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October 2010 Edition
The Launch Sector
Beam... Supporting The Future Of The Industry, author: Louis Zacharilla, Director, SSPI
If you’re reading this editorial, hopefully you are already a “friend” of SSPI.  For that I thank you. I’d like to specifically address those who support SSPI in various ways, but have not yet joined our corporate sponsorship program.
Executive Spotlight
Executive Spotlight... Frank McKenna, President, International Launch Services
Frank McKenna became the president of International Launch Services (ILS) in October 2006, after two years serving as vice president and deputy at the company. He possesses more than three decades of experience in aerospace and the space launch businesses with Martin Marietta and Lockheed Martin Corp., which was a partner in ILS until October 2006. McKenna’s background includes business management, business development and strategy, several CFO positions, and domestic and international joint ventures. McKenna holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stetson University in Deland, Florida.
Executive Summary
Executive Summary... The Space Report 2010, The Authoritative Guide To Global Space Activity
Amidst a widespread international economic crisis, the space industry proved resilient, demonstrating growth and expansion through 2009 and into 2010. While several other leading industries suffered dramatically, and many governments struggled to remain fiscally viable, the space industry defied the upheaval and broadened its fields of endeavor. This is due in large part to the space industry’s robust array of products and services, which enables it to respond rapidly to changes in global demand. The relationship between government and commercial enterprise is evolving, as can be seen in the proposed changes to the U.S. national space program announced in February 2010.
Focus... Fighting Space Debris..., Jose Guerrero, ATK Space Systems
It all started as a hot topic around the lunch table at the ATK Spacecraft Systems and Advanced Technology Group in Pasadena, California, and resulted in a paper that was just recently presented at the 24th Annual Conference on Small Satellites sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Utah State University in Logan, Utah. Not the usual discussions on past weekends and latest upcoming vacations. Instead, a group of ATK scientists and engineers decided to tackle a troublesome international issue affecting spacecraft operators in low Earth orbits: orbital debris.
Focus... Bye Bye Black Box?, author: Viraf Kapadia, Star Navigation
It is the middle of the Atlantic. Meal service is almost over. Two hours to YYZ (Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Canada) and home. In the cockpit, a highly trained flight crew monitors the autopilot and chats about football. Also in the cockpit is a small box that doesn’t care at all about football, spouses, dogs, or kids... it just works quietly.
Focus... Containing Cargo Theft With Satellite Technology, author: Anu Sood, SkyWave Mobile Communications
Cargo theft is an international phenomenon. While no definitive statistics are available as to how much cargo is stolen around the world, most agree the theft of goods during transportation or within a warehouse is a big problem. According to a 2007 EU Parliament report, the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) estimated the yearly losses across the European Union due to cargo theft from trucks to be approximately 8.2 billion Euros. 
Insight... SES ASTRA... Dramatically Transitioning Beyond Europe, author: Chris Forrester, Founder, RapidTV News
SES Astra dominates the delivery of DTH (Direct-to-Home) television over three major EU markets: Germany, the UK, and France. But when you have near 100 percent saturation, where do you go next? Astra’s recently appointed CCO Norbert Hölzle has some very decisive plans to win further market share within Europe and well beyond its borders.
Insight... Is The Next Star... Globalstar?, author: Alan Gottlieb, CEO, Gottlieb International Group
Hardly anyone talks about Globalstar, yet this satellite operator has made a unique transition from commercial communications provider to a consumer products company — one that is rather unique in the traditionally enterprise-focused satellite industry.
Insight... Fairing Well, Thank You, author: Hendrik Thielemann, RUAG Space
Just three and a half minutes, and it is all over — after 208 seconds in flight, the payload fairing of the Ariane 5 rocket is jettisoned. But in those few minutes — and during the run-up to the launch — a payload fairing has to prove its worth, so as to ensure that the valuable freight in the nose cone of the rocket makes it into orbit unharmed.
Insight... Shrinking The World... The Importance Of Compression..., author: Sandy Johnson, SatCom Global
For those operating in more remote parts of the globe, whether on land or at sea, the ability to communicate with colleagues, friends and family has until now been restricted, on the grounds of both affordability and lack of communications channels.
SatBroadcasting™... From The Satelllite To The STB, author: Simen Frostad, Bridge Technologies
I posed this question in a previous article I authored for SatMagazine... Your content is downlinked from satellite, and your infrastructure is up and running, ready to deliver to an eager subscriber base — what could go wrong? The answer — then, as now — is there’s plenty to go wrong. My question also contained a tacit assumption, an assumption that most operators also make when they download content from satellite without monitoring the quality and integrity of the signal —­ things only start to go wrong once the content is downloaded and travelling through the delivery infrastructure. Few operators establish specific monitoring procedures for the incoming satellite signal. Why is that? The old IT maxim — garbage in, garbage out ­— should provide enough warning here.
SatBroadcasting™... Live 3D Events, The Birth Of A New Sector, author: Gary Carter, International Datacasting, and Etienne Fortin, SENSIO Technologies
Live delivery of 3D sports and entertainment events to digital cinemas only began to make headway during the past year and a half, but the 3D technologies that make it possible rely on established satellite systems to provide a rich, immersive 3D experience to audiences. The growth of the live 3D sector has been fueled by the combination of 3D encoding from SENSIO® and International Datacasting (IDC) satellite receiver/decoders, which, together, enable business risk-free, bandwidth-saving delivery of high-quality live 3D content via satellite.
TechWorks...NexGen Protocol Optimization... Obtaining The Highest IP Throughput From Your Satellite Link, author: Jeffrey Weaver, Director, Technical Marketing, XipLink
As any user of satellite networks quickly realizes, space links just don’t work that well when TCP is used for applications such as file transfers or Internet surfing. In this article, we will recap traditional TCP acceleration functions developed during the late 1990’s, then move on to describe new features and functions that deliver even more bandwidth gain — combinations that are only possible by virtue of leveraging today’s computing power with the major advancements in memory management.
TechWorks... PCMA... , The Plumber's Helper For Bandwidth Betterment
Based on Paired-Carrier-Multiple-Access (PCMA), a technology developed and patented by ViaSat, Paired Carrier is an embedded feature available in satellite modems. Paired Carrier allows the reuse of satellite space segment by overlaying transmit and receive carriers in the same frequency domain — this reduces the transponder bandwidth required to facilitate a satellite link by as much as 50 percent. Paired Carrier can be used in conjunction with other bandwidth saving techniques to provide added cost savings, such as those offered by Paradise Datacom.
TechWorks... Cost Per Bit Buster... SCPC Efficiency + Flexibility, author: David Koblinski, DATUM SYSTEMS
Flexible LDPC coding has been introduced by DATUM Systems. As demonstrated in optimization projects conducted by major service providers, DATUM’s future-proof modem with granular LDPC coding provides the industry’s highest spectral efficiency and configuration flexibility. Offered by the company are highly versatile and efficient SCPC modems. These allow service providers to optimize the use of expensive satellite spectrum resources. With a smoothly distributed configuration map, every single SCPC link using LDPC coding can be “personalized” to squeeze the most out of satellite’s available bandwidth and spectral power, while keeping processing latency at the desired level.