Sponsored By Viasat
19 Aug 21. Spire Global Receives DASA Next-Gen Space Tech Funding for RF Signals Detection and Geolocation Project. DASA Awards Spire Global £800k – Their Largest Funding to Date Awarded to a Scottish Innovator – as Part of the Space to Innovate Campaign. Spire Global, Inc. (NYSE: SPIR) (“the Company” or “Spire”), a leading provider of space-based data, analytics and space services, today announced significant funding awarded by Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), a UK Government-backed program, as part of its Space to Innovate Campaign’s Themed Competition. The award, which represents the largest funding to date awarded to a Scottish innovator, will support the demonstration of radio frequency (RF) signals detection and geolocation from multiple satellites in Spire’s low earth orbit (LEO) nanosatellite constellation.
The RF spectrum is frequently at risk of unauthorized use, interference or manipulation and as a result, the monitoring of RF activity has become increasingly important to government entities. Spire’s capabilities in building and operating LEO multi-payload satellites capable of collecting and analyzing a wide variety of signals can play a crucial role in supporting this monitoring process. The company will demonstrate its ability to geolocate RF signals emitted near the Earth’s surface, focusing on L-Band SATCOM signals, and investigate further geolocation techniques using Spire nanosatellites designed and manufactured in Glasgow, Scotland. The Space to Innovate Campaign was launched in collaboration with DASA and the Defence Technology Laboratory (Dstl) space program, to promote space resilience and operational effectiveness. The campaign seeks proposals that can maintain the UK’s freedom of action in the space domain by developing future space technologies that enhance and protect space military and civil potential.
The campaign format is unique from other DASA competitions and comprises space-related challenges that will be released in ‘drops’ throughout 2021 and 2022. This approach enables greater variation of contract values and durations to be issued by DASA, which provides larger and longer contracts for more mature technologies, whilst also enabling less mature innovations to be explored.
Theresa Condor, EVP & GM Spire Space Services at Spire Global Inc., said: “It is an honor for us to be selected by DASA for this mission in support of the UK Government and its defense activities and to be recognized as part of Scotland’s innovative space technology scene. Using Spire expertise in signal detection and geolocation, the project will take advantage of our capabilities as a space services provider and utilize the expertise and heritage of our low earth orbit nanosatellite constellation, consisting of more than 100 satellites and 17 ground stations globally.”
Debra Carr, Innovation Partner at DASA, said: “I’m thrilled that Spire has been awarded this funding – the largest award we have given to an innovator in Scotland. They are a fantastic company to work with, and their impressive technology that helps us understand the present and potential impact of RF signal detection and geolocation is a great showcase of Scottish contributions to the space domain. This fund decision further reinforces the unique type of technologies that Scotland can offer defense.”
About Spire Global, Inc.
Spire is a leading global provider of space-based data, analytics, and space services, offering access to unique datasets and powerful insights about Earth from the ultimate vantage point so that 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, Boulder, Washington DC, Glasgow, Luxembourg, and Singapore. To learn more, visit http://www.spire.com.
18 Aug 21. Spacecom and Get SAT Demonstrated Superior Results for Micro Sling Blade Ka-Band ESA on AMOS-17 Advanced Satellite.
Extraordinary Downlink & Uplink Speeds Reached on Powerful AMOS-17 Digital Satellite by Get SAT’s Fully Electronic, Super Low-Profile Ka-Band Satcom-On-The-Move Terminal
Spacecom (TASE: SCC), the satellite services provider and owner-operator of the AMOS satellite fleet, and Get SAT, an innovator in small, lightweight satellite communication terminals for airborne, ground and maritime applications, today announced the successful testing of Get SAT’s next generation Micro Sling Blade Ka-Band Satcom-On-The-Move terminal on AMOS-17’s advanced, digital Ka-Band. The test was hosted at the SMS Teleport in Rugby, UK.
AMOS-17, the most advanced HTS satellite serving Africa, was chosen by Get SAT for testing its newest electronically steered antenna (ESA), bringing together optimal G/T and a high performing satellite terminal that resulted in an unparalleled throughput of 5 MBPS forward and 25 MPBS return rate.
This combination of AMOS-17’s capabilities and the Get SAT Micro Sling Blade ESA offers superior performance satellite communication, flexible solutions, and competitive advantages for customers in aviation and land-on-the-move markets.
