OpEd: A New Approach Is Needed
The recent guidance from the Pentagons Chief Information Officer on hosting military payloads on commercial satellites has caused much confusion among satellite operators.
The three-page document, issued in late September, sets out policies that should be followed when radiofrequency spectrum set aside for military capabilities is used on a separate payload attached to a commercial satellite operating in civilian spectrum bands.
At the recent SATCON conference in New York, Charles L Beames, strategic adviser, space and intelligence, in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, described the guidance document as well intentioned but said the DoD intended to issue a clarification of the document by the end of the year.
The CIO document certainly does need clarification. For one thing, the guidance document seems to blur the dividing line between commercial ownership of a satellite and DoD control over the use of government spectrum. Although a hosted payload can rely on both of these resources, they remain distinct, with unique legal and regulatory characteristics.
For example, the guidance suggests that the hosted payload would have priority for satellite resources, yet resource priority has nothing to do with spectrum but is, rather, the outcome of an often complex commercial negotiation.
Similarly, the document seeks to declare that the commercial operator would be responsible for mitigating any interference to the hosted payload, yet there is a high probably that because the payload is utilizing military spectrum, it would require at best a joint effort around interference mitigation since blue-on-blue interference is the vast majority of all interference incidents.
Rather than creating a list of well intentioned guidelines internally within the government, it would have been far preferable for the CIOs office to seek a creative dialogue with industry.
Almost every one of the issues raised in the guidance memo was identified and successfully negotiated within the context of the Intelsat/Australian Defense Force (ADF) Agreement regarding the IS-22 satellite.
Intelsat hosted the ADFs military UHF payload aboard the IS-22 satellite. The satellite, launched last April, has commercial C- and Ku-band transponders serving Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia and a UHF payload supporting the Australian military in the Indian Ocean Region. The ADF has leased part of the payload to the U.S. Navy to support its operations in the region.
The guidance document appears to reflect DoDs anxiety about losing control of valuable spectrum. The DoD has become more protective of its spectrum assets after the planned LightSquared network threatened to interfere with the militarys Global Positioning System and the White House began pushing to free up unused DoD spectrum for non-military terrestrial applications.
We agree that spectrum is indeed a valuable asset, and should be a key strategic advantage. We believe combining military and commercial spectrum on satellites and payloads is an even greater capability than the DoD should investigate.
The ownership of the spectrum has never been the issue it clearly would be licensed to the DoD. But the satellite would clearly remain commercial property. The DoD needs to recognize that a commercial satellite operator serving global customers would need to coordinate that activity with the hosting service provided to the DoD.
The CIO needs to hit the reset button on spectrum guidance and come back with a policy document that can foster a creative partnership between the DoD and commercial operators offering hosted payload opportunities to the military.
OpEd by Kay Sears, President, Intelsat General Corporationthis article was published in the Companys From The Top eNews site.
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Natural Resources Resources
Intelsat S.A. + ITC Global have signed two, multi-year agreements for broadband capacity.
In the first agreement, ITC Global will leverage Intelsat 18 at 180 degrees East to provide C-band services to its mining customers in eastern Russia.
ITC Global will integrate its services into a sophisticated network, incorporating carrier-in-carrier technology, to achieve optimal efficiency in delivering high-throughput broadband Internet to remote locations.
ITC Global also signed a contract for capacity on Intelsat 906 at 64 degrees East, enabling broadband service to a major natural resources provider in Western Australia.
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COM DEV International Ltd. has been awarded an Authorization to Proceed (ATP) contract from MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA).
The project will culminate in the delivery of Ku- and Ka-band multiplexers, switches and microwave components. The funding release of $5.1 million is to cover the initial engineering and procurement activities.
The components will be used for a communications satellite, which is expected to launch in 2014 and will enhance the capacity of an existing satellite constellation.
The full contract value is expected to be in excess of $11 million with an option for a replacement flight set for an additional amount in excess of $10 million.
Work will be carried out at the Companys facility in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, with completion of the original flight set expected by November 2013.
We are pleased to have been awarded this contract from one of our long-term customers, stated Mike Williams, President of COM DEV International Products. This reflects our acknowledged expertise in providing communication satellite components with the highest quality and efficiency and the continued trends in the marketplace for increased capacity.
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Airborne Access Renewed
ViaSat Inc. (Nasdaq: VSAT) will provide broadband airborne SATCOM services for a U.S. government customer under a contract award valued at $52 million.
The one year contract is a renewal for services already provided using ViaSat ArcLight® technology over a managed private network established in 2009 to support military missions for the War on Terror.
ViaSat mobile broadband systems are designed to provide high-speed, beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) communications for media-rich ISR, C2, and other applications.
Typical operational data rates range from 1 to 8Mbps off the aircraft using Ku- and Ka-band SATCOM links. These systems are flown on more than 300 government aircraft such as the C-130, C-17, U-28, and various King Air models, accumulating over 500,000 mission hours.
