights to the slot."
SpaceNews  Intelsat  Eutelsat  licensing  FCC  ITU-R 
may 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's new price chart illustrates performance cost of reusability - SpaceNews.com May 2016
"Prices are shown as $62 million for the Falcon 9 Full Thrust and $90 million for the Falcon Heavy"

"pricing information listed is for geostationary missions only and does not apply to Mars missions. Nor should it be used as a guide to launches into low Earth orbit."

"Prices are shown as $62 million for the Falcon 9 Full Thrust and $90 million for the Falcon Heavy." Per http://spacenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/spacex-price.gif, lifts up to 5.5 mT and 8.0 mT respectively
SpaceNews  SpaceX  space  launch  business 
may 2018 by pierredv
Eutelsat Does the Math on Reducing Future Satellite Costs - SpaceNews.com Dec 2015
"The total capital cost of placing a telecommunications satellite into geostationary orbit is made up of the satellite’s construction, accounting for 50 percent of the total; 30 percent for the launch vehicle; and the rest reserved for insurance charges and diverse expenses."

"[Eutelsat said] it must reduce its satellite costs — construction, launch, insurance and ground segment — to 1 million euros ($1.1 million) per gigabit per second of throughput."
SpaceNews  satellite  space  business  Eutelsat 
may 2018 by pierredv
Global Eagle to collaborate on Telesat LEO constellation - SpaceNews.com May 2018
"Inflight connectivity provider Global Eagle will help Telesat design and test the operator’s low Earth orbit satellite constellation, the companies announced May 15."

"Passenger desires for internet access on aircraft and at sea have driven demand for high-throughput satellite (HTS) services to the point that some service providers have teamed with satellite operators to help design their spacecraft. Panasonic Avionics, a competitor to Global Eagle in both aviation and maritime, co-designed HTS payloads on Intelsat-29e, SES-15 and Intelsat-33e before leasing capacity on the satellites. In March, Panasonic said it co-designed the Apstar-6D satellite that APT Mobile Satcom Limited ordered from China Great Wall Industry Corp. and will lease some of its capacity for mobile internet service over China and the surrounding region. "
SpaceNews  Telesat  HTS  ESIM  aviation  broadband 
may 2018 by pierredv
German startup takes Kymeta-like LCD approach to flat panel antenna manufacturing - SpaceNews.com May 2018
"Backed by fleet operator SES, the German science and technology conglomerate Merck Group and the Beijing Singularity Power Investment Fund, Alcan Systems of Darmstadt, Germany, is nearing completion of a phased array antenna for satellite broadband links. "

"Alcan Systems, whose name stands for “Adaptive Liquid Crystal ANtenna,” is designing modular antennas to bring internet to mobile platforms (cars, planes, boats, and other vehicles), business networks and consumer broadband service — target markets for high-throughput satellites in any orbit. "

"Sibay said the company is aiming for prices “for the enterprise version under 10,000 euros and for the consumer version under 1,000 euros.” Each electronically steered antenna should reach throughputs of 250 Mbps, and have switching speeds between satellites of 5 milliseconds, he said."

"The fundamental difference between the two antennas is that Kymeta’s is based on a metamaterial it describes as “a glass structure similar to a liquid crystal display.” Alcan Systems’ product is a phased array antenna that uses liquid crystals in lieu of traditional semiconductor technology. Kymeta’s antenna is also designed to work with Ku-band satellites, while Alcan Systems is simultaneously creating antennas for Ku- and Ka-band systems. "
SpaceNews  antennas  Germany  satellite  Kymeta  Alcan 
may 2018 by pierredv
Telesat comes out against C-band proposal, girds for spectrum fight - SpaceNews.com May 2018
"Fleet operator Telesat, originally undecided about a joint-use spectrum plan put forward by Intelsat, Intel and SES, is turning against the plan because of how participants would be compensated."

“As it stands, unless we can be persuaded that these proceeds are in fact going to be distributed in an equitable way, we are going to oppose this and will oppose it vigorously,” Goldberg said during a May 3 earnings call.