Get SAT’s scalable ESA terminal is fully integrated, all-in-one, modem-agnostic solution that includes a built-in Get SAT Micro Modem and GS950 modem (iDirect 950). As an off-the-shelf, end-to-end terminal with industry leading SWaP and no trade-offs, it provides reliable communications at a low-profile to meet a range of governments, defense and first responder applications.
“The Micro Sling Blade’s successful proof of concept testing with Spacecom’s AMOS-17 satellite is another step forward,” said Kfir Benjamin, Get SAT’s CEO. “Get SAT is now beginning to supply this super low-profile ESA to government and defense customers requiring powerful, lightweight SWaP solutions.”
Spacecom Senior VP Business Development & Marketing Ofer Asif added, “The AMOS-17 is an advanced digital platform serving an array of customers in a wide range of applications. We are keen to work with companies such as Get SAT that bring new and exciting applications to the market.”
About Get SAT:
A privately held company located in Rehovot, Israel, Get SAT Communications provides affordable, portable, and extremely efficient antenna and terminals that offer high-data-rate communications for ground, air, and maritime applications. Get SAT provides services for government and military use, enterprises, first responders, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and humanitarian groups.
For more information, please visit www.getsat.com (Source: PR Newswire)
17 Aug 21. Microsoft Expands Its Space Cloud With New SES-Boeing MEOsats.
The full constellation of next-gen O3b mPower satellites is expected to be on-orbit by 2023, said SES CEO Steve Collar.
Microsoft today announced it plans to integrate its Azure Orbital ground network with satellite firm SES’ next-generation O3b constellation, in a move that could position the tech giant to provide greater coverage for the Defense Department.
The new satellites, dubbed “03b mPower,” will have an increased throughput speed and lower latency (time it takes to transmit to the ground), according to SES and Boeing officials who spoke to reporters today. The first generation of O3b satellites were built by Thales-Alenia; Boeing will manufacture the next-generation sats.
SES and Boeing are “hoping” to launch the first three next-gen systems on a SpaceX rocket by the end of the year, said Steve Collar, SES CEO, with another batch planned for early in the year. The full constellation of 11 O3b mPower birds is expected to be on-orbit by 2023.
SES currently operates 20 O3b satellites in MEO at about 8,000 kilometers in altitude, plus another 50 in Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO, some 36,000 kilometers).
Microsoft’s Azure Orbital essentially rents ground stations as a service to satellite operators, and links them to Microsoft’s cloud services. It is specifically cultivating ties to the Pentagon to serve as a link between DoD satellites and commercial satellites, something DoD is keen on in order to create a more robust network less susceptible to crippling attack.
Microsoft announced in October last year that it was expanding its space services with Azure Space, and partnering with SES and SpaceX to link into their space-based internet constellations; in December 2019, Microsoft linked to SES’s GEO communications sats along with those of Viasat and Intelsat.
“Utilising SES’ medium earth orbit system enhances the power of Azure Orbital and enables us to deliver greater resiliency and comprehensive satellite connectivity solutions for our customers,” said William Chappell, VP Azure Global, in today’s SES press release.
Because the O3b constellation is in MEO, it doesn’t actually require a lot of ground stations to operate, unlike satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO, below 2,000 kilometers) — and the integration of the satellites (and the stations) in the Azure Orbital eliminates the need for optical inter-satellite links, explained Collar.
“With a MEO constellation, one of the great benefits is you don’t need, sort of, hundreds of ground stations. In fact, with only seven grand stations around the world, we’re able to deliver full global service,” he said. “As I mentioned, a number of those ground stations are being integrated directly into Microsoft’s network, directly into Azure, to make sure that one hop away from those ground stations, our customers are going to get full access to cloud services, and it’s part of this whole power of cloud scale. We don’t have communications between the satellites because frankly we don’t need them.”
Collar noted that the SES is using open systems software to integrate the new satellites into the rest of its network — a feature that will make it easier for DoD to link its satellites as well. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
17 Aug 21. Honeywell (NASDAQ: HON) has signed a collaboration agreement with InfiniDome to jointly develop and deliver GPS signal protection systems. The solutions are intended to serve a variety of purposes for both defense and commercial applications, and to support a wide range of vehicle platforms, including commercial aircraft, urban air mobility systems, unmanned aerial systems and surface vehicles.
