Sponsored By Viasat
01 Jul 21. Australia-US deal will add 20k space jobs by 2030. The federal government today announced new plans for advanced space collaborations with the US and a deferral of application fees for launch activities – both intended to triple the size of the sector by 2030.
Under a bilateral Technology Safeguards Agreement (TSA) between the US and Australia, principles will be set in place for “further opportunities for Australian space companies, space investment and job growth”, in the sector, according to James Brown, CEO of the Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA).
The agreement will also enhance data protection between both nations.
Already, the Australian civil space sector contributes $4.1bn in revenue, and following this new collaboration initiative, it’s expected to triple the size of the sector by 2030 and provide 20,000 additional jobs.
“This opportunity could further enhance space collaboration and protect the movement of sensitive technologies and goods with one of our closest allies, while retaining flexibility for our local industry to continue to grow and providing new opportunities for Australian space businesses,” said Industry, Science and Technology Minister Christian Porter in a statement.
NASA’s Artemis program plans to launch more humans to the moon over the coming years, and Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Women, said Australia is committed to “supporting NASA’s mission to put the first woman and the next man on the moon”.
In 2019, Australia began investing $150m over five years for Australian businesses to join the NASA Artemis mission.
Various other nations have similar alliances with the Unites States, such as New Zealand and the United Kingdom, especially as America is one of the most fundamental countries in furthering space exploration and innovation.
Cost recovery fees are imposed on companies when applying for launches, under the Space (Launches and Returns) Act 2018.
Usually, the recovery will promote equity where citizens ultimately bear the cost (through taxes), despite the government being the beneficiary of the activity.
Because of this announcement, the government will defer the fees for an additional 12 months – until 1 July 2022 – to “provide opportunities to grow the sector, particularly our domestic launch capability,” according to Enrico Palermo, head of Australian Space Agency.
Australia and the US already have a strong partnership when it comes to space; however, this commitment will open more opportunities for Australians to work with major US companies.
In 1960, Australia was vital to the success of the Apollo 11 mission through its Honeysuckle Creek tracking station and Parkes Radio telescope, which provided key telecommunications throughout the event.
Engineers from Australia’s CSIRO supported communications for the Mars rover landings through the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, one of NASA’s largest tracking facilities outside of the US. (Source: Space Connect)
01 Jul 21. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) announced today the successful delivery of an ESPAStar-D spacecraft bus from Gilbert, Ariz., to L3Harris in Melbourne, Fla. The platform supports the Navigation Technology Satellite-3 (NTS-3) mission for the Air Force Research Laboratory set to launch from Cape Canaveral in 2022.
Northrop Grumman has successfully delivered an ESPAStar-D spacecraft bus to L3Harris in support of the NTS-3 mission.
Built to provide affordable, rapid access to space, ESPAStar-D can accommodate combinations of hosted and separable experimental payloads on six common and configurable payload ports. The bus utilizes an Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) ring as its primary structure, allowing multiple ESPAStars to be stacked together on a single launch vehicle. The platform can support missions in geosynchronous orbit (GEO), low Earth orbit (LEO) and medium Earth orbit (MEO).
“Our unique ESPAStar platform provides proven solutions for customers seeking a modular, cost-effective and highly capable spacecraft bus for hosting technology development and operational payloads,” said Blake Bullock, vice president, National Security Space, Tactical Space Systems, Northrop Grumman. “ESPAStar’s innovative design offers unmatched flexibility for orbit locations and deployment, and we are proud to partner with L3Harris to meet all of our customers’ requirements, including target cost goals supporting the Air Force’s on-orbit deployment schedule.”
The experimental NTS-3 payload is designed to augment space-based position, navigation and timing for warfighters and features a modular design capable of supporting a variety of mission needs.
In addition to the NTS-3 mission, Northrop Grumman is partnering with the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (AFSMC) in their mission to deliver resilient and affordable space capabilities with the production of three ESPAStar platforms for Long Duration Propulsive Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) (LDPE) missions. LDPE-1 is scheduled to launch in 2021 with the Space Test Program 3 mission.
The NTS-3 bus was built in Northrop Grumman’s state-of-the-art satellite manufacturing facility in Gilbert, Ariz. The facility is currently undergoing an expansion to add more than 100,000 square feet of production space, increasing the overall ESPAStar Integration and Test capacity.
01 Jul 21. Airbus innovative payload successfully launches on Faraday-1P Phoenix. Airbus developed next generation retaskable software defined radio payload to be proven in space. Airbus’ newspace initiative Prometheus will see rapid in-orbit proving of disruptive technology. An Airbus developed next generation retaskable software defined radio (SDR) payload, Prometheus 1, was successfully launched on the Faraday-1P Phoenix cubesat on 30 June. The mission is part of In-Space Missions Ltd’s Faraday in-orbit demonstration programme and follows the unsuccessful launch of the Faraday-1 satellite in June 2020. In the spirit of the newspace approach to innovation, the Phoenix Mission is a rapid re-iteration and improvement of the original mission.
Prometheus 1 is an SDR connected to a 400 MHz UHF antenna and S band antennas that can be reprogrammed in orbit, with Airbus developed Firmware and Software to implement a diverse range of functions. It will be able to survey radio spectrum usage across the world from orbit, detect radar tracking of the Faraday-1P Phoenix satellite, and potentially identify and locate search and rescue beacons. Airbus is working with the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) to foster greater partnerships between SMEs, government and Airbus on space.
Airbus Defence and Space in the UK created the self-funded Prometheus programme to enable the rapid development of agile and innovative payloads using disruptive technology to offer significant capability to customers. Building on Airbus’ proven track record of working with SMEs to create novel capability and prove concepts, the Prometheus programme has developed a series of experimental payloads which will be tested in orbit.
Richard Franklin, Managing Director of Airbus Defence and Space UK said: “Our collaboration with SMEs continues, despite the unfortunate loss of Faraday-1 last year, and we are developing new technologies and services for customers. Our partnership approach, pioneered as part of Skynet 5, of actively engaging with SMEs and developing new technologies and service solutions to prove concepts before delivering them to customers will help meet UK defence needs. Once Prometheus 1 is proven in orbit we will use it to de-risk future services and in life support solutions.”
Prometheus 1 will prove passive radio frequency sensing in orbit, enabling the technology to be incorporated on future missions where hostile tracking of sovereign spacecraft is likely or possible.
The Airbus newspace team is championing the Prometheus programme and a second mission is already in development, which will be cubesats with RF and optical sensors, and features inter satellite links. Prometheus 2 is due for launch in 2022.
30 Jun 21. Kleos Space second launch successful. Eight satellites now in orbit.
- Kleos’ four Polar Vigilance (KSF1) satellites have successfully been launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida aboard the Spaceflight SXRS-5/SpaceX Transporter-2 Mission and are now in orbit
- Kleos is now establishing contact with the satellites to commence commissioning
- Launched into a 525km Sun Synchronous Orbit, the Polar Vigilance satellites increase Kleos’ coverage to the north and south of its Scouting Mission
- Data from first cluster is being delivered to customer and early adopter revenue has commenced, with repeat subscription-based revenues starting in Q3
- Development of Kleos’ third satellite cluster, the Polar Patrol Mission (KSF2) cluster, on track to launch in late 2021 onboard another SpaceX Falcon 9
Kleos Space S.A (ASX: KSS, Frankfurt: KS1), a space-powered Radio Frequency Reconnaissance data-as-a-service (DaaS) company, successfully launched its second satellite cluster of four satellites, the Polar Vigilance Mission (KSF1), on 30 June 2021(UTC) aboard the Spaceflight SXRS-5/SpaceX Transporter-2 Mission.
Kleos CTO Miles Ashcroft said: “Despite the schedule for the KSF1 satellites from placing the contract to launch being exceptionally ambitious, Kleos’ second cluster has been launched within the time window allocated and on budget. We must acknowledge ISISPACE and Spaceflight as well as our Kleos’ technical team’s work, I am proud of the whole team who have worked together empathetically, and it has made a massive difference with an incredible outcome that cannot be overstated. Kleos is well on track to see its third constellation in orbit by the end of this year. With each cluster launched, coverage and volume of data increases, commensurately increasing our revenue opportunities.”
Deployed into a 525km Sun Synchronous orbit from Cape Canaveral in Florida, the Polar Vigilance satellites further enhance Kleos’ global coverage and data collection capability and broaden the coverage range of Kleos’ first cluster of four Kleos Scouting Mission (KSM1) satellites. Satellite developer, Innovative Solutions In Space (ISISPACE), is performing the Launch and Early Operation Phase (LEOP) support, which includes commissioning of all spacecraft systems and manoeuvring the four satellites into operational formation.
The KSM1 Scouting Mission satellites were launched into a 37-degree low earth orbit in November 2020 and were the world’s first four satellite cluster flown in a formation for precision geolocation capability. Data from the KSM1 Scouting Mission is being delivered to customers and the satellites are being used to develop many space and ground segments for the Company.
Early adopter revenue has commenced, with repeat subscription-based revenues delayed but anticipated to commence in Q3 & increase further in Q4 with the addition of the data from the second cluster, Polar Vigilance satellites. The constellation will grow further with the addition of Kleos’ third satellite cluster – the Polar Patrol Mission, which is on track for a late 2021 launch aboard another SpaceX Falcon 9.
Kleos satellites collect data that is then processed to detect and geolocate radio frequency activity to improve the detection of hidden and illegal activities including piracy, drug and people smuggling, border security challenges and illegal fishing as they can detect transmissions, independent of other systems such as those used in active tracking, or when imagery is unclear, or targets are out of normal aircraft patrol range.