"Telesat’s biggest growth initiative is the preparation of a constellation of 117 low-Earth orbiting satellites for high-speed global broadband services. The first, a prototype from Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, is in orbit to test technologies and service provision ahead of a larger constellation. Goldberg declined to estimate the total cost of the constellation, ..."

"Even with those resources, Goldberg said Telesat will likely need additional investors or partners to realize the constellation."
SpaceNews  Telesat  satellite  Intelsat  Intel  SES  NGSO  LEO  commerce 
may 2018 by pierredv
OneWeb shifts first launch to year’s end - SpaceNews.com May 2018
"OneWeb has shifted the debut launch for its satellite egaconstellation to the fourth quarter of the year.

The startup’s first launch of 10 satellites aboard an Arianespace Soyuz rocket was scheduled for this month, but was pushed out toward the end of the year to allow for more testing and to incorporate improved components in the final spacecraft design."

"OneWeb is building the first 900 satellites of its constellation through a joint venture with Airbus called OneWeb Satellites. "

"The company still expects to begin service in 2019, starting with the first few hundred spacecraft. "

"Wyler estimated there might be a two month gap between the first launch and the rest of the launch campaign, which consists of a Soyuz launch every 21 days."

"Wyler said OneWeb’s first generation satellites have “actually beat our plans,” on mass, weighing in at around 145 kilograms each instead of the projected 150 kilograms.

“We are at about 14.5 kilograms per Gbps [implying 10 Gbps/satellite]. Each satellite is about the same performance as the satellites I designed for O3b, yet we are putting nine times as many on a rocket,” he said. "
SpaceNews  OneWeb  launch  deployment  commerce 
may 2018 by pierredv
FAA reauthorization bill boosts commercial space office - SpaceNews.com Apr 2018
A reauthorization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration passed by the House April 27 includes several provisions intended to support its commercial spaceflight activities, including a major increase in authorized spending levels. ... Several amendments approved by the House during its debate, though, involve the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, or AST, and its role in regulating commercial spaceflight.

A manager’s amendment introduced by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and passed on a voice vote April 26 included among its provisions a sizable increase in authorized funding levels for AST. The bill raises AST’s authorized budget from its 2018 level of just under $22.6 million to more than $33 million in 2019, with further increases to nearly $76 million by 2023. ... However, appropriators are not bound to fund the office, or other parts of the FAA, at levels stated in the bill.

establish an “Office of Spaceports” within AST
SpaceNews  FAA  space  legislation  AST 
april 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
Satellite operators, data analysts agree on need for speed - SpaceNews.com April 2018
"Geospatial data companies are focusing intently on quickly acquiring satellite imagery and delivering it to customers."

Jeff Foust's gloss: "executives from several companies said they're developing larger networks of ground stations, and turning to advanced technologies like laser communications, to quickly get images from their spacecraft to the ground and then on to customers. The longer it takes to deliver images, they argue, the less valuable it is to their customers"

"The focus on speed is essential because geospatial data is most valuable when its fresh."
SpaceNews  remote-sensing  EarthObservation  EO  Planet  Maxar  HawkEye360  Airbus  DigitalGlobe  Ursa  BlackSky 
april 2018 by pierredv
Globalstar merging with FiberLight for $1.65 billion - SpaceNews.com Apr 2018
"Thermo Capital, owner of Globalstar, is merging the satellite operator with a landline company it owns in a $1.65 billion deal intended to help pay off Globalstar’s debts."

"The arrangement diversifies Globalstar’s revenue streams, which have been insufficient to cover the cost of its second-generation fleet of 24 low-Earth-orbit satellites launched between 2010 and 2013."