Around the world, GPS signals are used for navigation in both the commercial and military markets, but consistent connection with these signals, while critical, is not always achievable. Even the latest systems can encounter issues in “GPS-denied” environments, where signal service is marginal or blocked. Reception issues can occur in dense urban areas, such as near tall buildings or under bridges. In these instances, it is important for air and surface vehicles to be equipped with technology to readily handle signal disruption and maintain access to critical navigation and timing information. As more small vehicles take to the skies and roads in heavily populated areas, GPS signal availability must be maintained to provide accurate navigation, ensure safety and protect property.
“In combining Honeywell’s best-in-class navigation sensors with leading-edge GPS resilience technology from InfiniDome, we’re working to develop a first-of-its-kind holistic solution built on tightly integrated layers of protection for all uses of navigation for unmanned air and ground vehicles,” said Omer Sharar, CEO, InfiniDome. “InfiniDome is proud to be working collaboratively with Honeywell to bring about the next generation of GPS protection technology.”
The joint solution is designed to be a best-in-class navigation platform that can seamlessly handle loss or lack of GPS signals, therefore greatly reducing the likelihood of collisions and detour. Additionally, this will allow customers to increase payloads and decrease mission times with the omission of the expensive sensors currently employed to handle GPS interferences — which grow more prevalent by the day.
The Honeywell-InfiniDome solutions will include hardware, software and services that bring customers increased value compared with existing systems. The technology will also support public safety for quickly evolving low-altitude applications such as cargo drones and urban air transportation vehicles. The initial solution offering is expected to be commercially available in the first half of 2022.
“Intentional GPS jamming and spoofing incidents are on the rise, and this partnership will enable a rapid solution to this critical industry need,” said Matt Picchetti, vice president and general manager, Navigation & Sensors, Honeywell Aerospace. “This partnership will create world-class solutions that will help accelerate the future of flight, especially in urban areas.”
17 Aug 21. ThinKom Solutions today announced the development of a new family of phased-array antennas for deployment on satellites and other space vehicles. The antennas are based on ThinKom’s proven VICTS (Variable Inclination Continuous Transverse Stub) technology. The multi-frequency full-duplex antennas are designed for operation on geostationary and non-geostationary satellites using C-, X-, Ku-, Ka-, Q-, V-, E- and W-band frequencies. They can provide steerable high-capacity inter-satellite links as well as space-to-earth and earth-to-space feeder and user links.
The new ThinKom payload antennas are compact and lightweight, with a 30-cm diameter antenna weighing less than 5 kg. They can be nested for multi-beam applications without the blockages that can occur with multiple parabolic dish arrays. They can also support digital beam forming within regional user beams.
The space payload VICTS antennas are designed with an aluminum structure and space-compatible components to function reliably under extreme conditions of radiation, shock, vibration and temperature. The compact highly reliable conformal arrays do not require any post-launch deployment mechanisms, eliminating the added weight and complexity of traditional satellite antenna systems.
The high-efficiency VICTS antenna architecture enables a smaller mounting size and volume for a given level of performance, as well as lower inertia than traditional satellite designs. The result is extremely low power consumption, a critical requirement for space applications.
Other key features include 80-degree scan angle coverage, wide instantaneous channel bandwidth up to 2 GHz, polarization diversity, low sidelobe emissions and continuous jitterless high-agility scanning.
“For space-based applications, long-term dependable and maintenance-free performance is a no-compromise requirement,” said Bill Milroy, CTO and chairman of ThinKom Solutions. “Our highly reliable VICTS platform has been thoroughly field-proven with thousands of units already deployed in aero, land and maritime mobile environments, across more than 23 m cumulative hours of service.”
“We believe our space payload antennas hit the ‘sweet spot’ between the bulkier and heavier gimbaled dish antennas, with their deployment and kinematic complexities, and the less efficient power-hungry electronically steered arrays (ESAs),” Milroy added. “A 30-cm VICTS antenna only requires a small fraction of the power and area required for a comparable performing ESA.”