01 Jul 21. Kleos launches Polar Vigilance satellites Second Cluster now in orbit.
- Kleos’ four Polar Vigilance (KSF1) satellites have successfully been launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida aboard the Spaceflight SXRS-5/SpaceX Transporter-2 Mission
- Kleos is now establishing contact with the satellites to commence commissioning
- Launched into a 525km Sun Synchronous Orbit, the Polar Vigilance satellites increase Kleos’ coverage to the north and south of its Scouting Mission
- Early adopter revenue has commenced, with repeat subscription-based revenues starting in Q3
- Development of Kleos’ third satellite cluster, the Polar Patrol Mission (KSF2) cluster, on track to launch in late 2021 onboard another SpaceX Falcon 9
Kleos Space S.A (ASX: KSS, Frankfurt: KS1), a space-powered Radio Frequency Reconnaissance data-as-a-service (DaaS) company, successfully launched its second satellite cluster, the Polar Vigilance Mission (KSF1), on 30 June 2021 aboard the Spaceflight SXRS-5/SpaceX Transporter-2 Mission.
Kleos Space CEO, Andy Bowyer, said: “The second cluster has been launched as planned and on budget, with the incredible work of the Kleos team and our mission partners. Kleos is well on track to see its third constellation in orbit by the end of this year. With each cluster, coverage and volume of data increases commensurately increasing our revenue opportunities.
Andy added “Our satellites collect data that we process to detect and geolocate radio frequency activity to improve the detection of hidden and illegal activities including piracy, drug and people smuggling, border security challenges and illegal fishing as they are able to detect transmissions, independent of other systems such as those used in active tracking, or when imagery is unclear, or targets are out of normal aircraft patrol range.”
Deployed into a 525km Sun Synchronous orbit from Cape Canaveral in Florida, the Polar Vigilance satellites further enhance Kleos’ global coverage and data collection capability and broaden the coverage range of Kleos’ first cluster of four Kleos Scouting Mission (KSM1) satellites. Satellite developer, Innovative Solutions In Space, is assisting with Launch and Early Orbit phase (LEOP) support, which includes software and payload verification, uplink and downlink activation, antenna deployment, and manoeuvring the four satellites into orbit and operational formation.
Kleos Space CTO Miles Ashcroft said: “The timescale for our KSF1 cluster from purchase order to launch was exceptionally ambitious and we have to thank ISISpace and Spaceflight in addition to Kleos’ technical team. I’m proud of the whole team who have worked together empathetically, and it has made a massive difference with an incredible outcome that can’t be overstated.”
The KSM1 Scouting Mission satellites were launched into a 37-degree low earth orbit in November 2020 and were the World’s first four-satellite cluster flown in a formation targeting a precision geolocation capability. Data from the KSM1 Scouting Mission is being delivered to customers whilst the satellites are being used to develop the many Space and ground segments for the Company.
Early adopter revenue has commenced, with repeat subscription-based revenues delayed and anticipated to commence in Q3, and further increase in Q4 with the addition of the data from the second cluster Polar Vigilance satellites. The constellation will grow further with the addition of Kleos’ third satellite cluster – the Polar Patrol Mission which is on track toward a late 2021 launch aboard another SpaceX Falcon 9.
30 Jun 21. Virgin Orbit plane launches four US military satellites into space. Virgin Orbit successfully delivered four U.S. military satellites to low Earth orbit on June 30 as part of the company’s second successful launch of the LauncherOne rocket.
While most space launches start with the rocket standing vertically on a pad, VOX Space, a subsidiary of Virgin Orbit, is one of a growing number of launch providers that takes its rockets up into the sky via aircraft before launching them midair.
For this latest launch, Virgin Orbit’s 747 carrier aircraft Cosmic Girl took off from Mojave Air and Space Port in California, flying out over the Pacific Ocean before finally releasing the rocket. The rocket then ignited and propelled itself to about 500 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, where it delivered the satellites.
This was LauncherOne’s second successful launch, the first being a demonstration launch in January. This mission was a rideshare, carrying four U.S. Defense Department satellites, two optical satellites for SatRevolution and a military satellite for the Royal Netherlands Air Force.
The rideshare space for the four U.S. government satellites was acquired as part of the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Rapid Agile Launch Initiative, which secures commercial launches from nontraditional partners through the Defense Innovation Unit as part of the Space Test Program.
While the U.S. Space Force has not released details on the four cubesats, it noted the STP-27VPA mission’s goal was to launch “four research and development satellites from multiple DoD agencies to demonstrate advanced space technologies.”
This was the first collaboration between the Space Force and new launch provider Virgin Orbit, but it won’t be the last. The Space Force awarded the company a $35m task order in April 2020 for Space Test Program-S28, a mission to place 44 small satellites in low Earth orbit over the course of three launches.
That task order was issued as part of Orbital Services Program-4 — an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract awarded to eight companies by the Space and Missile Systems Center in 2019. OSP-4 is a Defense Department initiative to leverage the commercial small launch market for government payloads, with launches taking place 12-24 months after task orders are issued. The Air Force expects to launch 20 missions over a nine-year period under OSP-4. (Source: Defense News)
30 Jun 21. Space Development Agency Successfully Launches First Missions. The Space Development Agency today announced the successful launch of its first two satellite missions, Mandrake II and Laser Interconnect Networking Communications System (LINCS) and the Prototype On-orbit Experimental Testbed (POET) payload, on June 30 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla.
The launch, supported by SpaceX’s Transporter 2, an all-rideshare Falcon 9 mission, carried aboard SDA’s first two sets of experimental satellites, designed and built with government and industry partners, to gather data on optical communication terminal (OCT) performance in low-Earth orbit (LEO), along with the POET payload to demonstrate on-orbit data fusion, proving out core capabilities required for SDA’s future development efforts.
Optical links between space, air, and ground assets offer significantly higher data rates and lower latency when compared to conventional radio frequency links, and demonstrate a pathway of getting real-time data to warfighter.
Once on-orbit, POET will demonstrate integration of a third-party multiple intelligence (multi-INT) data fusion software application in a LEO satellite modular and upgradeable mission software suite running in an edge-processor that is representative of what is planned for the National Defense Space Architecture’s (NDSA) Tranche 0 constellation.
“SDA is relying on OCTs to get massive amounts of data off of sensors and into warfighters’ hands faster than has ever been possible,” said Derek Tournear, SDA director. “Today’s missions will provide real-world data that we can use to verify our engineering assumptions and space-qualify a significant emerging technology.” He continued, “The lessons learned from on-orbit experiments and tests will directly impact future SDA missions, in line with our spiral development concept.”
On Mandrake II, SDA is working with government partners DARPA and Air Force Research Laboratory to evaluate the pointing, acquisition, and tracking algorithms that allow for OCTs to establish and maintain high-speed communication links. The mission will also characterize data transfer rates and optical link performance between space vehicles in LEO and from space to ground. Immediately after separation from the launch vehicle, the pair of Mandrake II space vehicles will gradually drift apart on orbit, allowing for tests at increasing ranges up to 2,400 kilometers.
For the LINCS mission, SDA teamed with General Atomics (GA) to collect the same general data as the Mandrake II mission with OCTs designed and manufactured by GA that offer increased performance. SDA and GA will also take this technology a step further by demonstrating space-to-air optical links between a LINCS space vehicle and a specially developed OCT pod for the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle. In addition to increasing bandwidth, optical links are also more difficult to detect and disrupt than traditional communication links, enhancing communication in less- and non-permissive environments.
The POET program will provide for an on-orbit Custody Layer data fusion application that will reside within an overarching Battle Management Command, Control, and Communications (BMC3) software system developed for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA’s) Blackjack Pit Boss processor. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II program includes developing a Custody layer application and software development kit using the Scientific Systems Company, Inc. (SSCI) collaborative mission autonomy software suite, (b) ground testing on a CFC-400 satellite processor, (c) host satellite integration, launch and checkout support; and (d) enables an initial flight demonstration of on-orbit multi-INT data fusion onboard Loft Orbital’s YAM-3 satellite.
SDA’s work to push the boundaries of OCT capabilities will directly impact warfighter readiness by disrupting and shortening the traditional sensor-to-shooter and sensor-to-weapon kill chain. With more data traveling faster than ever, leaders will have the tools to react to current and emerging threats with greater speed and assurance. As SDA continues to develop the National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA), smaller-scale development efforts like those launched during this mission will play a key role in ensuring that new technology is effectively implemented with each new tranche, solidifying the nation’s continued superiority in the space domain.
SDA recognizes the importance of continued partnership with government and industry to develop and demonstrate technologies to enhance the performance and resilience of the NDSA. (Source: US DoD)
30 Jun 21. Queensland firm secures $61m to launch hybrid-propulsion rockets. Queensland-based Gilmour Space Technologies has secured $61m in funding to launch its first orbital rocket next year. The business, founded by two brothers in 2013, secured the cash from venture capital investors as part of their Series C round funding, now raising a total of $87m. The funders involved also include US-based Structure Ventures, Australian venture capital firms Blackbird and Main Sequence, and super funds HESTA, Hostplus and NGS Super. The money will facilitate the launch of its “first orbital rocket in 2022”, grow its team, build “sovereign space manufacturing capability for rockets” and most notably, sending hybrid propulsion rockets into space.
Since 2016, brothers James and Adam Gilmour have dreamed of becoming the world leaders of manufacturing orbital-class hybrid propulsion technologies, as they are deemed safer to use and extremely cost-effective.