These same terminals can operate seamlessly on the global Yonder® satellite network. In addition, ViaSat offers higher priority regional service overlays to Yonder network coverage with a range of connectivity and performance options.
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OOS + ADRs
On February 20, 2013, at the Sheraton Towers in Singapore, SWF will hold a conference entitled On-Orbit Satellite Servicing and Active Debris Removal: Opportuntiies and Challenges for the Space Sector.
On-orbit satellite servicing (OOS) and active debris removal (ADR) are part of an emerging category of future on-orbit activities that are critical for taking the next leap in our use of Earth orbit.
The ability to repair or refuel satellites, construct new satellites in orbit, and even remove orbital debris can help drive innovative uses of space and create new possibilities. These activities also raises a host of diplomatic, legal, safety, operational, and policy challenges that need to be tackled for this future to be possible. The draft agenda for the On-Orbit Satellite Servicing and Active Debris Removal Conference can be found here.
This conference will be held the day before the Global Space and Technology Convention (GSTC) 2013, organized by the SSTA. The GTSC provides a platform for latest technology in space engineering and design. Over two days, the GSTC will bring together global industry leaders and research organizations for business-to-business interaction and networking. More info here.
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Making A Broad Reach
Moog Inc. has acquired Golden, Colorado, based Broad Reach Engineering Company for approximately $48 million to add spacecraft avionics and communications products and services to Moogs line-up of precision control systems for satellites and launch vehicles.
This acquisition gives us a capability from mission design through mission execution for commercial and military aerospace customers worldwide, said Jay Hennig, president of Moogs Space and Defense Group. Broad Reach has extensive spaceflight heritage and an entrepreneurial spirit that impresses us.
Broad Reachs partnership with JPL to develop a new generation of GPS along with its strategic work with organizations such as Boeing, Lockheed, NASA and Orbital Sciences Corporation are just some of the projects and alliances that attracted Moog.
Broad Reach Engineerings products include spacecraft core avionics, a radiation-hardened microprocessor (i.e., BRE440 PowerPC), spacecraft bus software, GPS, payload avionics, and ground support hardware and software. Broad Reach has supplied avionics for the AFRLs XSS-11 mission, NASAs LRO and LADEE lunar missions and gimbal drivers on the International Space Station.
Broad Reachs and Moogs avionics products are different, but obviously complementary and proven, said Chris McCormick, CEO of Broad Reach Engineering. But its the spaceflight heritage between our respective companies ears that can help us capitalize on market trends like the move toward small, reliable spacecraft.
Broad Reach Engineering employs approximately 60 people at locations in Golden, Colorado, San Jose, California and Tempe, Arizona. These employeesa mix of engineers, support personnel and manufacturing workerswill begin working for Moog effective immediately.
McCormick will join Moog as group vice president of the Space and Defense Groups Space Sector replacing industry veteran Doug Morash who is retiring.
Doug has been the face of our space business for more than 30 years, added Hennig. You cant replace someone like Doug. But you can ensure the level of excellence continues by tapping into Chris expertise and entrepreneurship.
Prior to the acquisition, Moog joined Broad Reach Engineering as an investor in PlanetIQ, a start-up company that plans to launch a constellation of micro satellites to gather real-time data about the Earth and its atmosphere.
Before McCormick founded Broad Reach Engineering in 1997, he worked at Spectrum Astro and as a contractor for DARPAs Advance Space Technology Program offices. #
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Change That Date
Last year this event went on despite Hurricane Sandys attempt to shut it down, and now...
We are excited to announce that the Javits Center has adjusted its event schedule to accommodate our request for earlier dates in 2013. Please be advised that the new SATCON & CCW dates are now confirmed for Wednesday-Thursday, November 13-14, 2013.
We have recently consulted with major satellite operators, and attendees and speakers, including those from several important branches and units of the DoD. They all support the date change and are planning to participate next year in SATCON.
At SATCON, you stand at the crossroads of innovation and communications. Thousands of attendees and exhibitors alike participate in the ever-changing conversation surrounding satellite-enabled communications and content delivery.
Government/military, media & entertainment, telecommunications, commercial, mobile satellite and enterprise organizations attend SATCON to see the latest products and technologies, network with peers and find potential partners and solution providers.
SATCON provides you with actionable information and knowledge to keep pace with the ever-changing global communications market.
Collaborate with industry leaders who deliver insight and information on emerging technologies. Keep up with whats trending in the world of satellite communications. SATCON is part of the Content & Communications World (CCW) family of events.
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Moving On Up
ARINC Incorporated has appointed Michael DiGeorge a Managing Director of the companys Asia Pacific Division based in Singapore.
Mr. DiGeorge was, formerly, the Senior Director for E-enabled Programs based in ARINCs Hong Kong office.
In his new position, Mr. DiGeorge will focus on growing ARINCs business and solution infrastructure in Asia Pacific, and enhance customer service and support throughout its multiple business lines including aviation communications, networking, airport operations and security.