16 Aug 21. Pipistrel Selects Honeywell’s Revolutionary Small UAV SATCOM System For All Unmanned Aircraft Platforms. Honeywell’s satellite communications system for Nuuva V300, V20 and Surveyor aircraft is world’s smallest, but packs the punch of technology found on jetliners. A Honeywell (NYSE: HON) breakthrough in compact satellite communications technology will bring the safety, connectivity and efficiency trusted for decades by airplane manufacturers and airlines to three of Pipistrel’s exciting new aircraft, including the fixed-wing Surveyor and both unmanned Nuuva platforms, the V300 and smaller V20.
Weighing in at only 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds), Honeywell’s Small UAV SATCOM system is 90% lighter than the company’s next smallest connectivity system, yet it brings the same capabilities enjoyed by larger aircraft to the Nuuva V300, V20 and Surveyor. Honeywell’s offering, a highly innovative and popular product targeting a rapidly growing new market segment, will for the first time be implemented specifically on an unmanned cargo or optionally manned aerial vehicle.
“We are excited to offer our customers a global communication solution, which is location independent and cost-effective,” said Pipistrel CEO Ivo Boscarol. “The addition of Honeywell’s Small UAV SATCOM to our unmanned aircraft platforms unlocks global beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) connectivity for command-control, as well as mission-specific data relay. Our customers will enjoy the ability to connect to their assets anytime, anywhere, without the need to set up elaborate ground-based BVLOS infrastructure.”
Satellite communications, or SATCOM, refers to a broad category of key technologies that connect aircraft to each other and to operators or air traffic control on the ground via satellites. Traditionally, satellite communications terminals have only been available to install on larger business and commercial transport aircraft due to their large size, weight and the power required. However, Honeywell’s Small UAV SATCOM system is 30% lighter than competing options, customizable, and can be installed in different locations on an aircraft to accommodate a wide range of platforms.
“Honeywell’s small UAV SATCOM system is a game-changer for small or medium-sized unmanned aircraft, such as the Nuuva cargo or Surveyor aircraft, that previously couldn’t be equipped with satellite communications,” said Stéphane Fymat, vice president and general manager, Unmanned Aerial Systems and Urban Air Mobility at Honeywell Aerospace. “Now, they have access to everything we’ve come to expect from the large-aircraft experience, like global connectivity or fleet monitoring — but it’s been packaged in a size that is conducive to a much smaller aerial vehicle.”
The system provides unmanned aerial vehicles with global coverage and real-time video streaming to the ground. It also enables beyond-line-of-sight capabilities, so vehicles can be operated remotely beyond the operator’s visual sight. It can be used for a variety of applications, including logistics and delivery services performed by UAVs. Also, the Small UAV SATCOM can keep vehicles connected even in remote areas or over water where other ground-based communications systems, such as 4G, are not available.
Pipistrel’s Nuuva V300 is a long-range, large-capacity, autonomous UAV. It will take off and land vertically with battery power, meaning it does not require a runway, and has significantly lower operating costs than helicopters. It can carry loads up to 460 kilograms (~1010 pounds) for more than 300 kilometers (~186 miles), making it an ideal solution for deliveries to areas traditionally accessible only by helicopter. Its smaller sibling, the Nuuva V20, shares the same architecture and advantages of the larger V300, but is designed to serve as a lighter cargo transport vehicle carrying loads of up to 20 kg.
The Surveyor aircraft uses a fixed-wing design that is designed to be customized with various sensors and cameras for use in applications like wildlife management, coastal patrol, traffic observation, or search and rescue efforts.
Honeywell is a major player in the emerging Urban Air Mobility segment, offering a full line of avionics, flight control, navigation, radar, communications, actuation, cooling, motors, and turbo-electric propulsion systems — all tailored for piloted vertical takeoff and landing, urban air mobility and unmanned cargo vehicles. Honeywell also offers aerospace integration and certification expertise for enabling the commercialization of these vehicles.
For more information on Honeywell’s advanced solutions, visit the UAS/UAM page on the Honeywell Aerospace website.
Honeywell Aerospace products and services are found on virtually every commercial, defense and space aircraft. The Aerospace business unit builds aircraft engines, cockpit and cabin electronics, wireless connectivity systems, mechanical components and more. Its hardware and software solutions create more fuel-efficient aircraft, more direct and on-time flights and safer skies and airports. (Source: PR Newswire)
17 Aug 21. Pléiades Neo – at the double! Pléiades Neo 4, the second satellite of the Pléiades Neo Earth observation constellation, was successfully launched by Arianespace’s European launcher Vega from French Guiana last night.