“It’s fantastic to see the global support for our mission to build and launch lower cost rockets and satellites to orbit,” said Gilmour Space CEO and co-founder, Adam Gilmour.
Hybrid rockets burn a solid fuel in the presence of a liquid oxidizer, which has the benefit of lowering costs as the liquid allows for adjustable control of flow – therefore, it is safer and more precise, compared to commonplace solid propellants.
For the company, driving future launches with these types of rockets will “efficiently address the growing global demand for putting satellites into orbit,” and will put them in the race aside Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos as they plan to eventually send humans into space.
“My brother James and I started the rocket program in 2015 with the goal of one day sending humans to space,” Adam said.
Before this announcement, Blackbird Ventures led the first series of funding in 2017, granting the company AU$5m, following $19m in 2018 as part of the series B funding led by Main Sequence (deep tech investment founded by CSIRO).
Companies such as SpaceDev and Virgin Galactic have dabbled in hybrid propellant technologies as well.
Despite one of SpaceDev’s SpaceShipOne developments killing three employees in 2007 through a hybrid motor burning with HTPB and nitrous oxide, this type of technology is still considered far safer than solid propellants.
In 2022, the Gilmour Space Technologies is aiming to launch its ‘Eris’ orbital rocket into Low Earth Orbit.
The smallsat – a spacecraft less than 500 kilograms in mass – will have a payload of up to 215 kilograms, launching into 500-kilometer Sun Synchronous Orbits (SSO). (Source: Space Connect)
30 Jun 21. Her Majesty The Queen and Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal today visited the Glasgow facility of Spire Global (“Spire”), a leading provider of space-based data, analytics and space services. The visit was part of a series of engagements carried out by The Royal Family across Scotland this week.
Whilst touring the facility, Her Majesty and Her Royal Highness were met by Joel Spark, co-founder and Vice President of Engineering, Space Services at Spire, and Dr Hina Khan, Senior Project Manager. In addition to getting a glimpse of where Spire makes its satellites, The Queen and The Princess were presented with an overview of the technology and shown how the data harnessed from the current constellation is leveraged to solve real world problems facing governments, businesses and humanity.
Joel Spark, VP Engineering, Space Services at Spire, said: “It was an honour to welcome Her Majesty and Her Royal Highness, where we were able to demonstrate the benefits of our technology and how these cutting-edge capabilities are used to better inform our understanding of the world. At a critical time for our planet, continuous technological advancements are needed to tackle the impending threats posed by climate change. The space industry in Scotland, and across the wider UK, has ambitious targets for growth over the coming decade. At Spire Global, we are determined to play our part in realising those ambitions.”
Spire designs and manufactures all its satellites in-house at its Glasgow facility in Skypark, where it has been present since 2015. Spire has announced plans to swap the existing 11,000 sq ft site for a 29,500 sq ft space, also located at Skypark, later this year.
UK Space Agency Chief Executive Dr Graham Turnock said: “From space-based earth observation and data analysis to world-class satellite design and manufacture, Scotland is pivotal to the UK’s ambitions in space. Thanks to its science and engineering strengths and geographical position, Scotland is at the heart of our plans to launch satellites into orbit from home soil in 2022, and we’re proud that the Scottish space sector is growing fast and creating the high-skilled jobs that will power economic growth. I’m delighted that The Queen and The Princess Royal have chosen to visit space businesses today, and I hope Her Majesty and Her Royal Highness will be as thrilled as I am about this extraordinary success story.”
The Scottish Government has publicly backed the goal of growing Scotland’s space sector to £4bn by 2030, and the UK Government has set a target to grow the UK’s share of the global space market to 10 per cent over the same timeframe. According to Scottish Development International, Glasgow manufactures more satellites than anywhere in the world outside of the United States.
About Spire Global, Inc.
Spire is a global provider of space-based data and analytics that offers unique datasets and powerful insights about Earth from the ultimate vantage point so organizations can make decisions with confidence, accuracy, and speed. Spire uses one of the world’s largest multi-purpose satellite constellations to source hard to acquire, valuable data and enriches it with predictive solutions. Spire then provides this data as a subscription to organizations around the world so they can improve business operations, decrease their environmental footprint, deploy resources for growth and competitive advantage, and mitigate risk. Spire gives commercial and government organizations the competitive advantage they seek to innovate and solve some of the world’s toughest problems with insights from space. Spire has offices in San Francisco, CA, Boulder, CO, Washington DC, Glasgow, Luxembourg, and Singapore.
30 Jun 21. New funding from UK Space Agency will kickstart space technology projects. Government grants worth up to £15,000 each will help UK companies get their ideas for space-based technologies or research off the ground. The call for Grants for Exploratory Ideas, part of the National Space Technology Programme aims to fund short, three-month long projects that support innovative space technology activities, encourage collaboration between industry and academia, and encourage new entrants to the space sector.
Projects could include knowledge transfer, skills development, market studies, and proof of concepts for space technology. The UK Space Agency is encouraging those who are new to space technology to participate in the call. Established businesses, non-profits and academics are also welcome to apply.
Charles McCausland, Head of Major Projects and Technology Development, UK Space Agency, said, “As we recover from the impact of the pandemic, this programme will play an important role in nurturing new collaborations and supporting early-stage ideas which have the power to grow the space sector, create jobs and strengthen the UK’s position in the global space market.
Since launching in 2011, the NSTP has supported 277 projects. Previous successful applicants include London-based Rocket Engineering, which invented a magnetic propulsion system the size of a can of coffee, allowing spacecraft to manoeuvre more efficiently in orbit.”
Northumberland’s NORSS developed and tested a data processing pipeline that could use a novel electro-optical camera system to process Low Earth Orbit Space Surveillance and Tracking data, an improvement upon slower conventional radar observations.
Figures released by the UK Space Agency in May show strong growth in the UK space sector. Income rising from £14.8bn in 2016/17 to £16.4bn in 2018/19, representing a growth of 5.7 per cent in real terms, while employment is up by 3,200 from 41,900 to 45,100. Research and development spending rose 18 per cent in real terms from £595m in 2016/17 to £702m in 2018/19. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
30 Jun 21. BAE Systems to deliver first M-Code GPS User Equipment to Germany. A SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle clears the lightning towers around Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station after lifting off June 17, carrying the fifth Lockheed Martin-built Global Positioning Systems III Space Vehicle (SV05) for the U.S. Space Force. BAE Systems will deliver the first batch of new military GPS user equipment to Germany, after being awarded a Foreign Military Sales contract by the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Space Production Corps.
SMC noted in November that Germany was the first state to order new military GPS user equipment (MGUE) which will be able to access M-Code, a new anti-spoofing, anti-jamming GPS signal designated for military use.
“When your life depends on GPS, you want to make sure you receive the signal and that it’s real,” Greg Wild, BAE Systems’ Director of Navigation and Sensor Systems, said in a statement. “With adversaries trying to jam and spoof signals to disrupt forces and make precision munitions miss their marks, there’s a growing need for trusted GPS, which M-Code delivers.”
BAE Systems declined to reveal the value of the contract or the number of units included in the deal, but noted it was the first of many Foreign Military Sales (FMS) expected to come.
“The initial contract value for the FMS sale of M-Code GPS receivers to Germany is relatively small, but the contract is a ‘pathfinder’ for other FMS sales,” Wild told C4ISRNET. “M-Code technology is available now, and becoming increasingly important to our international customers looking for next generation GPS receivers with improved capabilities and security.”
While Germany will be the first U.S. ally to receive new M-Code ready receivers, SMC noted in November that additional foreign sales were in the works. At the time, SMC said it is authorized to facilitate the delivery of receivers to 58 pre-approved nations. And in March, the center announced a three-year agreement to loan M-Code ready MGUE to allies for laboratory and field testing
There are now 24 GPS satellites on orbit capable of broadcasting M-Code — the number needed for full operational capability of the space segment. Delays with the ground and user segments, however, means that the full M-Code capability is still unavailable.
A 2019 Government Accountability Office report noted that the $6.2bn Next Generation Operational Control System being built by Raytheon Technologies to control GPS III satellites and M-Code was five years behind schedule. In March 2020, it was announced that the Space Force would pay $378m to replace the system’s computer hardware because the vendor had been sold to a Chinese company. Delivery of OCX Blocks 1 and 2 is expected in 2022.
In response to the delay, the Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a contract in 2017 to upgrade the current GPS ground system with M-Code Early Use, a limited version of the signal that can operate in the interim. MCEU upgrades were completed in July 2020 and the Space Force declared operational acceptance in November. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
30 Jun 21. Thuraya Signs Strategic Agreement with Delta Bridge to Drive Government Satellite Connectivity Growth.
– Thuraya’s reliable government solutions complement Delta Bridge’s integration expertise
– Satellite connectivity will boost Delta Bridge offerings and capabilities
Thuraya, the mobile satellite services subsidiary of the UAE’s sole satellite communications operator, Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat), announced it has signed a Solution System Integrator partnership agreement with Delta Bridge.
Delta Bridge, a Virginia-based PAE company (NASDAQ: PAE, PAEWW), is a leading systems integrator and consulting firm that provides U.S. government customers with a diverse portfolio of innovative services and support to ensure their mission success anywhere they deploy.
Through the partnership, Thuraya and Delta Bridge will deliver key government customers secure satellite communication connectivity and mission-critical applications for the defense and government sector, backed by the companies’ broad portfolios of experience and capabilities.