"Concurrent with the merger announcement, Globalstar also said it reached an agreement with the bank lenders for its satellite constellation to defer amortized payments up to $30 million annually."
Globalstar  SpaceNews  investing  finance  debt 
april 2018 by pierredv
NGA assembles jigsaw puzzle of diverse commercial, government geospatial data sets - SpaceNews.com
Chirag Parikh, Deputy Director for Counterproliferation
National Geospatial Intelligence Agency

"There are a number of antisatellite weapons. They include direct ascent ASAT missiles. That’s what the Chinese launched in 2007 and again in 2013. You also have jammers and high energy lasers that can blind optics or even cause structural damage. You have cyber attacks. You have attacks on ground sites. You have orbital antisatellite weapons that could host a variety of different things: missiles, lasers and jammers. The vast majority of these things are on the ground. "

"Capability is not just about resolution. Resiliency is important. I would much rather have Planet imagery than nothing on orbit."

"I didn’t buy images. I just bought the analysis that came from geospatial."

"NGA is looking to be able to partner with companies to buy analysis. And it gets even stranger. It’s not just analysis, it’s also the algorithms. If you create a change detection algorithm, I could probably use that same algorithm, tweak it here and there, and ingested into my classified network. The whole paradigm is changing."
SpaceNews  intelligence-gathering  ASAT  NGA  remote-sensing 
april 2018 by pierredv
Defense intelligence chief: ‘A lot of technology remains untapped’ - SpaceNews.com Apr 2018
"The most promising AI effort the Pentagon has going now is Project Maven. Military analysts are using Google-developed AI algorithms to mine live video feeds from drones. With machine learning techniques, software is taught to find particular objects or individuals at speeds that would be impossible for any human analyst."

"... DoD ramps up AI efforts. Defense procurement chief Ellen Lord said the Pentagon will start bringing together AI projects that already exist but do not necessarily share information or resources. "
SpaceNews  AI  Google  DoD  remote-sensing  intelligence-gathering 
april 2018 by pierredv
Companies, lawyers argue against changing Outer Space Treaty - SpaceNews.com May 2017
Commercial space companies and space law experts recommended against any changes in the Outer Space Treaty at a recent hearing, arguing regulatory issues can be better addressed through laws and regulations.
SpaceNews  OuterSpaceTreaty  space  commerce  law 
april 2018 by pierredv
House passes commercial space regulatory bill - SpaceNews.com - Apr 2018
"The House of Representatives approved legislation April 24 that would reform commercial remote sensing regulation and create a licensing regime for “non-traditional” commercial space activities."

"The House approved on a voice vote H.R. 2809, the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act"

"Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Science Committee,... he claimed, removed uncertainty regarding who would regulate emerging commercial space applications, ranging from satellite servicing to lunar landers, that don’t clearly fall into areas already overseen by the [FAA, FCC and NOAA], which today license launches, satellite communications and commercial remote sensing, respectively. "

"bill gives the Office of Space Commerce within the Department of Commerce the authority to issue “certifications” for space objects not otherwise licensed by the FAA or the FCC"

"reforms commercial remote sensing regulations, moving licensing of those spacecraft from NOAA’s Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs office to the Office of Space Commerce"

"easily cleared the House, its future is less certain. The Senate has been working on its own commercial space bill, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), chairman of the Senate space subcommittee."
SpaceNews  legislation  space  DoC  NOAA  FAA  FCC 
april 2018 by pierredv
House committee approved revised NASA authorization bill - SpaceNews.com Apr 2018
"The House Science Committee, after some unusual last-minute drama, approved a NASA authorization bill April 17 that offers more support to the agency’s Earth science program."

Ranking member "criticized the content of the bill, including both Earth science cuts and its endorsement of administration’s space exploration plans without any hearings by the committee to discuss them"

"manager’s amendment also replaced language in the original bill directing NASA to use commercial space products and in-space infrastructure with language instead requiring NASA to prepare a report on the potential use of such commercial capabilities"

"Other amendments approved [included] a reaffirmation of the risks of orbital debris,..."
SpaceNews  space  legislation 
april 2018 by pierredv
Space Law Workshop exposes rift in legal community over national authority to sanction space mining - SpaceNews.com April 2018
"International space experts conducted a spirited debate April 16 on whether national or international laws should govern space mining at the Space Law Workshop at the 34th Space Symposium here."
space-mining  SpaceNews 
april 2018 by pierredv
Commerce Department ready to add space traffic management to growing space role - SpaceNews.com
"Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross says his department is gearing up to add space traffic management to its growing portfolio of commercial space responsibilities."