Pléiades Neo 4 was released from the launch vehicle, very close to its final 620-km sun-synchronous polar orbit, which it will reach within the next few days. The satellite will be phased 180° with Pléiades Neo 3 on the same orbit to start forming a constellation. This will enable daily imaging of any place on Earth at 30cm native resolution, and between two and four times a day when the four-satellite constellation is complete.
“Pléiades Neo will offer a truly best-in-class capability to our customers and will strongly enhance our position in the very high-resolution market” said François Lombard, Head of Intelligence at Airbus Defence and Space. “The first images from Pléiades Neo 3 are outstanding and confirm that we took the right decision in terms of design and performance to address the increasingly demanding requirements of the geospatial sector.”
Comprising four identical satellites, the 100% Airbus manufactured, owned and operated Pléiades Neo constellation offers a native resolution of 30cm with an imaging swath of 14km, the widest in its category. Thanks to their unmatched agility, the constellation will be able to cover the entire Earth landmass five times per year. The new satellites will work hand in hand with the existing Pléiades satellites and the rest of the Airbus dozen-strong Earth observation satellite fleet.
The highly innovative design of the Pléiades Neo spacecraft is equipped with the next generation silicon carbide optical instrument, building on the technology that Airbus first pioneered in the early 2000s. The Pléiades Neo constellation will also benefit from laser optical and Ka-band links with the Airbus SpaceDataHighway (EDRS) geostationary satellites to enable urgent acquisitions less than 40 minutes after tasking, to swiftly respond to the most critical situations.
16 Aug 21. Australian start-up Orbit Industries develops ‘Uber’-like launch services. Emerging Australian space company Orbit Industries (OI) is developing an ‘Uber’-like on-demand launch service, and seeking $3m from investors before an expected launch in 2024.
The Perth-based start-up is hoping to make launching payloads into space cheaper and easier by providing a next-day launchpad service, sent to the client directly.
According to director of OI Volodymyr Usov, who spoke to The Financial Review, the payload will slot into OI’s Orbit Boy aircraft, which can be ready for launch within 24 hours.
Orbit Industries is a company birthed from the merging of Space Industries and Orbit Express.
In an interview with Stockhead, Usov said, “You can think about us as the Uber of space.
“How our system works is, using an app, customers can order a space launch, then our Air-Launch system will be coming to them and not the other way.”
OI will deliver the services to the client’s location directly, instead of businesses scouting their own launch location, which is often far more costly and timely.
Usov added companies usually rely on a huge section of land to deliver a launchpad, but in the Asia-Pacific, there is a “limited amount of space”.
“We don’t require that. The only thing that OI requires is for the local federal jurisdiction to approve the launch of a rocket from 9,000 feet into orbit,” he said.
OI is set on being part of NASA’s Moon to Mars missions through its air dropped launch services.
The start-up has appointed Still Capital as its lead manager for the fundraising of $3m, with a pre-valuation of $25m.
Chris Whitehead from Still Capital told Stockhead, “We are raising $3m currently to propel the visionary business and support its next stages of growth and development.
“Further capital raising along with potential government support and funding will fulfil our ultimate goal of a listed Australian based end-to-end space solution.”
OI is targeting a listing on the ASX, and eventually plans on being listed in the US through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
According to Usov, the company will utilise solid fuel instead of liquid fuel for convenience.
Liquid fuels require extreme pre-cooling and additional storage for its pumps, piping and fuel compared with solid fuels which is known to be easily maintained, according to the European Space Agency.
“In the case of solid fuel, we can manufacture 10 or 20 rockets and put them in a warehouse, and when the customer needs to launch, we simply put it onto the carrier and do the take-off,” he said. (Source: Space Connect)
04 Aug 21. Interference on SAR imagery offers tool for OSINT analysis. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) capabilities on Sentinel-1A/B (S1A/S1B) satellites operated by the European Union’s Earth Observation Program – Copernicus – have been used by open-source intelligence (OSINT) analysts since S1A was launched on 3 April 2014. S1B followed on 25 April 2016. SAR analysis has become increasingly popular because of social media and the ability to share findings easily among groups of like-minded OSINT analysts.