Delta Bridge specializes in secure turnkey telecommunication solutions catering to the mission-critical needs of U.S. government customers, supporting logistics, oil and gas and maritime initiatives. Since 2006, the company has supported U.S. government integration projects. Leveraging Thuraya’s innovative technologies and solutions, Delta Bridge will support government customers and build on its history of research and development (R&D), engineering, conceptualization and project management.
Sulaiman Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of Thuraya, said: “Thuraya is pleased to welcome Delta Bridge as a Solution System Integrator for government and enterprise entities. This partnership will further enhance our commitment to supporting the US government customers with state of the art satellite solutions that will enhance the safety and security requirements, as well as provide them with a wide range of MSS solutions for land, maritime and aero platforms. Nowadays, the integration of end-to-end solutions for government customers is highly specialized and the overall demand for reliable satellite communication needs are on the rise. I am confident that this new partnership will meet those needs on all levels, including customization, interoperability as well as the integration of secure solutions.”
“Through this partnership, Delta Bridge will merge its specialized expertise with Thuraya’s unique capabilities to capitalize on next-generation technologies that deliver solutions for our customers’ most critical needs,” said Delta Bridge President Tom Becherer. “Adding satellite connectivity to our portfolio will expand our scope of our services and capabilities to include encrypted cloud applications, the Internet of Things (IoT), mobility, security and surveillance and networking.”
Yahsat recently announced the successful completion of the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) of Thuraya 4-NGS, part of a transformational program delivering a comprehensive new MSS ecosystem. Thuraya 4-NGS builds on Thuraya’s space and ground and user (products and solutions) segments. Complemented by a 5G-ready core network, Yahsat’s newest satellite system will ensure increased coverage and capacity, while delivering next generation mobility solutions for all customer segments, including defense, government, enterprise and consumers.
About Thuraya Telecommunications Company
Thuraya, is the mobile satellite services subsidiary of the Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat), a leading global satellite operator based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), fully owned by Mubadala Investment Company. Established in 1997, Thuraya offers innovative communications solutions to a variety of sectors including maritime, energy, government, broadcast media, military, aerospace and humanitarian NGO.
Thuraya’s superior network enables clear communications and uninterrupted coverage across two-thirds of the globe by MSS, global VSAT coverage and around the world through its unique GSM roaming capabilities. The company’s diverse range of technologically advanced and dependable mobile satellite handsets and broadband devices provide ease of use, value, quality and efficiency. Through relevant partnerships, Thuraya stays ahead by delivering solutions and supporting applications that meet the rapidly transforming nature of market demands. Thuraya remains committed to keeping everyone within reach in any circumstance by making accessible the essential tools required for vital connectivity.
For more information, please visit www.thuraya.com.
For more than 65 years, PAE has tackled the world’s toughest challenges to deliver agile and steadfast solutions to the U.S. government and its allies. With a global workforce of about 20,000 on all seven continents and in approximately 60 countries, PAE delivers a broad range of operational support services to meet the critical needs of our clients. Our headquarters is in Falls Church, Virginia. (Source: PR Newswire)
29 June 21. Hyperspace Challenge Announces Launch of University Research Team Accelerator Program. Program seeks academic teams developing tech that can be applied to the space domain.
Hyperspace Challenge, a business accelerator run by the Air Force Research Laboratory and CNM Ingenuity for the U.S. Space Force, announced today the launch of a program to partner with university research teams in order to increase collaboration opportunities between universities and the federal government.
The program, which will run in tandem with the 2021 Hyperspace Challenge, is seeking university research teams working with technology or towards a prototype that can be applied to or solve problems in the space domain. Applications for the program will open on July 1 and close on September 8.
University researchers will have the opportunity to learn about government missions directly from government innovators, and create their own proposals to support these missions. University teams are traditionally siloed from commercial and government innovation, leaving them with little context for how innovation is evolving in these landscapes. By getting acquainted with the federal government’s research and development initiatives to support innovation in space, they will gain greater context for developing their current research, and be able to plan research in the future that is better aligned with government needs.
Additionally, university teams will collaborate with and work alongside the startup teams participating in the 2021 Hyperspace Challenge cohort. This community will help forge relationships between researchers, government customers and commercial startups which will accelerate innovation and form the foundation of partnerships that extend beyond the program.
“Our goal for this program is to get universities acquainted with the priorities of the government,” noted Matt Fetrow, Technology Outreach Lead at the Air Force Research Laboratory. “This will get them on track for a long-term alignment with the government so they know what to work on and how to win more grants as a result.”
University program applicants will attend webinars in August alongside commercial cohort participants to learn more about government needs and begin conceptualizing proposals for how their technology addresses those needs. In October, selected teams will meet with government customers and network with different federal agencies working in the space domain. This will all lead up to a summit in November where finalists will present their work and apply for government funding.
About Hyperspace Challenge
Hyperspace Challenge was created in 2018 by the Air Force and CNM Ingenuity, the enterprise arm of Central New Mexico Community College, to accelerate partnerships between the government and startups to shift space innovation into hyperdrive. The accelerator, which is now directed by CNM Ingenuity in conjunction with the new U.S. Space Force, runs annually, and cultivates networks in an innovation ecosystem prioritizing connection and community over bureaucracy. To date, the accelerator has supported 37 small businesses and universities from across the U.S. and abroad. More information about the university program can be found at hyperspacechallenge.com. (Source: PR Newswire)
29 June 21. Northrop Grumman delivers bus for Space Force’s experimental navigation satellite. Northrop Grumman has delivered a bus for Navigation Technology Satellite-3 (NTS-3), ensuring that the experimental positioning satellite is on track for launch in 2023.
As one of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s four Vanguard programs — initiatives that are expected to deliver transformational technologies to the war fighter — NTS-3 is being developed to demonstrate new positioning, navigation and timing capabilities that could improve GPS satellites in the future. For example, the experimental satellite will feature steerable beams for regional coverage and a reprogrammable software-defined payload that can be updated on orbit. While the satellite won’t impact the GPS satellites expected to launch in the next few years, it could lead to improvements in the GPS IIIF satellites, such as space vehicles 14, 15 and 16 which will go on orbit in the late 2020s.
In addition to demonstrating technology for future GPS satellites, NTS-3 will contribute to the current GPS constellation while on orbit, supporting war fighters with an additional PNT signal from geostationary orbit. AFRL expects to conduct tests with the satellite for one year before transferring it to the U.S. Space Force, which then will integrate it with the GPS constellation.
AFRL awarded L3Harris an $84m contract in 2018 to act as prime contractor on the satellite and develop the payload. The government cleared the satellite for fabrication in August 2020 after it passed a critical design review.
Now, AFRL says Northrop Grumman has delivered the ESPAStar-D spacecraft bus that will host the experimental payload.
“The transfer of the bus allows L3Harris to move forward building the NTS-3 spacecraft,” NTS-3 Deputy Principal Investigator 2nd Lt. Charles Schramka said in a June 24 statement. “L3Harris will perform tests and begin integrating the NTS-3 PNT payload onto the bus. Together the bus and payload will form the NTS-3 spacecraft.”
In its statement, AFRL highlighted the fact that it’s using a commercial bus for NTS-3, a growing trend in government satellite acquisitions. The ESPAStar bus includes communications, power and control subsystems with standard interfaces for simple payload integration. It also features an AFRL-developed Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) ring, which enables manufacturers to stack multiple payloads on one launch vehicle.
“This is the first time an ESPAStar-D bus has been built and delivered as a commercially-available commodity,” said Arlen Biersgreen, the NTS-3 program manager. “NTS-3 is using a unique acquisition model for the ESPAStar line that fully exercises the commercial nature of the Northrop Grumman’s product line, in order to provide the bus to another defense contractor for payload integration using standard interfaces.”
In addition to the bus delivery, AFRL took delivery of the Global Navigation Satellite System Test Architecture receiver, a reprogrammable software-defined device that can receive both GPS signals and the advanced PNT signals transmitted by NTS-3
Originally expected to launch in 2022, AFRL noted in April that the rideshare secured for NTS-3 had been pushed to fall 2023. While the lab says the delay is entirely outside its control, it will use the time to conduct more ground experimentation and risk reduction. (Source: Defense News)
29 Jun 21. Detraxi receives SBIR grant from US Space Force. The company will compete in the two-day USSF Pitch Day event to win an SBIR Phase II on-the-spot contract award. Disruptive Cloud-based next-generation satellite network solutions provider Detraxi has won a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the US Space Force (USSF).
The grant will provide the company with a chance to take part in Customer Discovery with key USSF stakeholders at the USSF Pitch Day (SFPD) event that would be held on 18 to 19 August. Detraxi will compete with several other companies for an SBIR Phase II on-the-spot contract award.
The two-day competitive pitching event provides an opportunity for firms to win a spot contract award to address military space challenges.
Pitch days allow the service to move away from the traditional contracting processes to make use of innovations offered by small businesses.
Detraxi’s Apparition architecture leverages the integration of Cloud computing’s power, flexibility and scalability advantages with a virtualised Satcom ecosystem.
The resulting highly flexible and scalable digital platform virtualises satellite networking, shift network management to the cloud and to build more flexible and agile SatComs.
Detraxi president and co-founder Michael Spytek said: “We are honoured to be among this esteemed group. The Department of Defense has recognised the importance of Commercial SatComs aligned with small business innovation to their strategy.
“They also recognise that the satellite industry has largely missed the bus on adopting Cloud technology to enable greater capability, resiliency and security while lowering the cost.
