Home >> October 2009 Edition
October 2009 Edition
The Launch Sector
BEAM: Image Building, The Editors
Launching any issue of our publications is an exercise in delight — the cooperation received from industry professionals is most appreciated, and we relish the opportunity to learn something new each and every day, thanks to the informative articles, telephone calls, visits at trade shows, and press releases. The amazing factor is how well our industry remains so flexible and viable, day after day, week after week and month after month, during the economic doldrums now facing all — a true testament to the creative approaches taken to product and marketing by various SATCOM market segments.
BEAM: Futron, The Impact of the Sea Launch Bankruptcy On The Launch Industry
The bankruptcy filing by Sea Launch in June has raised considerable concern about the geostationary launch industry, which is already struggling to meet launch demand. The cyclical nature of the commercial satellite telecommunications industry — the prime driver of launches — fluctuates between conditions of over-capacity to under-capacity with the latter motivating investment in fleet replenishment and expansion. While the current situation is one of under supply, demand for launch services is expected to remain stable for the next few years, barring any further dislocation from the continuing global economic crisis.
BEAM: The 3DTV Experience, Courtesy Of ESA,
The European Space Agency is taking a practical step towards a new viewing experience — 3D television (3DTV) at home, delivered by satellite.
BEAM: NSR, The MSS Switch to Broadband
In one of its recent newsletters, Inmarsat announced a higher-than-expected growth rate in subscriber numbers for its Fleet Broadband terminals. This confirms a trend that is already underway in the land-mobile segment and that NSR considers the new play in town for the MSS maritime segment: broadband is the name of the game today.
INSIGHT: Anatomy Of A Mission: LRO/LCROSS, by United Launch Alliance
At 5:32 p.m. EDT, on June 18, 2009, an United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket roared off the launch pad at Launch Complex 41 to begin the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite missions to the moon. The LRO and LCROSS spacecraft were tucked inside the payload fairing at the top of the rocket to protect them from atmospheric heating as the rocket climbed through the atmosphere toward space. The fairing separated as planned, and the LRO pushed away from LCROSS and the Centaur stage was on its way to its orbit around the moon. The LRO/LCROSS mission marks the 16th Atlas V launch and the seventh flight of an Atlas V 401 configuration.
Insight: Forrester’s Focus­—Showtime + Orbit: Will It Work?, by Chris Forrester
Regular readers will know we’ve kept a close eye on the fascinating Middle East market for years. We’ve watched the region explode in terms of the number of FTA channels being offered topping 500, and perhaps more importantly, the top dozen or so channels have significantly raised their broadcasting game. Content quality is now high, and this proves that competition raises everyone’s game.
Insight: LRIT + Ships At Sea, by Iridium
The international shipping community is moving to implement a mandatory program that will enable national authorities to identify and track the location of ships at sea using satellite tracking devices placed on the ships.
Insight: The Power + The People, by Carri Karuhn
April 1, 1960 — a Thor rocket engine developed by what is now Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne powered the first successful spacecraft into orbit to take pictures of Earth’s clouds Images from the Television Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS-1) which were dark and grainy, but they proved — for the first time — a satellite could be used to survey global weather conditions from space. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne went on to boost increasingly sophisticated weather satellites over the years that produced clear, crisp images in startling detail. Most recently, the company’s RS-68 engine helped launch the latest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, designated GOES-O, enabling scientists to monitor weather that leads to tornadoes, flash floods and hurricanes.
Insight: Protecting Endangered Whales, New Apps In SCADA/M2M Emerging Markets Area, by NSR
Endangered whales are being protected from their biggest threat with the help of Inmarsat safety services. After almost being wiped out by whaling before its ban in 1935, North Atlantic right whales are facing extinction through collisions with commercial ships and entanglement in fishing gear. With only 350 to 400 right whales remaining, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists them as one of the most endangered whale species.
Product Perspective
Product Perspective: Southern Atlantic Opened Up To Broadband, by Nick Fulford
The Southern Atlantic area has, for too long, been the poor relation when it comes to fast, reliable, and cost effective broadband communications. But that’s now changing, thanks to a new service provider in the region offering much faster communication.
Product Perspective: A Potent Pacific Presence, by PacTel International
It’s no longer just about connecting to the rest of the world it’s also about how fast, where and at what cost you can do it. One company that wants to keep you competitive and up to speed anywhere and at any time is Patel International.
Product Perspective: Five New Stars In The Sky — RapidEye,
Today, the use of GIS technology is of growing importance for governmental and private economy bodies. A GIS is the main tool for collecting, managing, manipulating and visualizing data, referenced to a certain place on Earth. Already now most of monitoring and decision making processes are not feasible without modern GIS technologies.
In My View
IN MY VIEW: Chronicles Of SATCOM: World Traveler, by Tony Radford
During my early years in SATCOM, I often became restless being another cow in the herd of night-shift bench techs spending my nights following mundane tuning procedures or scanning countless PCBs for solder-bridges and incorrectly oriented components, all the while wishing I was out partying with the rest of my generation. To call it a “structured environment” would be an understatement, as everyone on the production floor was expected to function in unison — like a mass of symbiotic organisms sharing the same vital organs and controlled by a loud, screeching buzzer that paved the only sanctioned exit from my assigned duty station.
Enlightenments: EO
Enlightenments: EO — A New Age In Digital Satellite Imagery, by K.C. Higgins
After massive flooding in an Eurasian country, relief workers seek open roads, allowing them to bring necessary supplies to stranded residents. Amid the chaos of war, a military general redirects a planned convoy to safety. Scientists measure the true levels of coastal erosion, an oilfield worker finds new potential for digging, and a tourist successfully navigates to a hotel in an unfamiliar city. Every day, satellite imagery plays a significant role in the decisions — both small and large — that make a difference in our lives.
FOCUS: CubeSats — A Costing + Pricing Challenge, by Jos Heyman
The first decade of the 21st century saw the emergence of very small satellites. Without doubt this development has been made by the miniaturization of electronic components that is also seen in, for instance, computers. Accompanying this trend was an evidently reduced cost in the development and construction of satellites that made them attractive to educational institutions as a learning tool.
SatBroadcasting: The Benefits Of File-Based Broadcasting, by Kamy Merithew
File-based distribution and broadcasting provides a non-traditional approach to traditional video and audio broadcast applications. The move to an asynchronous transfer of content and playout is a big departure for an industry built around distributing linear programming via satellite. A file-based broadcasting model brings efficient use of bandwidth and streamlined downlink operations, which leads to greater programming flexibility and significant cost savings.
Executive Spotlight
Executive Spotlight: Dave Bettinger, CTO + Sr. V.P., iDirect
Recently announced by iDirect are two ground-breaking upgrades to its Evolution hardware line and operating software. Dave Bettinger, iDirect’s chief technology officer took a few moments to fill in SatMagazine on the details of these next-generation enhancements.
Executive Spotlight: Markus Schäfer, Managing Director, atrexx
Established in 2002, the atrexx Trading Platform is a satellite marketplace designed to bring buyers and sellers of satellite related resources and services together. The Platform offers free registration to buyers and sellers. Once registered, they are able to post their request, or their available services, onto the platform. All postings are publicly accessible worldwide, to everyone with access to the Internet.
Market Intelligence: Satellite Broadband In Europe + North Africa, by Maxime Baudry
After mild success in the early 2000s, new opportunities have opened up over the past two years in two-way satellite access, particularly in North America, Asia, as well as in Europe.