The data collected by the satellites can be freely accessed using several platforms such as Copernicus’s own Open Data Hub, the Sentinel EO Browser, and Google Earth Engine. This open-source capability makes Sentinel more popular than other subscription-based SAR imagery providers, where the cost of obtaining data can often be outside the budget of an individual or small OSINT group.
The S1A/S1B constellation images the Earth completely every six days, and the two satellites operate 180 degrees apart. They use SAR operating on the central frequency of 5.405 GHz, which is in the C-band radio spectrum of 4–8 GHz; this is commonly known as C-SAR.
The C-band is used by many differing commercial satellites and was the first frequency band used in this area of telecommunications. Moreover, the 5.4 MHz frequency area within the band is also used by IEEE 802.11a Wi-Fi wireless computer networks. One reason for this was the ability to perform better in poor weather conditions, leading the S1A/S1B to use the C-band to provide 24-hour all-weather imaging capabilities.
Like all radio, satellite communication is subject to radio frequency interference (RFI), either accidentally through multiple use of the same frequency or because of RF ‘spread’, which occurs when a transmission from a nearby frequency encroaches on the one in use. Intentional jamming as part of electronic warfare (EW) can also occur. (Source: Jane’s)
15 Aug 21. Airbus To Deliver NexGen MILSATCOM For Australia. Airbus has announced that Sydney, Australia-based, ground-control infrastructure specialist UGL will become the latest local partner to join the Airbus teaming arrangement in its bid to deliver next-generation military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) capability to Australia under the JP9102 program.
The unique teaming arrangement – called Team Maier – seeks to identify Australian partners in the space, technology and academic sectors to provide innovative and specialized MILSATCOM capabilities as part of the JP9102 program.
As well as delivering a MILSATCOM solution to the Australian Government, the teaming approach is designed to aid the development of a long-term sovereign defence and space eco-system and capability in Australia.
A leading asset solutions provider, UGL would design and construct all ground infrastructure supporting the JP9102 project, including the communications systems, network operations and systems integration, as well as its ongoing sustainment.
Team Maier will benefit from UGL’s experience supporting the Australian Defence Force over the last two decades, including in the most recent upgrade works at the Royal Australian Navy communications and logistics facility at HMAS Harman.
Under the partnership, Airbus will also be able to draw on more than 7,000 UGL engineering, construction, operations and maintenance specialists in developing its end-to-end JP9102 solution, while minimising risk and enhancing sovereign defence satellite capability.
Peter Bierton, Head of Communications of UGL, said, “We are excited to be joining Team Maier. Its focus on a truly Australian approach to military satcom capability resonates with our desire to develop and enhance sovereign capability. We believe this type of collaboration can be the catalyst for the Australian industry to develop international leadership in satcom. We are also looking forward to continuing our positive relationship with Barpa, bringing real value-add work directly to our Indigenous population.”
Martin Rowse, Airbus Campaign Lead for the JP9102 program, said, “UGL brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Team Maier and continues to drive our commitment to collaborate with true Australian companies. Airbus is looking forward to advancing these great discussions and development work with UGL. We also expect our respective capabilities to contribute to the best possible solution to meet Australia’s satcom requirements.” (Source: Satnews)
13 Aug 21. Space & Missile Systems Center’s Re-Designation Ceremony TO USSF’s Space Systems Command. The Space and Missile Systems Center has now been re-designated as Space Systems Command headquarters, officially establishing the newest field command of the U.S. Space Force, during a ceremony on August 13, at 10:00 a.m. PDT.
Maj. Gen. Michael A. Guetlein received his third star during a promotion ceremony prior to the re-designation ceremony and he will assume the role as commander of SSC. General John W. “Jay” Raymond, the Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force, delivered a sincere presentation to those in attendance and online and retired the SMC flag and unfurled the new Space Systems Command flag after installing General Guetlein as first commander of this field command.
Lt. Gen. Guetlein accepts the command of SSC from General Raymond.
General Guetlein will be responsible for developing, acquiring, equipping, fielding and sustaining resilient space capabilities to enhance joint lethality and effectiveness. Additionally, SSC will be responsible for developmental testing, launch, on-orbit checkout, and sustainment and maintenance of U.S. Space Force space systems, as well as oversight of USSF science and technology activities.