“We are very excited to be working with Space Force to help bring the next generation of satellite capability to the warfighter.”
In November 2019, the US Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) held a Pitch Day in San Francisco, California, US, to enable the quick acquisition of technologies for military use. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
29 Jun 21. Airbus strengthens its military satellite communications position. Airbus will place a dedicated UHF (Ultra High Frequency) military communications hosted payload on board the EUTELSAT 36D telecommunications satellite. As the leading provider of military satellite communications (milsatcom) services in Europe, Airbus will be able to offer a new UHF communications service to the armed forces, particularly those of European countries and NATO allies.
As the UHF frequency band is a relatively scarce orbital resource, this offering will make up for the capacity shortage around the world. Airbus has already signed the first firm orders for this capacity, well ahead of the satellite’s scheduled launch in the first half of 2024.
The UHF payload will be operated from Airbus’s Network Operations Centre in Toulouse. Its 18 UHF channels will enable up to 200 simultaneous communications over Europe, the Middle East, Africa, large parts of Asia, as well as the Atlantic Ocean (to eastern Brazil) and the Indian Ocean (to western Australia).
Military UHF satcoms are used by the armed forces for operations on land, at sea and in the air. They have a high level of interoperability and are therefore very useful for multinational and coalition operations. The UHF band is very flexible and is of particular interest to Special Forces units as it offers a lightweight, robust and highly secure means of communication. An extensive range of terminals for use on land, at sea and in the air is available to meet the needs of the various armed forces.
Airbus has unique experience in operating UHF milsatcom services. This new payload will enhance its portfolio throughout the lifespan of the satellite. Airbus is the only armed forces private satcom operator to cover the full spectrum of military (UHF, X, Ka Mil) and commercial (L, C/Ku, Ka) frequency bands and applications.
The EUTELSAT 36D satellite will be built by Airbus based on its Eurostar Neo platform. In addition to the UHF payload, it will also be equipped with 70 Ku-band transponders for TV broadcasting.
29 Jun 21. NSSLGlobal and DDK Positioning expand partnership to offer enhanced GNSS positioning to government customers.
- DDK Positioning’s precise GNSS positioning solution provides an accuracy of less than 5cm
- Partnership enhances NSSLGlobal’s full-service solutions portfolio for government and defence customers
NSSLGlobal, the award-winning satcom and IT solutions provider, has expanded its strategic alliance with DDK Positioning (DDK), to incorporate enhanced Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) positioning navigation and timing (PNT) solutions into NSSLGlobal’s portfolio of solutions for government customers.
NSSLGlobal will provide, install and service DDK’s GNSS Precise Point Positioning (PPP) solution to government and defence customers, which will enhance their ability to precisely locate and track their assets. DDK’s independent GNSS technology is provided exclusively through Iridium’s global satellite constellation, and creates a robust, resilient and completely independent GNSS solution that has an enhanced accuracy of less than 5cm, compared to the standard GPS accuracy of 10m.
Kevin Gaffney, DDK Positioning CEO based in Aberdeen, said: “This partnership continues to be a fantastic fit for DDK Positioning and we’re pleased to be able to expand the joint offering to NSSLGlobal’s long and established list of government customers. We look forward to continuing the journey with such a strong and well-respected company such as NSSLGlobal.”
Neil Fraser, Director of Defence and Space Programmes, NSSLGlobal, says: “We are pleased to expand our partnership with DDK to bring improved resilience, assurance and positioning accuracy to deployed defence platforms on land, at sea and in the air and to small teams globally, developing tailored solutions where required. This is an exciting service offering, coming to the market at a time where resilient PNT is a key demand and forces are expected to operate at greater reach and with greater dispersion”.
29 June 21. Australia modernises SATCOM R&D facilities. A world-class, purpose-built research facility at DST Group’s Edinburgh site in South Australia will support the development of a next-generation satellite communications (SATCOM) system for the ADF.
A robust military SATCOM capability provides the ADF’s primary means of long-range communications and is critical in enabling the ADF to operate globally in an increasingly complex and contested environment.
With access to a worldwide network of high quality and high capacity communications satellites, Defence is upgrading and developing its ground-based infrastructure to ensure ADF personnel continue to have access to robust and reliable satellite communications.
Senior DST Group researcher Edward Arbon says the modernised research facility enables his team to operate directly with Australia’s current and emerging military satellite communication systems.
The new facility has been certified against stringent performance specifications not previously achievable. This means that it can be used in national and international exercises, and in support of operational satellite communications.
“The facility’s new capabilities come online at an opportune time, with the ADF increasingly engaged with the space domain,” says Arbon.
A recent example of DSTG’s own SATCOM research, which will be boosted by the new facility, is the Cortex satellite spectrum monitoring system.
Cortex is an invaluable tool for Defence network operators who get satellite links up and running, and assist users in the field. Operating as a constant ‘eye in the sky’, Cortex detects any anomalies in the system and provides operators with enhanced situational awareness of what is happening across the network.
With the new research facility now integrated into the wider Defence SATCOM network (albeit customised for R&D), DSTG researchers are able to more easily identify where innovative technology like Cortex can provide the most benefit for network operators and users. (Source: Rumour Control)
25 Jun 21. Arianespace deploys 36 more satellites to OneWeb. France-based Arianespace will complete its 58th launch from Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome aboard its Soyuz rocket, to launch an additional 36 OneWeb satellites into near-polar orbit next month.
The launch, its fifth on behalf of global communications company OneWeb, will represent OneWeb’s 254th satellite sent into low-Earth orbit, about 450 kilometres above the Earth.
Arianespace said the launch will assist the internet connectivity provider in offering high-speed, low-latency connectivity services across the globe and to a range of industries, including defence, aviation, government and more by year-end.
Flight ST33, which will carry out the mission, is slated to take place on 1 July, and last a total of three hours and 51 minutes.
The flight will include nine separations of four satellites, which will then raise themselves to their operational orbit.
“This launch will mark the completion of OneWeb’s ‘Five to 50’ ambition to bring into orbit the satellites required to enable connectivity services to the 50th parallel and above by years end, which includes Canada, UK, northern Europe, Alaska and Arctic regions,” Arianespace said in a statement.
Once fully deployed, the OneWeb constellation will allow user terminals that are capable of offering 3G, LTE, 5G and Wi-Fi coverage, providing high-speed access globally, as the provider continues its work to increase connectivity where fibre cannot reach.
The news comes just one month after the announcement of Arianespace’s last successful launch of OneWeb satellites into low-Earth orbit.
Arianespace confirmed that Soyuz Flight ST31 orbited 36 new OneWeb satellites on Friday, 29 May following a successful launch from the Vostochny Cosmodrome.
“Congratulations to all the teams who made this seventh launch dedicated to OneWeb’s satellites a success,” Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace and Starsem, said.
Arianespace is expected to oversee a further 12 Soyuz launches through 2021 and 2022, enabling OneWeb to deploy its full global constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites before the end of 2022.
OneWeb Satellites is a joint venture of OneWeb and Airbus Defence and Space. (Source: Space Connect)
25 June 21. SpaceDataHighway Reaches Milestone of 50,000 Successful Laser Connections. The SpaceDataHighway– the world’s first ‘operational optical communication system – based on cutting-edge laser technology – has achieved the milestone of 50,000 successful laser connections. During the first five years of routine operations these successful connections have downloaded more than 3.0 Petabytes of data and have a service availability rate of >99.7% in 2021.
The SpaceDataHighway is a public-private partnership between the European Space Agency and Airbus, which owns and operates the system, taking full advantage of the laser communication terminals developed by Tesat-Spacecom in cooperation with the DLR German Space Administration. SpaceDataHighway enables the transfer of data (including imagery, voice and video) from LEO satellites and airborne platforms, by laser communications via the EDRS-A and EDRS-C geostationary satellites, to receiving ground stations across Europe.
Laser Communications: A Game Changer
It represents a game changer in the speed of space communications, using cutting-edge laser technology to deliver secure data transfer services at a rate of up to 1.8 Gbit/s in near-real time. Our system relays data from Low Earth Orbit Earth Observation satellites moving at a speed of 26000km/h at 700km altitude via our two geostationary satellites at 36000km to the ground.
The system’s satellites are designed to lock on to low-orbiting satellites via laser and collect their data as they travel in low Earth orbit scanning the Earth. From its position in geostationary orbit, the SpaceDataHighway acts as a relay, transmitting the large quantities of data acquired by these observation satellites down to Earth in near-real time at a speed of up to 1.8 Gbit/s, instead of storing the data on board until the satellites pass over their own ground station.
We can download 230GB of data in a typical link session which lasts around 18 mins on average –the SpaceDataHighway is capable to relay up to 40 terabytes of data acquired by observation satellites, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and other mobile assets, to Earth which is the equivalent of streaming more than 400,000 MP3 songs per day.
The establishment of the laser connections is controlled by the SpaceDataHighway’s Mission Operation Centre which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week at Airbus premises near Munich. Operators receive transmission requests from customers, programme the space and ground segment and monitor the performance of communications.
Preparing for the future
The service is currently used by the European Commission’s Earth Observation Copernicus programme. Airbus is serving the connectivity needs of the four Sentinel 1 & 2 satellites and is relaying around 40% of the total data of these satellites via SpaceDataHighway. The service has significantly accelerated the delivery of large volumes of data to Earth monitoring centres. With the successful commissioning of the second satellite EDRS-C, SpaceDataHighway has doubled capacity. Airbus is now expanding the SpaceDataHighway service to more customers and is targeting to at least triple the number of LEO satellites served with the current system by 2030.
