Sponsored By Viasat
20 Sep 23. BAE plans Asia-Pacific satellite rideshare mission. BAE Systems subsidiary In-Space Missions is building an Asia-Pacific regional first satellite rideshare mission known as Faraday Dragon targeted for launch in 2026, a spokesperson for In-Space told Janes at the Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition 2023 (TADTE 2023) held in Taipei from 14 to 16 September.
According to In-Space, Faraday Dragon is the first of a series of rideshare small satellites that will fly multiple payloads for regional space players including government, commercial, financial, research, and educational organisations. The spokesperson said that the company is in discussions with seven countries including Taiwan for this mission.
“In terms of the countries with which we are engaged in discussions about Faraday Dragon at the moment, [they] include Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Taiwan,” the spokesperson said. (Source: Janes)
18 Sep 23. Satcom Direct Plane Simple® Ku-band terminal certified for Gulfstream G650. The Satcom Direct Plane Simple® Ku-band tail mount antenna system has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) supplemental type certificate (STC) approval for Gulfstream G650 aircraft. Satcom Direct worked directly with Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. to obtain the STC, with the antenna being installed for a U.S.-based corporate flight department. The SD Plane Simple Ku-band antenna variant will be available for installation through the Gulfstream service network beginning in October 2023.
The new STC gives Gulfstream G650 owners and operators access to the power, versatility, and convenient management of the SD Plane Simple advanced antenna technology, which is powered by the Intelsat FlexExec high throughput satellite network. A single phone call to Satcom Direct delivers consistently reliable high-speed data access for government, corporate and private customers. It also provides access to an added-value connectivity ecosystem of hardware, software, ground infrastructure, cybersecurity, and award-winning customer service to support consistently reliable high-speed data.
“This STC is significant for us as we continue to raise the connectivity bar with this new class of hardware, which has been purpose-built for the business aviation sector,” said Jim Jensen, CEO of Satcom Direct. “More importantly, it gives customers greater flexibility, cost-effective connectivity options, and a single resource to fulfill every connectivity need. We are the only connectivity provider to deliver genuine, global connectivity to business aviation. Our services are customized for each operator to meet their specific mission needs. Through our relationship with Intelsat, we do not share the airtime with any other sector, and with an established entry-into-service offering, flight departments and owners can be confident they can maximize their suite of connectivity products from day one.”
SD is already the exclusive provider of cabin connectivity service plans on both in-production and in-service aircraft for the Gulfstream Connectivity Service program, and the SD FlightDeck Freedom® (FDF) flight deck communications platform is the default datalink system for in-production Gulfstream G500, Gulfstream G600, and Gulfstream G650ER aircraft. “We have a long and strong relationship with Gulfstream and work closely with them to meet the needs of their customers. We’re pleased to be part of this latest STC effort on one of the world’s leading business jets,” added Jensen.
The simplified antenna installation requires fitting just two-line replaceable units, the tail-mounted antenna and the SD modem unit, simplifying upgrade pathways, reducing aircraft downtime, and optimizing maintenance budgets. STCs for Gulfstream GIV, GV, G450, and G550 models are already available through the Gulfstream service network.
18 Sep 23. Nuvotronics Introduces a New Line of High-Performance mmWave Solutions to Address the Growing Commercial Satellite Market Sector. Cubic Corporation is excited to announce that its microelectronics business, Nuvotronics, will be making a significant debut at the European Microwave Week 2023, taking place September 18–21 in Berlin, Germany.
Attendees have the opportunity to witness Nuvotronics’ innovative commercial space-grade mmWave product lines and capabilities that deliver high-performance solutions to the broadband satellite communications industry. Highlights include a showcase of wideband filters, revolutionary packaging solutions, power combiners, and state-of-the-art phased array antennas. These innovations are engineered to meet or exceed the stringent performance requirements demanded by space-qualified applications.
Innovation That Meets Market Needs
“This is a pivotal moment in our transformational journey,” said Vickram Vathulya, President of Nuvotronics. “Our unique PolyStrata® technology and expertise in advanced mmWave solutions will shape the future of efficient commercial space communications. We are committed to helping our customers overcome their most complex challenges in this dynamic and growing market.”
Nuvotronics’ new product lines are poised to address the evolving needs of the commercial space and broadband satellite communications sector. Focused on providing timely and differentiated solutions, Nuvotronics’ mmWave offerings empower customers to tackle challenges regarding size and demand for higher data rate more effectively—particularly in the high-frequency ranges vital for next-level communication technologies. Nuvotronics’ products and solutions will be available for direct purchase or through their global distribution partner, RFMW.