"Those plans will build upon earlier studies that examined shifting the responsibility from the Defense Department for providing space traffic management services, such as collision warnings, for operators of civil and commercial satellites. That will include, he said, leveraging the expertise of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), part of the Commerce Department, in developing standards in collaboration with industry."

"[Ross]emphasized the “baby steps” nature of that planned transition, but didn’t estimate how long it would take to complete."

"The hour-long “listening session” allowed companies to discuss their concerns, which included a lack of transparency in the licensing review process and long timelines."
SpaceNews  space  STM  space-traffic-management  DoC  Wilbur-Ross 
april 2018 by pierredv
Startup with SoftBank, Airbus investment planning video constellation with several hundred satellites - SpaceNews.com Apr 2018
"A satellite startup that today announced SoftBank, Airbus, Bill Gates and OneWeb founder Greg Wyler as investors says it has plans to field a constellation of hundreds of satellites to provide global video of the Earth, but provided few details on how it will accomplish that goal."

"EarthNow spun out of the business incubator Intellectual Ventures last year with a mission to record the planet and provide video in real time to users on the ground. Airbus is the company’s manufacturing partner, using production lines made to build thousands of telecom satellites for OneWeb in Toulouse, France and Exploration Park, Florida."

"EarthNow’s imaging payload will drive the cost slightly higher than that of a OneWeb telecom satellite, which is estimated at around $1 million each, he said."

"Hannigan said Airbus is building the satellites using an enhanced version of the OneWeb bus produced by OneWeb Satellites, the Airbus-OneWeb joint venture that is building OneWeb’s constellation."

"Hannigan wouldn’t describe the EarthNow ground system, which would likely require either numerous ground stations or inter-satellite links to ensure real time data delivery, saying only that “each satellite is connected to the ground at all times.”"
SpaceNews  Space  EO  EarthObservation  remote-sensing  OneWeb  manufacturing  Airbus  EarthNow 
april 2018 by pierredv
Companies look to Trump administration to further ease export rules for space technology - SpaceNews.com April 2018
Jeff Foust paraphrase: "While reforms enacted in 2014 removed many commercial satellites and their components from the U.S. Munitions List, and therefore no longer subject to ITAR, changes in satellite technology merit a new look at what should be on the list, companies argue. Such reforms could include regular reviews, on five-year cycles, of items on the Munitions List and the Commerce Control List. "

From the story:

"Those firms and many others are pinning their hopes for further regulatory relief on the Trump administration since the National Space Council’s executive secretary, Scott Pace, is working with members of the panel to recommend changes to export rules by the end of the year."
SpaceNews  space  exports  export-rules  trade  ITAR 
april 2018 by pierredv
Commerce to take responsibility for space traffic management under new policy - SpaceNews.com Apr 2018
"A new space traffic management policy announced by Vice President Mike Pence April 16 would give the Commerce Department, and not the FAA, responsibility for providing space situational awareness data to satellite operators."
space  SpaceNews  regulation  DoC  FAA  orbital-debris 
april 2018 by pierredv
NASA authorization bill increases emphasis on commercial partnerships - SpaceNews.com April 2018
"A NASA authorization bill to be considered by the House next week would direct NASA to work more closely with commercial partners in areas ranging from Earth observation to deep space exploration.

The NASA Authorization Act of 2018, introduced by Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas), chairman of the House space subcommittee, was released April 13. The legislation is scheduled to be marked up by the full House Science Committee on April 17."

"One part of the bill, titled “Commercial,” includes a number of sections directing NASA to make use of commercial capabilities in future exploration missions."