Pleiades Neo, Airbus’s most advanced optical Earth Observation constellation with four 30cm resolution satellites will be the next satellites to benefit from SpaceDataHighway’s infrastructure and will further optimise mission reactivity providing Near Real Time data delivery and rapid tasking. From later this year, the system will also relay information from the Columbus module of the International Space Station (ISS) via the Columbus Ka-band (ColKa) service, bringing enormous benefits to both astronauts and also scientists and researchers across Europe by enabling them to progress vital research faster.
Airbus is also developing user terminals to enable new applications. Recently, with the Netherlands’ organisation for applied scientific research TNO, Airbus has launched the UltraAir programme to develop a laser communication terminal demonstrator for airborne platforms. This new programme is a key milestone in the roadmap of Airbus’s overall strategy to drive laser communications further, which will accelerate the benefits of this technology as a key differentiator for providing Multi-Domain collaboration for our government and defence customers. (Source: ASD Network)
24 Jun 21. Estes Industries Launches New Rocket Company. Estes Energetics brings agile and innovative solid rocket motor and aerospace systems research, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities to market. Estes Industries, the world leader in small solid-propellant rocket motors, announced today the creation of a spin-out company designed to serve government and industry customers. Known as Estes Energetics, the new company provides full-spectrum engineering capabilities and bridges the gap between the hobby rocket industry and large aerospace companies. With the formation of Estes Energetics, customers now have an agile and innovative source for solid rocket motors.
Estes Energetics will deliver research, development, rapid prototyping, testing, integration, and production for small solid rocket motors for a range of atmospheric and space applications, making it an ideal partner to rapidly create propulsion and aerospace solutions. Utilizing the company’s rapid prototyping capabilities, the Estes Energetics team recently completed the development of a booster motor for a rocket-launched unmanned aircraft for a prime defense contractor, taking the design from initial concept to delivery of an initial production lot in less than six months.
Estes Energetics is led by Karl Kulling, who has over fifteen years’ experience leading engineering, manufacturing, and business development in aerospace and other industries. He most recently built and led the Future Vertical Lift strategy team at Bell and previous led one of Bell’s composites manufacturing facilities. Karl started his aerospace career at Aurora Flight Sciences as a leader in the research and development organization.
“I am excited to be launching this new venture that will deliver the full lifecycle of rocket motor products, from research & development of new propulsion technologies to implementation and integration in government and commercial solutions. With the support of Estes Industries, we are starting from a solid foundation that provides us the full spectrum of capabilities needed to bring complete solutions to market”, said Karl Kulling, CEO of Estes Energetics.
A 2017 Government Accountability Office report on the solid rocket motor industrial base identified challenges and risks of a decreasing supply base. At the same time, customers continue to demand innovation in terms of increased safety, performance, and cost. As a new entrant to the market, Estes Energetics will address these needs and concerns. The company intends to focus its initial R&D work in three areas: (1) developing low-cost rocket motors that meet Insensitive Munition (IM) requirements of the US military (2) meeting the needs of the burgeoning small space launch industry, and (3) developing integrated solutions that require not only energetics but also complex aerodynamic, thermal, and structural analysis and advanced control systems.
About Estes Energetics
Estes Energetics is a defense and industrial company founded in 2021 that researches, designs, engineers, manufactures, tests, and integrates solid-propellant rocket motors and associated technologies for government and commercial customers. It combines practical propulsion solution development with advanced aerospace research and development under one team. Estes Energetics has engineering, manufacturing, and test facilities in Penrose, Colorado near Colorado Springs. (Source: PR Newswire)
25 Jun 21. UK one step closer to spaceflight launches as government publishes environmental consultation response.
New guidance released to help ensure space travel fits into a modern, greener Britain.
- government publishes consultation response to spaceflight environmental objectives
- guidance sets out how regulator should consider climate change, air quality, noise and the marine environment when deciding launch and spaceport licence applications
- paves the way for a range of spaceflight activities to take place from the UK in the future
The first launch into space from British soil has taken another leap forward as the government today (25 June 2021) publishes its response to a consultation setting out how the regulator should meet environmental objectives for spaceflight.
As part of the 6-week consultation, the government set out guidance on how the regulator – which will oversee all launch and space activity from the UK – should consider the environment when deciding launch and spaceport licence applications, helping to ensure space travel fits into a modern, greener Britain.
Following consultation responses, the government is not proposing to make changes to the 4 environmental objectives covering climate change, air quality, noise and the marine environment but will make minor clarifications to the guidance.
This includes specifying that where spaceports are located on the coast, the regulator is required to assess impacts on the shoreline, estuaries and internal waters as well as the sea, and the requirement for operators to use specific methods for estimating the likelihood of waking people from night-time launches.
This work forms part of the government’s spaceflight programme and will pave the way for a range of commercial spaceflight and scientific endeavours to operate within the UK in the future.
Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said:
Earth observation is essential for improving our understanding of climate change and the UK’s world-leading efforts to tackle it.
Today is an important step towards our commitment to growing the UK space sector and cementing our role on a global scale by unlocking a new era in spaceflight for the country. And as we embark on this exciting development, we’re making sure launches into space from UK soil reflect our green ambitions for the future.
The UK space sector has established technical expertise that already makes a significant contribution to global efforts to monitor and understand the Earth’s environment. By bringing spaceflight to UK soil, this expertise can be put to further good use while benefiting the economy and jobs market.
The Space Industry Act 2018 and regulations made under it are a critical part of the government’s commercial spaceflight programme. It aims to enable the UK to be the first country in Europe to achieve small satellite launch, generating growth for the UK’s economy and establishing the foundations for ongoing market growth and commercial sustainability.
Under the act, applicants for a spaceport or launch operator licence are required to submit an assessment of environmental effects as part of their application and this will form part of any decision making when it comes to deciding licence applications and conditions.
It is expected that the regulator will start receiving licence applications later this summer when the regulations come into force, enabling the first launches from UK spaceports from 2022. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
25 Jun 21. Maxar delivers 3D data products and satellite imagery to Australian DoD. The data suite and high-resolution satellite images delivery will support Australia’s national security missions. The delivery is part of multi-million-dollar contracts awarded to the company.
The data suite and high-resolution satellite imagery will help militaries improve situational awareness and support decision-making.
The Australian DoD will use the support for national security missions.
The 3D data products suite includes a 3D Surface Model that provides a ‘high-fidelity, positionally accurate and photorealistic view’ of terrain and surface features, as well as textures.
According to the company, the suite’s ‘Digital Terrain Model’ product is a bare Earth elevation data layer.
This layer is generated with ‘fully automated processing’ and will be delivered at speeds far beyond conventional technologies.
Maxar Global Field Operations executive vice-president Tony Frazier said: “Maxar’s high-resolution 3D data and satellite imagery are integral for high-confidence mapping, planning and operational support, which can help end-users make better decisions and save lives, resources and time.
“Maxar is proud to expand our partnership with the Australian Department of Defence by providing our newest 3D data products.”
With these latest contracts, Australia showcases the ‘increased adoption’ of commercial satellite imagery for critical national defence and intelligence missions.
Since 2018, the Australian DoD has been a Maxar Direct Access Program partner.
The DoD has full access to directly task and download satellite imagery from ‘Maxar’s current constellation in real-time to its ground station’.
25 Jun 21. Boeing bolsters JP 9102 team. Leidos is among three new firms tapped to join a Boeing-led team bidding for the opportunity to deliver a new defence SATCOM system to the ADF.
Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) has revealed Leidos Australia, Viasat and the Indigenous Defence and Infrastructure Consortium (IDIC) will join Saber and ClearBox in supporting its push to secure the Commonwealth government’s JP 9102 Australian Defence SATCOM System contract.
If selected, the bolstered Boeing-led industry team would be tasked with delivering a sovereign system designed to enable the joint command and control of deployed Joint Task Forces by leveraging communications technology with enhanced range and capability.
The team has committed to building in-country space capability, aimed at providing the Australian Defence Force with flexibility, resilience and agility.
“Boeing is committed to providing a modern sovereign solution to the ADF with high confidence on schedule and cost,” BDA emerging markets director Matt Buckle said.
“To deliver this, we are partnering with strong businesses who offer best-in-class capability here in country.”
Leidos’ involvement would include the provision of cyber security and network integration services, software development environments and cyber test ranges.
“Leidos Australia is excited to collaborate with BDA to offer a resilient and effective solution for JP9102,” Leidos Australia chief executive Paul Chase said.
“As always, our local team of 1,400 people are committed to helping the ADF deliver their mission.”
Global communications firm Viasat would be responsible for leveraging its experience delivering military and commercial satellite constellations over the past two and half decades to help inform delivery.
“We appreciate the opportunity the Commonwealth has given Viasat to contribute to its satellite communications systems through our work on the JP 2008 programs,” Viasat Australia government systems managing director Rob Teasdale said.
“Viasat has a proven track record of supporting government and commercial programs in Australia, and would be honoured to extend our work with the ADF on the JP 9102 initiative.
“Through our commercial and government program initiatives, as well as our next-generation ViaSat-3 satellite that will serve Asia-Pacific, we believe we can continue to build sovereign satellite engineering capability in the region.”
IDIC’s role would involve exploring opportunities for Indigenous-owned and controlled businesses to participate in the JP 9102 program, by “aligning discrete work packages to their capabilities” and supporting capability growth.
“To have First Nations businesses and people involved from the very beginning allows us to develop and build capability and capacity,” said IDIC director George Mifsud.