General Raymond congratulated the entire SMC team for a job well done, stating that innovation means tomorrow looks different from today and that Space Force must take risks and pushing the boundaries. “We must outpace our competitors,” he said. “You must deliver on time. Our nation is depending upon you. Take that bold leadership necessary and I know you will deliver.“
General Raymond (l) and Lt. Gen.Guetlein (r) at the ceremony.
SSC is the second of three field commands to be established following the stand-up of Space Operations Command on October 21, 2020.
Operating at the level immediately below USSF headquarters at the Pentagon, field commands reflect the newest armed force’s focus on creating a lean, agile, and mission-focused organization. (Source: Satnews)
15 Aug 21. Partnership Announced By Spire Global With Hancom Group For The 1st Commercial South Korean Satellite Mission. Hancom will host an optical payload on a Low Earth Multi-Use Receiver (LEMUR), Spire’s 3U smallsat named “HANCOM” to support the launch of a new product focused on the agriculture sector, including landscaping applications as well as expansion of its existing image analysis portfolio offerings.
In addition to using Spire’s services for its own operations, Hancom will also act as Spire’s first reseller within South Korea. Spire continues to expand its partnerships to serve customers across the world.
Hancom specializes in commercial and government applications of image analysis, including detection of vehicles, aircrafts and ships, changes in roads and buildings, and pine tree death detection. Leveraging the infrastructure of Spire’s LEMUR satellite, Hancom expects to be able to capture images of specific territories for its GIS mapping solutions and provide further analysis and expanded offerings, while retaining full control of the captured images and the ability to customize services to customers’ specific needs and applications.
Hancom plans to launch a constellation of up to nine satellites equipped with this type of payload in order to develop their own dedicated solution.
“South Korea’s commercial aerospace sector is making tremendous strides. Spire is proud to partner with Hancom as our first reseller partner in the country,” said Theresa Condor, Vice President of Global Development at Spire. “We’re excited that Spire’s capabilities will help Hancom meet the growing market demand for satellite imagery and geospatial analytics, and provide more insightful, tailored solutions to its customers.”
19 Aug 21. MoU Signed Between T4i + Spacety Luxembourg For Electric Propulsion + Mission Flight Opportunities.T4i and Spacety Luxembourg have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set the framework for several intended collaborations regarding Electric Propulsion and flight opportunities.
T4i (Technology for Propulsion and Innovation) is an Italian rocket company that specializes in in-space and access-to-space propulsion systems, tailored for smallsats, offering an array of technologies that match the mission’s requirements of satellite operators.
T4i conducted an extensive research on several propulsion systems and different propellants. Among them, T4i scientific research along the iodine propellant as ground-breaking source of energy in space, opens certain interesting outcomes in response to the new constellation market demand.
Spacety Luxembourg is a commercial space company involved in the design, manufacturing, launching, operation of satellites, and providing space flight services to its clients worldwide to flight test or demonstrate their technologies or science in space. Spacety has built and launched its first SAR satellite, the world’s first miniaturized C-band SAR satellite with a phased-array antenna, and plans to build, deploy, and operate a mega SAR constellation with 300+ satellites to provide near real time SAR data services to the world.
There are common fields of interests between the two companies. T4i is developing plasma thrusters in different sizes to accommodate the entire spectrum of smallsats, while Spacety Luxembourg is both offering flight opportunities for T4i IOD missions and looking for innovative, robust, and reliable iodine-based electric propulsion systems for their SAR constellation. In addition, this agreement formalizes the mutual interest in collaborating for future space missions and the possibility for T4i to capture the growing demand arising in the Chinese constellations market through this partnership with Spacety.
“Propulsion is an important subsystem of satellites for constellation. As more constellations are deployed for EO and telecommunications, the market for electric thrusters will expand rapidly. However, an electric thruster is a complicated system and it needs to be tested and verified in space before being used for any operational satellite mission. T4i has developed advanced propulsion technologies for small and micro satellites. Spacety has frequent flight opportunities and extensive experience of technology IOD/IOV missions. The collaboration of the two companies will produce innovative space products, which will be needed by many satellites, including Spacety’s,” said James Zheng, CEO of Spacety Luxembourg.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to cooperate with such a trustful partner as Spacety and eager to expand T4i’s market reach,” said Daniele Pavarin, T4i co-founder and CEO. (Source: Satnews)
11 Aug 21. Canadian Space Agency Assigns Contract To EarthDaily Analytics. EarthDaily Analytics, a vertically-integrated data processing and analytics company, announced a contract with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to conduct trade studies and a demonstration of next generation cloud-based Synthetic-Aperture Radar (SAR) processing.