We are excited to welcome you at booth #102G during the European Microwave Week 2023 tradeshow. To learn more about Nuvotronics products and services, visit www.Nuvotronics.com. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
18 Sep 23. CACI Successfully Completes Optical Communications Terminal Interoperability Testing for Space Development Agency’s Transport Layer. CACI International Inc (NYSE: CACI) announced today that it successfully completed Optical Communication Terminal (OCT) Interoperability Testing (OIT) of its CrossBeam® OCT for the Space Development Agency’s (SDA) Tranche 1 data relay and tracking network. As part of this testing, CACI was the first SDA-compliant terminal to successfully establish a consistent data communication link with the reference modem.
“Our proven, mature, and low-risk technology, combined with our advancements in scalable, U.S.-based manufacturing capacity, will rapidly transform sensing and communications for national security missions,” said Todd Probert, President of National Security and Innovative Solutions at CACI. “Our innovations in optical communications help the SDA build the foundation of future warfighting infrastructure and resilient networks across all domains.”
The testing was done with SDA as part of a team led by Lockheed Martin to build 42 satellites for SDA’s Tranche 1 Transport Layer (T1TL), a mesh network of 126 optically interconnected space vehicles that will provide a resilient, low-latency, high-volume data transport communication system slated for launch in late 2024. The T1TL will provide global communications access and deliver persistent regional encrypted connectivity in support of warfighter missions around the globe, serving as the backbone for the Department of Defense’s Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) effort. This successful testing demonstrates performance to the version 3.0 standard and allows the CrossBeam OCT to move forward with OIT with optical payloads, thereby verifying interoperability in support of SDA’s Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture constellation of tracking and transport satellites. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
18 Sep 23. Ten Satellites Incorporating Terran Orbital Buses Launch as Part of Space Development Agency’s Tranche 0 Mission. Terran Orbital (NYSE: LLAP, a leading manufacturer of satellite products primarily serving the aerospace and defense industries, today announced that 10 satellites incorporating Terran Orbital buses have been deployed in low Earth orbit following a Sept. 2, 2023 launch, from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The 10 satellites are part of the Tranche 0 Transport Layer of the Space Development Agency’s (SDA) Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA). Terran Orbital manufactured the buses for Lockheed Martin for payload integration and delivery to SDA.
“It is a great honor to contribute to this important mission by delivering our 10 satellite buses to Lockheed Martin. We are thankful to Lockheed Martin for their collaboration and the opportunity to leverage our small satellite solution expertise and to support their missions,” said Marc Bell, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Terran Orbital.
Currently, Terran Orbital is producing 42 satellite buses for Lockheed Martin, which will deliver 42 Tranche 1 Transport Layer satellites for SDA. These 42 satellites are scheduled to launch in 2024. These satellites will have various capabilities, including optical communications links, Link-16 mission communications, a Ka-band RF communications payload, and a BMC3 module that enables on-orbit data processing. These features will support missions for global warfighters.
18 Sep 23. Success as ULA launches U.S. Space Force’s SILENTBARKER/NROL-107. A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket successfully sent SILENTBARKER/NROL-107 off on its mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Sunday morning, September 10, 2023 for the US Space Force and the National Reconnaissance Office.
According to published budget reviews, “SILENTBARKER will provide the capability to search, detect, and track objects from a space-based sensor for timely custody and event detection.”
The Silent Barker will form a “watchdog” constellation of satellites used for tracking other countries’ activities in geostationary orbit. This this procedure is different from the current method of geostationary tracking that uses ground-based assets that, depending on the weather on the ground, can track objects down to the size of a basketball. Silent Barker can also track smaller objects and continuously observe their position and movement.
UPDATE 2: (Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, September 9, 2023) The launch of a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 551 rocket carrying the SILENTBARKER/NROL-107 mission, a joint National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and U.S. Space Force (USSF) mission, has been scrubbed due to an issue found during a prelaunch ordnance circuit continuity check. The launch is now planned for Sunday, September 10 at 8:47 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. (Source: Satnews)
18 Sep 23. Success in the night as SpaceX launches 22 more Starlink smallsats. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launched 22 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida shortly after midnight on Friday. This was after a day delay as the weather apparently didn’t cooperate, forcing a nearly 24-hour delay.
The Falcon 9’s first stage came back to Earth as planned on the SpaceX droneship Just Read the Instructions, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast.
It is speculated that SpaceX’s desire to have calm seas for this recovery operation may be the reason for the delay.
This was the fifth flight for the first stage booster supporting this mission, which previously launched Crew-6, SES O3b mPOWER, and now three Starlink missions.