“After all, what could be more sovereign than having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses working on a sovereign SATCOM solution?”
The JP 9102 tender was released in April, with Lockheed Martin Australia also expressing interest in the program.
Last month, Lockheed appointed Mike Scott as program director and Julia Dickinson as chief engineer, military satellite communications, to drive its expansion in the space domain.
Dickinson will be responsible for the overall Australian engineering performance for Lockheed Martin’s JP 9102 program solution.
The JP 9102 tender is scheduled to close on 24 December. (Source: Defence Connect)
24 Jun 21. LeoStella Delivers Their First LoftOrbital Satellite. LeoStella, a specialized satellite constellation design and manufacturing company, delivered its first satellite to Loft Orbital Solutions Inc. (Loft Orbital).
LeoStella delivered the “Yet Another Mission-3” (YAM-3) satellite to Cape Canaveral for an upcoming SpaceX launch. The YAM-3 satellite will host a variety of payloads, including a demonstration for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Blackjack program and an Internet of Things (IoT) payload for Eutelsat. The satellite is part of a broader contract to build and integrate satellite buses for several upcoming Loft Orbital missions (see information below). The delivery of this satellite demonstrates LeoStella’s ability to leverage its continuous manufacturing line of commercial satellites to respond to short-term mission needs. LeoStella’s intelligent manufacturing facility uses a software-defined digital process combined with a robust supply chain to make satellite production more flexible and efficient. The factory is designed to maximize efficiency, turning out up to 40 satellites per year, and is scalable to keep pace with the rapidly accelerating market demand.
“We have built a great partnership with Loft Orbital,” said Brian Rider, chief technology officer at LeoStella. “By pulling satellites off our production line, we are able to tailor them for Loft’s Payload Hub and get them delivered in less than half the time normally required for a satellite build cycle. Loft has a unique approach to ‘Make Space Simple’ for their customers. We are proud to be part of their ecosystem of enabling technologies and processes.”
“We’re excited to leverage LeoStella’s manufacturing capabilities to provide our customers with our in-orbit services,” said Pierre-Damien Vaujour, Loft Orbital co-founder and CEO. “We’ve been impressed by the LeoStella team’s agility and dedication, and we’re looking forward to expanding our partnership for future missions. Now that our Payload Hub is fully compatible with LeoStella’s product, our upcoming missions will be even more reliable and delivered to orbit even faster.”
Loft Orbital Solutions Inc. (Loft Orbital) has signed a contract with LeoStella to build and integrate satellite buses for several upcoming Loft Orbital missions.
Under the contract, LeoStella will use their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, which opened in 2019, to produce multiple satellites, based on ESPA-class buses for use in Loft Orbital’s upcoming missions, including its YAM-3 and YAM-5 satellites. YAM stands for “Yet Another Mission.” These buses will be nearly identical in design to the LeoStella satellite bus product line it has developed for other customers.
Loft Orbital flies customer payloads as a service, handling the entire mission on behalf of its customers while ensuring that the customer remains in control of payload operations. Loft Orbital has developed the hardware and software technologies needed to fly multiple payloads on a common bus design without mission-specific customization.
These technologies allow it to procure satellite buses in advance of knowing the payload configuration of the mission, supporting imagers and cameras, radio frequency sensors, scientific payloads for geophysical research or space science, weather and climate sensors, and specialized sensors focused on national security missions. This approach results in a service that provides unparalleled speed to orbit and reliability for Loft customers.
Loft Orbital’s upcoming missions will fly a variety of customer payloads, including a demonstration for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Blackjack program, multiple Internet of Things (IoT) payloads for Eutelsat as well as a hyperspectral imager for the United Arab Emirates government. Loft Orbital is currently executing several YAM missions scheduled to launch throughout the next 24 months.
Both LeoStella and Loft Orbital are approaching the increasing industry demand with a similar mindset. LeoStella is leveraging its new facility, outfitted with intelligent workstations, connected tools, and unique automated integration and test approaches combined with a robust supply chain to introduce newfound flexibility and efficiency into satellite production.
Loft Orbital has developed the Payload Hub, a modular, hardware and software payload interface unit that enables it to rideshare any payload configuration on a standard satellite bus. The company has also developed the highly automated Cockpit Mission Control System, which enables customers to task their payload without the burden of conducting mission operations.
Executive Comments, Pierre-Damien Vaujoiur, “Loft has developed the hardware and software product stack that enables us to fly a wide range of payloads on a standard bus design,” said Pierre-Damien Vaujour, Co-CEO of Loft Orbital. “Leveraging LeoStella’s existing bus architecture and its flexible production facility provides us with a reliable satellite bus twice as fast as any other vendor. That translates into massive value for our customers in the form of a faster schedule and lower program risk because we procure satellites well in advance of manifesting our missions. We couldn’t be more excited for this partnership.”
Brian Rider, “Loft’s innovative approach to payload configuration coupled with LeoStella’s rapid manufacturing of high-quality satellites reduces the barrier of access to space,” said Brian Rider, the CTO at LeoStella. “We are excited about this program with Loft as it demonstrates our ability to minimize the cost and reduce the time required to manufacture satellites. The road to space has never been shorter.” (Source: Satnews)
21 June 21. Complete With Beamforming Tech, Fleet Space to Launch Centauri 4 Via SpaceX Falcon 9 On June 26. Fleet Space Technologies will launch their sixth smallsat, Centauri 4 (C4), aboard SpaceX Falcon9 on Saturday morning, June 26, at 4:26 a.m., Adelaide, Australia, time, with the US launch occurring at Cape Canaveral.
To be delivered into orbit at 450 km above the Earth, Centauri 4 is the size of a shoebox and has been integrated with digital beamforming technology, making this Fleet Space’s most advanced payload. This is a major achievement for the company to incorporate this tech in a smallsat payload, due to the small craft’s power and volume constraints, and this will allow for substantial increases in throughput of customer data, service a higher number of customer portals at once as well as increase data reliability and security by reducing the impact of interference. C4 will implement Fleet Space’s first 3D printed antenna system, completely designed in-house.
Fleet Space has released a video explaining the achievements of their beamforming team at this direct vlink…
“Space is no longer the sole domain of governments and multi-billion dollar satellites. Space is open for business, and we’re only just starting to tap into what is possible,” said Fleet Space CEO Flavia Tata Nardini. “With our digital beamforming technology, we are changing space and making it accessible. With a crowded radio spectrum containing all of the world’s wireless communications, bandwidth efficiency is everything. Our engineers have managed to fit this incredible technology in the vacuum of space on a tiny nanosat. This is where Fleet Space’s technology makes it world first. I have been working and launching nanosatellites for more than 10 years now and I have never been so excited by a technological breakthrough such as this latest generation of the payload. This and the new 3D printed antennas that my amazing team have built at Fleet Space. We can finally demonstrate how powerful nanosatellites can be in the comms world. We call this payload the Knight. Look at it, you can understand why!”
Additionally, there is a 2nd experimental payload which will have an even greater increase in data capacity — this new generation payload is a huge milestone in the company’s planned constellation of 140 smallsats.
Now with the ability to shape and steer multiple beams in their nanosatellites and, therefore, reduce interference, Fleet Space can perform more work, transfer more data and do it in flexible and secure ways never before possible at this scale. The firm’s smallsats are servicing IoT customers who will reap the rewards of collecting and organizing vast amounts of data from every remote corner of the Earth. Critical infrastructure customer use cases include tracking power outages, receiving alerts of unwanted encroachments along easements and bushfire risks, through to applications in defence, mining and logistics.
Fleet Space smallsat on-orbit. Image is courtesy of the company.
Fleet Space already has five smallsats on-orbit in their LEO constellation. With significant growth in the company’s development of cutting-edge technologies, the company’s capabilities of their agnostic hybrid satellite, low-powered, wide area network (LPWAN) are being used for the development of remote, massive, IoT applications, on the Earth, the Moon and Mars, through the firm’s Seven Sisters Lunar Mission. (Source: Satnews)
25 Jun 21. Iridium to develop payload for US Army smallsat constellation concept. The payload will provide more effective sensor-to-soldier data transmission during field operations. Iridium Communications has secured a $30m US Army research and development (R&D) contract to develop a new experimental payload. The payload will be hosted on another low-Earth orbit (LEO) commercial satellite constellation. This is expected to complement the capabilities of Iridium constellation.
The effort is intended to support the rapidly deployable small satellites (smallsat) constellation concept to deliver greater sensor-to-soldier data transmission in the battlefield.
The company will leverage its Burst technology to develop the payload. The technology is a service that can transmit space data to millions of enabled devices in one go.
Iridium government programmes executive vice-president Scott Scheimreif said, “Iridium has always been focused on providing innovative, reliable and high-value services to the US warfighter.
“This programme can help add to warfighter readiness to conduct a full range of military operations at a tactical level.
“This includes the ability to enhance effectiveness of military units, weapons and equipment during combat against near-peer adversaries.”
This R&D project was facilitated via an other transaction agreement (OTA) agreement. The contract was signed between Advanced Technology International (ATI) and Iridium under the authority of the Aviation and Missile Technology Consortium (AMTC).
The US DoD and Iridium have partnered for over two decades, with thousands of American government subscribers using Iridium push-to-talk (PTT), voice, Internet of things (IoT), L-band broadband and Iridium Burst services.
Iridium CEO Matt Desch said, “This is one of the largest engineering contracts in Iridium’s history, and we’re pleased to once again bring the value of Iridium and our partner ecosystem to the fore at the request of the United States Army.