While “New Space” has successfully led to a decrease in cost to build payload technology and launch satellites into orbit, the cost for operations, maintenance, processing, storage, discovery and distribution of Earth Observation (EO) data has generally not been decreasing. As the space sector scales to larger satellite constellations with larger data volumes, these challenges and costs continue to increase.
EarthDaily Analytics’ Earth Data Store and EarthPipeline technologies are key to solving these “New Ground” challenges with improved accessibility, quality, latency, scale and costs associated with satellite EO data processing platforms. The award winning EarthPipeline technology is being offered as the world’s first cloud-native Ground Segment Pipeline Software as a Service (SaaS) on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide enterprise grade scalability, security, and reliability.
Based on these capabilities, EarthDaily Analytics was selected to perform trade studies, assess SAR ground segment architectures, and demonstrate easy-to-use APIs, cloud-native scalability and automated SAR processing.
This project will support the CSA’s goal to increase the environmental and economic impact of SAR data by reducing costs associated with traditional on-premise architecture, enabling rapid deployment capabilities to deliver mission critical features, and providing scalable and flexible services tailored to the end user’s need.
The EarthPipeline’s ground segment technology will also be used as a key enabler in the upcoming EarthDaily Constellation mission and as a Software as a Service for other EO companies.
“This award will help us demonstrate how the EarthPipeline ’s advanced cloud-based SAR processing, data discovery and distribution capabilities can support the CSA’s ambitious mission needs to improve the impact of EO data for decision making and the digital economy,” said Chris Rampersad, VP of Engineering at EarthDaily Analytics. “We’re extremely proud that the CSA appreciates this revolutionary technology that will deliver unprecedented automation, scale, quality, and security for next-generation Earth Observation ground segment services.” (Source: Satnews)
16 Aug 21. India’s satellite launch fails due to ‘technical anomaly’. The latest mission carrying a new-generation Earth-observation satellite for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) failed shortly after launch. On Thursday, 12 August, the lift-off began at 5:43am local time in India and about 16 minutes later, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) did not complete its third stage of ignition.
The satellite launched from eastern India from Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Sriharikota Island, marking the ISRO’s 14th satellite launch.
The ISRO said the performance of the first and second stages were successful.
“However, Cryogenic Upper Stage ignition did not happen due to technical anomaly. The mission couldn’t be accomplished as intended,” said the statement.
In a televised interview, ISRO chair K. Sivan said the launch “could not be fully accomplished” because of a “technical anomaly observed in the cryogenic stage”.
The GSLV designed to carry the EOS-03 satellite is the largest launch vehicle developed in India, and deploys a three-stage lift-off.
The ISRO has performed four launches from the GSLV, all successful, but other variants of the launcher have suffered mission failures from 2001 when the vehicle was developed.
The satellite was intended to last in orbit for up to 1o years, providing real-time imagery of regions of interest and monitoring natural disasters and changes in agriculture.
This comes as the first failure since 2017 with a different rocket, the first in 20 years for India’s space agency.
A smaller Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle was carrying a satellite for the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite Systems and failed to launch into its proper orbit.
India has faced continuous launch delays from COVID-19, seeing the last success in January 2020 with the launch of the EOS-01.
Since then, the ISRO prompted the launch of the EOS-03 to move ahead of the second satellite, which was originally intended for March this year, according to Indian Express.
India’s space presence has been predominately focused on launches of satellites into low orbit for cheaper costs compared with the US and Europe.
In 2019, the ISRO announced India would not join the International Space Station and would instead build a 20-tonne space station of its own in the next five to seven years.
In February this year, the Department of Space in India committed to a national effort in human spaceflight capabilities through a long-term roadmap to push the nation ahead.
India’s maiden human spaceflight ‘Gaganyaan’ is set on a launch after its second uncrewed mission in 2022 or 2023, according to Union Minister Jitendra Singh speaking in February.
The uncrewed mission is slated for December this year, enabling time to foster partnerships through a policy framework complying with existing laws and treaties. (Source: Space Connect)
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