"The bill’s commercial language is not limited to space systems. The U.S., the bill states, “should foster the development of U.S. private sector remote sensing capabilities and analyses that can satisfy the public interest in long-term continuous collection of medium-resolution land remote sensing data.”"
SpaceNews  legislation  space  NASA  EO  EarthObservation  remote-sensing 
april 2018 by pierredv
In the Trump administration, deep mistrust of Chinese, Russian motives in space - SpaceNews.com Apr 2018
"The Trump administration does not believe war in outer space is inevitable. But a lack of trust in what Russia and China are doing in space means the United States has to “work hard every day” to deter future aggression, said Scott Pace, the executive secretary of the National Space Council."

"The United States will focus on deterrence, he said. “The task to avoid a very bad outcome is to deter. And to deter a conflict in space you have to make sure you are resilient, that you don’t present attractive targets.”"

"The administration has concluded that a new arms control treaty for space is not a realistic option at this time because China and Russia have an asymmetric advantage, Pace said."
SpaceNews  warfare  space 
april 2018 by pierredv
Analysts: Space weapons proliferating, there is more congestion and competition - SpaceNews.com Apr 2018
"As more countries and commercial companies invest in space programs, it is becoming harder to tell the difference between peaceful research projects and potentially destructive weapons, warns a new study by the Secure World Foundation. And an accelerating arms race in space raises huge concerns for the United States."

"The foundation on Wednesday released the report, “Global Counterspace Capabilities: An Open Source Assessment.” Counterspace is an umbrella term for any technology that could be used to deceive, disrupt, deny, degrade or destroy space systems. Space weapons include direct-ascent, co-orbital, electronic warfare, directed energy and cyber."

"Like the United States, China has designated space as a military domain. Open source documents suggest China is pursuing “space superiority using offensive and defensive means.” It is still unclear whether China intends to deploy offensive space weapons in a future conflict or whether it has them as a deterrent against U.S. aggression."

"The report said cyberwarfare is a concern in space, but actual evidence of cyber attacks in the public domain is scant. "

"Researchers were not able to find open-source proof, however, that the United States has sufficient means to defend the GPS system if attacked. "
SpaceNews  SWF  space  warfare  counterspace  China  GPS  US  Russia 
april 2018 by pierredv
NOAA speeds up remote sensing license reviews amid broader regulatory changes - SpaceNews.com
"The small office that currently handles licensing of commercial remote sensing systems says it’s made major progress in processing license applications, even as the government moves ahead with broader reforms."

2015: avg 210 days
2016: avg 140 days

"One reason for the decreased review time is the establishment of a memorandum of understanding last year involving the Departments of Commerce, State, Defense and Interior, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, establishing procedures for interagency reviews for commercial remote sensing license applications."

"Some changes will require legislation, and the recommendation called on the Commerce Department to develop a legislative proposal “that would further enable the rapid, efficient, and predictable permitting of commercial remote sensing activities” by July 1."

"Congress has already been looking into legislative reform of the commercial remote sensing licensing process. The House Science Committee favorably reported last June the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act, which includes provisions to streamline licensing of such systems. The Senate has been drafting its own commercial space legislation that is also expected to address regulatory reform."
SpaceNews  NOAA  EO  remote-sensing  space  satellite  legislation  DoC  DoD  StateDepartment  DNI 
april 2018 by pierredv
NOAA explains restriction on SpaceX launch webcast - SpaceNews.com Apr 2018
"During the March 30 launch of 10 Iridium Next satellites on a SpaceX Falcon 9, SpaceX cut off the live video from the rocket’s second stage nine minutes after liftoff. The company cited “restrictions” imposed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for terminating the live feed."

"In a statement later March 30, NOAA invoked federal law that requires any commercial remote sensing system capable of taking images of the Earth from orbit be licensed by the agency. “Now that launch companies are putting video cameras on stage 2 rockets that reach an on-orbit status, all such launches will be held to the requirements of the law and its conditions,” NOAA stated. "

"For now, NOAA does not have the ability to waive the need for a license, including for upper stages with onboard cameras."
SpaceNews  SpaceX  NOAA  EO  licensing 
april 2018 by pierredv
FCC approves SpaceX constellation, denies waiver for easier deployment deadline - SpaceNews.com Mar 2018
"accepted SpaceX’s application to reach U.S customers with a megaconstellation of 4,425 broadband satellites, but denied the company’s request to relax the deadline by which it must have its entire constellation in orbit. [FCC] also said SpaceX’s approval is conditioned on an updated de-orbit plan, since the sheer number of satellites envisioned by SpaceX’s “Starlink” constellation goes far beyond what current guidelines consider manageable."