SpaceX is ramping up once again and targeting Friday, September 15 at 12:03 a.m. ET (04:53 UTC) for a Falcon 9 launch of 22 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. If needed, an additional opportunity is available at 12:30 a.m. ET (04:30 UTC). Two backup opportunities are also currently available on Friday, September 15 at 11:38 p.m. ET (03:38 UTC September 16) and Saturday, September 16 at 12:07 a.m. ET (04:07 UTC).
This is the fifth flight for the first stage booster supporting this mission, which previously launched Crew-6, SES O3b mPOWER, and two Starlink missions. Following stage separation, the first stage will land on the Just Read the Instructions droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
SpaceX is leveraging its experience in building rockets and spacecraft to deploy their advanced broadband internet system. As the world’s leading provider of launch services — and the only provider with an orbital class reusable rocket — SpaceX has extensive experience with both spacecraft and on-orbit operations.
Starlink is the world’s first and largest satellite constellation using a low Earth orbit to deliver broadband internet capable of supporting streaming, online gaming, video calls and more.
A live webcast of this mission will begin on X @SpaceX about five minutes prior to liftoff.
Although the launches are taking place quickly despite hurricanes and rare technical difficulties, the goal of 144 launches would require the turnaround time to approximately six days. This would be possible for Of Course I Still Love You to support as the West Coast drone ships are in closer proximity to the port, and are easier for the teams to turn around reducing the time by two days, as opposed to the East Coast missions. (Source: Satnews)
18 Sep 23. Technology to Boost High-speed Satellite Connectivity. British electronics specialist Filtronic is developing advanced technology that will enable next-generation satellite constellations to deliver high-speed broadband internet coverage.
Backed by ESA and the UK Space Agency, the company is working on spacefaring hardware that aims to provide fast, high-capacity links between low Earth orbiting communications satellites and receiving ground stations.
The contract forms part of ESA’s efforts to advance the 5G digital transformation of society and industry.
Low Earth orbit constellations are a crucial element of next-generation 5G and 6G converged networks, augmenting communications infrastructure on the ground and ensuring the provision of continuous, instant and ubiquitous connectivity.
Telecommunications satellites provide connectivity by receiving and sending data via radio waves, with different parts of the radio spectrum having contrasting capabilities in terms of speed, data volumes, and bandwidth.
Filtronic’s technology operates over extremely high frequency bands – or millimetre waves – that deliver wide bandwidths, high data rates, and low latencies over localised areas.
As the 5G digital transformation continues, the adoption of this frequency range is gaining significant momentum, thanks to its capability to enable key applications, including autonomous transport, the internet of things, and industrial automation.
Filtronic has demonstrated an impressive commercial track record for the development of millimetre wave products for terrestrial communications.
By bringing the firm’s expertise to the table, the contract is expected to create several commercial opportunities in the space industry, including more efficient production and the development of spin-off technologies.
The contract is part of ESA’s Space for 5G and 6G Programme, and falls under ESA’s programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES), which promotes commercial innovation to boost European and Canadian leadership in the fiercely competitive global satcom marketplace.
Paul Bate, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said: “As we rely increasingly on satellite communications across all aspects of our daily lives, innovations that improve and expand the scope of these services have become an economic engine for the global space sector.
“Filtronic’s products, which aim to tackle major challenges, such as bandwidth requirements for emerging telecoms, provide a brilliant example of how the UK is excelling in this area; exploiting opportunities to enhance services that make our lives better and contribute to the growth of our thriving satellite communications and wider space sector.”
Antonio Franchi, Head of ESA’s 5G/6G Programme, said: “ESA is proud to partner with Filtronic on a project that will apply the company’s excellent commercial capabilities to advance the digital transformation of society and industry, achieved through the development of hybrid satellite 5G networks.”
Tudor Williams, Director of Technology at Filtronic, said: “Filtronic has already developed a range of technologies and products for millimetre wave bands. This contract allows us to gear our core technology towards the low Earth orbit market.
“Satellite operators are increasingly turning to frequencies that deliver ultra-high bandwidth data links and Filtronic is uniquely positioned to adapt existing products, manufactured in commercial volumes, for the specific requirements of space.”
Fabrizio De Paolis, 5G/6G Implementation Manager at ESA, said: “Filtronic is in a great position to deliver this contract. Its in-house design and manufacturing capability is one-of-a-kind in the UK and, through the ARTES programme, ESA is delighted to partner with Filtronic to establish a leading position in this exciting and growing sector.” (Source: ASD Network)
12 Sep 23. Mission Microwave: Debut of a 1 kW Ku-Band SSPA/BUC. Mission Microwave designs and manufactures a family of Gallium Nitride (GaN) based BUCs and SSPAs in support of GEO, MEO and LEO satellite communications networks. The company’s signature Stinger, Javelin, