Sponsored By Viasat
24 Aug 22. Australia and US hold first bilateral talks on space regulation. The first public dialogue between the Australian and US space industries is set to be held at the end of August, with experts from both countries appearing to discuss key issues across the industry.
Industry experts from both nations will speak at the event, including the current and former US Ambassador, former NASA administrators, the CEO of the Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA), and academics from Flinders University.
The US-Australia Inaugural Dialogue will be held at the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at the US Purdue University and broadcast online on Wednesday, 31 August, 6:30am-8:30am AEST.
The event comes ahead of the US National Space Council’s meeting next month. The council is chaired by US Vice President Kamala Harris and is responsible for guiding the combined space activities of the commercial, civil and national security sectors in the US.
Speakers at the event will discuss issues including space laws and regulations, the impact of emerging aerospace technologies, opportunities for bilateral cooperation in space, and the potential dangers of disinformation in relation to the space sector.
The keynote lecture will be delivered by Jeff Bleich, former US Ambassador to Australia and founder of the Flinders University centre for the US alliance in digital technology, security and governance.
Bleich is expected to speak about the general themes of discovery, cooperation and tenacity underpinning the space industry, as well as the particular issue of disinformation in the space sector.
Flinders University space law research associate Joel Lisk is also participating in the event and said that it presents a unique opportunity for Australian businesses to learn about the ways the US and Australian space sectors can synergise.
“This event comes at an important time for the space sectors in both Australia and the United States, with the Biden administration taking steps to further facilitate the growth of commercial space activities and the Australian Space Agency consulting on the development of a national plan for space,” he said.
Other key talks at the event include a “fireside chat” with the current Australian Ambassador to the US, Arthur Sinodinos, and a roundtable discussion on aerospace technologies with Daniel Goldin, NASA’s administrator from 1992-01.
Australian organisations will also be well represented, with SIAA CEO James Brown, Defence Science and Technology Group senior analyst Emily Bienvenue, and Flinders University professor Melissa de Zwart, director of the Jeff Bleich Centre, joining the roundtable discussions.
(Source: Space Connect)
23 Aug 22. USSF’s GEO wide field of view testbed goes online. The GEO WFOV testbed was launched aboard the SSC’s USSF-12 mission on 1 July. The US Space Force’s (USSF) geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) wide field of view (WFOV) testbed has gone online.
The announcement was made by Boeing’s wholly owned subsidiary Millennium Space Systems, which also said that the bus checkout is complete.
The GEO WFOV testbed was launched aboard the Space Systems Command’s (SSC) USSF-12 mission.
On 1 July, the SSC and its mission partners launched the USSF-12 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, aboard a United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) rocket, Atlas V 541.
The GEO WFOV satellite was acquired by the US Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL) Blossom Point Tracking Facility, which is now responsible for operating the satellite.
The data processed by the Blossom Point facility will be coordinated with the USSF’s Space Control Network.
NRL mission lead Lisa Anderson said: “First acquisition was right on time utilising the USSF’s Satellite Control Network.
“We look forward to getting WFOV to its operational location and conducting checkout with the dedicated WFOV antenna located in Geraldton, Australia.”
Designed, built and integrated by Millennium Space Systems, the GEO WFOV space vehicle is managed by the Nasa Ames Research Center.
The satellite also includes USSF’s sensor built by L3Harris Technologies.
According to Millennium Space Systems, the WFOV has been designed for a one-to-three-year life in the GEO.
The primary mission of this testbed is to explore if a single sensor can perform strategic and tactical missions while monitoring around one-third of the Earth’s surface simultaneously.
Millennium Space Systems CEO Jason Kim said: “With WFOV online, we’re going to see critical data that will inform future Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) architecture.
“We’re excited for what’s next! Thank you to USSF Satellite Control Network and ULA for a great ride.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)
23 Aug 22. ST Engineering iDirect and Türksat strengthen strategic partnership with contract for provision of ground systems for Türksat 5B. ST Engineering iDirect, a global leader in satellite communications, has today signed a multi-m dollar contract with leading regional satellite operator, Türksat, for the ground systems required to run a variety of services over the Türksat 5B satellite. ST Engineering iDirect will provide multiple Dialog® XIF hubs and 5,000 remotes, enabling Türksat to augment services to various markets including government, enterprise, mobility and cellular backhaul across 30 beams, providing the best connectivity experience from low data rates all the way to very large throughputs of over 1 Gbps for the most demanding applications.
The new installations will ensure that Türksat can run its satellite networks more efficiently, easily and rapidly adapt their existing networks or build new ones through ST Engineering iDirect’s Network Management System (NMS) that allows services, capacity, terminals and beams to be scaled in an instant, fully automated and orchestrated way. Based on the latest DVB-S2X technology and Mx-DMA® MRC technology, Türksat can also maximize the benefits of the powerful 5B HTS by leveraging the highest efficiencies and throughputs of the DVB-S2X waveform as well as optimize the return link with Mx-DMA MRC. Both platform and remotes can provide the flexibility, multi-service capability and scalability to cater to Türksat’s HTS business today and as it expands in the future.
“The latest satellite of our fleet, Türksat 5B, will greatly increase our current coverage and bandwidth over Ka HTS,” said Selman Demirel, Vice President of Satellite Operations at Türksat. “This will enable Türksat to extend broadband services over many regions including Middle East, Africa, as well as major maritime and airtime routes. The partnership with ST Engineering iDirect in this expansion is very important for Türksat to provide seamless, cost-effective and flexible services to current and prospective customer needs in a very broad and rapidly improving market. The Dialog XIF Hub with flexibility, multi-service capability and scalability will be a key asset for Türksat for these active markets. Therefore, we truly appreciate this new contract to strengthen our strategic partnership.”
“We are thrilled that our technology has once again been selected by Türksat to enable their expanding operations,” said Tajani Bouqentar, Vice President, Middle East, ST Engineering iDirect. “The selection of our Dialog platform means that Türksat now operates their services over our full hub portfolio. With the multi-service, futureproof nature of the Dialog hub platform and modem portfolio, Türksat can accommodate current and future business opportunities by providing the flexibility, multi-service capability and scalability required. We are dedicated to enabling Türksat’s business development and supporting them as their capabilities evolve.”
Launched in December 2021, the Türksat 5B satellite provides data communication and broadcasting services over a wide coverage area that reaches the entire Middle East, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, North Africa, East Africa, South Africa and Nigeria. It also provides customized services to airlines and commercial ship operators around the world via its Ka-band beams. Commencement of the new services is expected in Q3 2022. (Source: PR Newswire)
17 Aug 22. The ‘Owl Spreads Its Wings’ launch from Rocket Lab for Synspective upcoming in mid-September. Rocket Lab USA, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: RKLB) upcoming 30th Electron launch will deliver the company’s 150th payload and 300th Rutherford engine to space — this mission is a dedicated launch for Japanese Earth-imaging satellite constellation operator, Synspective.
“The Owl Spreads Its Wings” mission is scheduled to lift-off from Pad B at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand during a launch window that opens in mid-September. The mission is the second of a bulk buy of three Electron launches by Synspective to deliver their StriX satellites to LEO.
StriX-1 is Synspective’s first commercial satellite for its synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite constellation to deliver imagery that can detect millimeter-level changes to the Earth’s surface from space, independent of weather conditions on Earth and at any time of the day or night. “The Owl Spreads Its Wings” will be Rocket Lab’s third mission for Synspective after successful launches in December of 2020 and February of 2022.
Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck, said, “From launching Synspective’s first demonstration spacecraft to now helping to build their SAR constellation with this launch of their first commercial StriX satellite, it’s an honor to once again be the trusted launch partner for Synspective. As the sole payload on this dedicated Electron launch, Synspective are able to build their constellation to a specific LTAN (Local Time of the Ascending Node) that couldn’t be achieved if StriX was launched on a rideshare mission with other satellites – a highly important differentiator when building a new satellite constellation.”
This mission for Synspective will be Rocket Lab’s 30th launch of its Electron rocket. From its first launch in 2017, Electron quickly made regular and reliable launch to space accessible for smallsats. As the United States’ second most-frequently launched rocket, with this mission Electron will have successfully launched to orbit more times in 2022 than all other small launch providers combined.
The single StriX-1 satellite manifested on this Electron launch will bring Rocket Lab’s tally of satellites delivered to orbit to 150 – a quarter of those delivered to space in the past three months alone, including the CAPSTONE satellite to the Moon for NASA and spacecraft conducting Earth-imaging, technology demonstrations, marine monitoring, space junk removal tests, and internet connectivity.
300th Rutherford engine
This mission will see Rocket Lab reach 300 Rutherford engines launched to space. Designed and built by Rocket Lab, Rutherford is the world’s first 3D-printed, electric pump-fed rocket engine. Rutherford engines are used as both first and second stage engines on Electron and have been integral to the rocket’s success as the industry’s premier small launch vehicle. Developed in 2013 and first test fired within the same year, Rutherford’s unique design was driven by Rocket Lab’s desire to create a reliable and high-performing rocket engine that could be produced in high volume, reliably, and efficiently. (Source: Satnews)
14 Aug 22. Aerojet Rocketdyne’s new $13.5m Arkansas facility consolidates solid rocket motor manufacturing to increase efficiency, safety and capacity. Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Camden, Arkansas, site has opened a new facility to integrate solid rocket motor manufacturing activities, improving operational efficiency, increasing production capacity, reducing costs, and providing for even safer operations.
“We are building upon our proud legacy of providing reliable propulsion by investing and expanding to support future military readiness,” said Eileen P. Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president. “This $13.5m facility is a testament to our commitment to providing innovative, affordable propulsion to support both today’s defense programs and those of tomorrow.”
The new 51,000 square foot building consolidates multiple manufacturing activities under one roof and adds advanced equipment, including modern tool-up bays, dedicated propellant casting and oven areas, and upgraded X-ray systems, all emphasizing a safe production process. The facility results in a reduction in the need to transport motors across the site during manufacturing by more than 90%.
The facility is the latest construction in the company’s expansion in southern Arkansas, where the Aerojet Rocketdyne team has developed and produced critical defense products for more than 40 years.
The first program to begin production in the new manufacturing facility will be the propulsion system for the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE). Additionally, the new facility was built with a raised roof and includes tooling to be positioned to support larger-scale motors to power next-generation missiles.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has supported the PAC-3 missile system since its inception and powers every PAC-3 variant in production. In addition to the propulsion system, the company also provides the attitude control motors and lethality enhancer for both the PAC-3 MSE and the PAC-3 Cost Reduction Initiative. (Source: Satnews)
13 Aug 22. AccelerComm launches their LEOphy layer 1 modem for LEO 5G satellites. Recently, AccelerComm introduced LEOphy, a layer 1 modem that delivers enhanced performance for LEO SATCOM — the power-efficient, high PHY solution has been tailored to deliver maximum flexibility and reliability to enable more efficient 5G satellite communications, boasting the lowest error rates while also consuming less power than competing products.
LEOphy ensures a high-reliability link without having to resort to higher coding rates and low modulation schemes, thereby maximizing spectral efficiency, particularly important in satellites where channel capacity is highly constrained, compared to terrestrial networks.
Constellations of 5G satellites are being deployed to play a vital role in completing the technology and connectivity ecosystem needed for automation and IoT adoption, and are being used to address critical connectivity challenges, such as data speed and coverage limitations for several important applications such as remote sensing, video surveillance, UAVs and drones, geo-positioning, backhaul solutions, and general data connectivity.
AccelerComm’s portfolio of advanced channel coding solutions contain unique cutting-edge technology to maximize spectral efficiency and reduce latency for truly, high-performance, Open RAN 5G communications systems. This enables the next generation of services requiring ultra-reliable, low latency communications, such as VR/AR, industrial IoT, autonomous vehicles and drone control.
“AccelerComm technology now enables satellite networks to efficiently deliver high-quality and high-performance 5G services economically and on a global basis,” said Rob Barnes, Chief Commercial Officer at AccelerComm. “Traditionally satellites have not been well suited to delivering real-time communications applications due to low data-rates, costs and long latencies. The result being that they have only been suitable to serve specific niche applications. However, the potential of new 5G applications has seen a revolution in thinking in this market. The use of AccelerComm technology now enables satellite networks to efficiently deliver high-quality and high-performance 5G services economically and on a global basis.” (Source: Satnews)
13 Aug 22. Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully demos their Integrated System Test Bed for Advanced Defense Propulsion. Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully demonstrated an Integrated System Test Bed (ISTB) that was designed and fabricated to test advanced liquid rocket engine thrusters and system components. The demonstration was independently funded by the company and conducted at the Air Force Research Laboratory test facilities at Edwards Air Force Base, California. The ISTB can be used to test a multitude of components used on space launch programs, strategic systems and missile defense. The ISTB test demonstrated a multi-thruster configuration that is relevant to several ongoing development efforts. The ISTB met all requirements and performed as expected through the duration of the demonstration.
The demonstration also validated the ISTB’s ability to support rapid testing of important advancements in liquid propulsion system technologies and component manufacturing. The advancements demonstrated include:
- Improved Electro Discharge Machining (EDM) precision drilling
- New approach for fabrication of thruster chambers
- Improved engine calibration methodology
- System integration optimization
The demonstration completes a multi-year, multi-m dollar effort by Aerojet Rocketdyne to design and fabricate an ISTB for multi-program use. Conducting system and component testing in the ISTB lowers overall technical risk and makes components more readily available for use in future liquid propulsion system applications.
“Aerojet Rocketdyne continues to innovate our design, development and testing capabilities for next generation defense systems and components,” said Eileen P. Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president. “With applicability to a variety of future programs, the ISTB provides us the capability to quickly and efficiently test individual components as well as complete systems.” (Source: Satnews)
15 Aug 22. The Orbit GX30 Terminal receives type approval to operate on Inmarsat Global Xpress commercial and military Ka-band networks. Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications services and Orbit Communications Systems Ltd., a leading provider of airborne communications solutions, today announced that the Orbit GX30 airborne Ka-band multi-purpose terminal (MPT) has received full type approval for use over Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) network for commercial and military Ka-band (Mil Ka).
The GX30 terminal fulfils the ‘everywhere, all-the-time’ coverage requirements of both military and commercial airborne users and allows government users to roam between commercial Ka-band and Mil Ka services. This low size, weight and power (SWaP) user terminal delivers up to 126 Mbps forward link and up to 29 Mbps return link, maintaining uninterrupted connectivity during all flight phases. Comprised of three Line Replaceable Units, the GX30 terminal consists of a Radio Frequency antenna assembly, a Ka-band Power Supply Unit and a Modem Unit including Inmarsat’s G-MODMAN II solution.
GX30 can be installed on a range of business jets, military aircraft and uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) and complies with industry standards including MIL-STD-188-164C, RTCA DO-160G, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 47 CFR 25.218 and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) EN 303 978. It is compatible with military satellite systems, making it an ideal choice for government airborne Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Surveillance (ISR) applications.
Tuomo Rutanen, VP Sales and Business Development – Americas, Orbit Communications Systems, said “We are proud of this cooperation with Inmarsat. This GX30 design, coupled with Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network, make it an ideal solution for US government missions that transmit large volumes of data, including military aircraft and UAVs.”
For more than 40 years, Inmarsat has been a major driving force behind technological innovation in mobile satellite communications. GX serves as an example of the company’s innovation as the world’s first and only seamless mobile commercial wideband service available worldwide. Since 2015, GX has been the gold standard for reliable communications across land, sea and air domains for assured mobile connectivity when and where needed. Furthermore, Inmarsat high-capacity steerable antennas that operate in Mil Ka allow authorised military users to access reliable and highly available wideband capacity as part of their own independent network.
Matt Wissler, Chief Technology Officer, Inmarsat Government, said: “With its best-in-class performance plus its low size, weight and power requirements, GX30 is a game changer for demanding aero applications. It ensures access to an easy-to-use, reliable wideband mobility solution for increased agility, interoperability, and worldwide coverage. Inmarsat Government is pleased to continue our partnership with Orbit to deliver innovative, forward-looking satellite communications solutions that support today’s complex missions. Inmarsat is sustaining its market leadership through a substantial investment and a powerful network of technology and manufacturing partners. This ongoing innovation provides a fast, cost-effective solution to the US government’s critical need for resilience, speed, and agility to ensure mission success today and in the future.” (Source: www.joint-forces.com)
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.