“It also represents another phase in the evolution of our growing relationship with the DoD, and we’re excited to engage on this experimental multi-constellation adaptation of our service.”
In April 2019, Iridium Communications won a $54m contract from the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) of the DoD to support the Enhanced Mobile Satellite Service (EMSS) gateway for four and a half years. (Source: army-technology.com)
21 Jun 21. Rocket Factory Augsburg (RFA): Successful Tests Of Their Full-Scale, Staged-Combustion Engine. Launch service provider Rocket Factory Augsburg (RFA) has announced their successful firing-tests of the company’s full-scale, staged combustion engine. During the 2 second test, which was carried out in Kiruna (Sweden), RFA successfully commissioned the first staged-combustion engine in Western Europe. Staged combustion technology is characterized by higher efficiencies and performances compared to traditional rocket engine designs.
The partially unburnt exhaust gases from the turbopump are fed back to the main combustion chamber, thereby avoiding the release of unburned fuel. The recycling of the exhaust gases significantly increases the overall efficiency of the launch vehicle while reducing launch costs and also minimizing CO2-footprints of the launch activity.
Two planned milestones were already reached at the start of May of this year. In the “power-pack test,” the turbopump and pre-burner were started and operated in a stable, steady-state, thermo-mechanical condition for a total burn-time of 8 seconds. In the next development step, the first ignitions of the main combustion chamber were conducted, after which the test team connected the “power pack” to all systems of the full-scale engine and performed the complete system-level test.
RFA stands-out as the ninth company worldwide to have successfully tested a full-scale rocket engine using staged combustion. Staged combustion is the technological back bone of some of the world’s most successfully space companies and to this point, was limited to the United States, Russia, China, India, Japan and Ukraine.
The US companies SpaceX and Blue Origin were the latest private companies to have developed this sophisticated technology with the “Raptor” full-flow staged combustion engine and “BE-4” staged combustion engine.
“The successful test of our full-scale staged combustion engine reinforces our claim for market leadership,” said Dr. Stefan Brieschenk, the company’s Chief Operating Officer.
“Our technology allows us to carry 30 percent more payload into space at the same cost to the customer,” added Jörn Spurmann, RFA’s Chief Commercial Officer. (Source: Satnews)
20 June 21. Green MP Teanau Tuiono Wants To Stop Rocket Lab Launching Weapons Into space On Behalf Of Foreign Powers.
Green MP Teanau Tuiono wants to change the law to stop Rocket Lab from launching weapons into space on behalf of foreign powers.
Tuiono, the Green Party’s security and intelligence spokesperson, announced his Member’s Bill — legislation proposed by MPs who are not ministers — at a protest outside Rocket Lab’s Auckland headquarters on Monday.
His proposed law change would amend the Outer Space and High Altitude Activities Act and prohibit the launching of military hardware into space from New Zealand. The Bill will only go before Parliament if it’s pulled from the ballot box.
“This change would ensure that Aotearoa New Zealand’s space industry and its facilities could never be used by military actors to launch weaponry, establishing in legislation an enduring commitment to peaceful conduct in outer space,” says Tuiono.
“The Government has a responsibility to make sure technologies sent into orbit from New Zealand soil do not assist other countries’ armies to wage war.”
Rocket Lab, a United States-owned but New Zealand-based space company estimated to be worth more than US$1.2bn, has become a leader in a new market of small rocket services provided by private companies.
It launches satellites into space for the United States military and private companies from Māhia Peninsula, located between Napier and Gisborne.
Some of the launches, such as one dubbed Gunsmoke-J in March this year on behalf of the U.S. Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command, have raised questions about New Zealand’s role in assisting with foreign warfare.
The Gunsmoke-J mission was designed to improve U.S. missile targeting capabilities during combat, which activists from Auckland Peace Action say makes us complicit in U.S. military practices, thereby making New Zealand a military target.
“The U.S. military satellites launched by Rocket Lab can control activity such as communications with troops, surveillance and reconnaissance, intercepting information or spying, and targeting weapons, like drones, bombs, and also nuclear weapons,” says Auckland Peace Action spokesperson Eliana Darroch.
“If we send these satellites into space with U.S. military capacities, we are complicit in the drone and precision bombings and other acts of warfare which the United States does.”
She says with New Zealand being a proud Nuclear Free country, and being instrumental in the 2017 international treaty banning nuclear weapons, launching satellites capable of controlling nuclear weapons is unacceptable.
“The New Zealand Government must immediately suspend Rocket Lab’s launches until a public review of the Outer Space and High Altitude Activities Act has taken place.”
It is due for review this year.
“It is hypocritical for the New Zealand Government to want peace, yet allow Rocket Lab’s military payload launches to continue,” says Darroch.
“Rocket Lab, with its connections to the Pentagon through its board and investors including a CIA venture capital firm, and Lockheed Martin, is a private company defining New Zealand’s foreign relations.
“Rocket Lab is creating links between New Zealand and the U.S. military that the public have not consented to. That is undemocratic and dangerous.”
Tuiono says the Greens are also conscious of the impact successive rocket launches have on the whenua and moana of Māhia.
“When we visited Māhia the whānau told us about the absence of local birds and kaimoana and we continue to support the call from whānau for independent cultural and environmental impact assessments.”
A Rocket Lab spokesperson told Newshub the company does not launch weapons or payloads that contribute to weapons programs or nuclear capabilities.
“Every single satellite payload must be permitted under this law by the New Zealand Space Agency, associated agencies, and the responsible minister. It is not permissible to launch weapons, nuclear or conventional, under this legislation.”
She said the Government will not approve payloads that:
- contribute to nuclear weapons programs or capabilities
- harm, interfere with, or destroy other spacecraft, or systems on Earth
- support or enable defense, security or intelligence operations that are contrary to Government policy
- Are likely to cause serious or irreversible harm to the environment
Stuart Nash, the minister responsible, must be satisfied that the applicant meets the threshold tests in the law, the spokesperson said. Payloads must be consistent with New Zealand’s obligations in relation to:
- The United Nations Charter
- International Humanitarian Law
- International Human Rights Law
- International obligations and commitments relating to the use of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons
Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods announced earlier this year New Zealand’s first Government-funded space mission to measure methane emissions from space, with the help of Rocket Lab.
The New Zealand-U.S. company has won a contract that may send two of its spacecraft on a mission to Mars in 2024. (Source: Satnews)
24 Jun 21. ST Engineering iDirect Initiates The 1st Newtec Dialog® XIF Hub For AXESS Networks In Mexico. ST Engineering iDirect has been awarded a contract to provide their long-term partner, AXESS Networks, with the first Newtec Dialog® XIF hub deployed in Mexico to connect remote communities and businesses. The hub will be used by AXESS Networks’ customer, mobile operator Altan, to deliver highly sought-after 4G mobile services to rural sites across the region.
A current user of the iDirect Evolution® platform, AXESS offers a range of VSAT services across the Americas and EMEA regions and is a leading regional operator. In expanding their portfolio with Dialog, the company can now tap on more solutions from ST Engineering iDirect’s portfolio to execute its growth plans across many different markets.
AXESS will leverage ST Engineering iDirect’s Mx-DMA return technology, a core feature of the Dialog platform, to extend 4G cellular backhaul connectivity services to remote parts in Mexico, reaching 100 Mbps/30 Mbps throughput per site. Mx-DMA is an efficient and dynamic return technology and will enable AXESS to seamlessly share satellite capacity efficiently among their terminals, while satisfying the most demanding throughput requirements in markets such as cellular backhaul, trunking and high-end enterprise.
This patented waveform technology delivers the highest quality connectivity experience for end-users and will empower AXESS to offer the widest range of cellular backhaul applications to expand their market share.
“We are always striving to improve our technological offering to our customers and therefore we always look for the best possible solutions available,” said Miguel E. Rodriguez, President of AXESS Américas. “Our partnership with ST Engineering iDirect enables us to remain at the cutting edge of satellite communications technology so that we can reach and meet the high demand of our rural customers in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. We are thrilled to be the first to implement a Dialog platform in Mexico as it will enable us to continue on our path of growth and to advance our business and corporate objectives. We now have the best combination of a certified teleport, the best platforms and high performance HTS technology. With ST Engineering iDirect, we look forward to further building our capabilities and expanding our reach to remote users that require mobile services.”
“We are delighted that AXESS has selected our comprehensive portfolio, enabling them to offer their customers every possible range of service with the best possible return and lowest total cost of ownership,” said Darren Ludington, Regional Vice President of Sales, Americas, ST Engineering iDirect. “Communities are often difficult to connect in rural areas of the country, but mobile connectivity is a necessity, enabling people and businesses to access critical services such as mobile banking and to stay in touch with friends and family. Through our platform range, we are able to help customers like AXESS scale their networks to extend highly efficient, reliable and cost-effective services to people in harder-to-reach areas, driving our vision of connecting global cities.” (Source: Satnews)
At Viasat, we’re driven to connect every warfighter, platform, and node on the battlefield. As a global communications company, we power millions of fast, resilient connections for military forces around the world – connections that have the capacity to revolutionize the mission – in the air, on the ground, and at sea. Our customers depend on us for connectivity that brings greater operational capabilities, whether we’re securing the U.S. Government’s networks, delivering satellite and wireless communications to the remote edges of the battlefield, or providing senior leaders with the ability to perform mission-critical communications while in flight. We’re a team of fearless innovators, driven to redefine what’s possible. And we’re not done – we’re just beginning.