"NASA, which said a constellation as large as SpaceX’s likely needs to meet more stringent standards than what NASA recommends for de-orbit reliability. NASA’s reliability standard is that at least 90 percent of satellites can deorbit properly after their mission is complete."
SpaceNews  SpaceX  FCC  NASA  orbital-debris  NGSO 
march 2018 by pierredv
Space situational awareness experts urge Russia to join orbital neighborhood watch - SpaceNews.com Mar 2018
"To prevent collisions in space, nations with advanced orbital monitoring abilities need to share data with each other. Russia, being skilled in space situational awareness (SSA), should be part of the global effort to protect the space environment, experts said March 15 at the Satellite 2018 conference here."

"Neither Roscosmos, nor Russia’s two largest satellite telecom operators, the Russian Satellite Communications Company and Gazprom Space Systems, are SDA members."
SpaceNews  SSA  orbital-debris  space-debris  SpaceSituationalAwareness  SWF  SDA  JSpOC 
march 2018 by pierredv
LEO and MEO broadband constellations mega source of consternation - SpaceNews.com Mar 2018
"the rush to HTS is driving down bandwidth prices so fast that some fairly low-mileage satellites are struggling to keep up."

“At the moment there is a potential scramble for who is going to be the third player between Telesat, LeoSat and SpaceX,” said Farrar. “It’s probably going to be clear in the next 12 months which of those is out ahead.”

"Perhaps the biggest variable in calculating demand is figuring out what consumers will have to pay for the user terminal—the receiver and antennas customers will use to connect to the constellation."

"Farrar is among analysts who doubt consumer broadband will be the biggest application for LEO constellations. Bridging the digital divide is a laudable goal, but backhaul — using satellites to help cellular networks to increase coverage and improve service — is an early market they can dominate with or without cheap antennas."
SpaceNews  NGSO  LEO  MEO  GEO  HTS  broadband  satellite  Tim-Farrar  Armand-Musey  NSR  antennas  Kymeta  Phasor  commerce  trends 
march 2018 by pierredv
Commerce Department pressing ahead with commercial space regulatory reform - SpaceNews.com Mar 2018
"Wilbur Ross said he has support within his own department, and elsewhere in government, to start enacting reforms that would make the department a “one-stop shop” for most commercial space regulatory activities."

"A House bill introduced last year, the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act, proposes some commercial remote sensing regulatory reforms, while the Senate is working on its version of commercial space legislation. The Senate effort is led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), chairman of the space subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee."
space  SpaceNews  DoC  NOAA  commerce  legislation  Wilbur-Ross 
march 2018 by pierredv
Kratos, bullish on satellite communications, in talks with LEO constellations - SpaceNews.com Mar 2018
"Three trends are driving Kratos’ satellite business according to DeMarco: smallsat constellation operators designing their ground systems, high-throughput satellites that have more complicated RF systems, and an increase in U.S. defense space spending.

DeMarco said smallsat operators across the whole gamut of sizes are choosing their command and control communications systems. Those ground systems, which need to manage more satellites in more complicated orbits than traditional geostationary satellites, require altogether different ground technology, he said."

"Kratos competitors in command and control include Braxton Technologies of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Zodiac Aerospace of Plaisir, France."

"DeMarco said Kratos’ spectrum monitoring business, which finds RF signals that intentionally or unintentionally impede satellite signals, grew by 35-percent last year. "
SpaceNews  Kratos  NGSO  ground-systems  smallsats  satellite  ground-segment  spectrum-monitoring 
march 2018 by pierredv
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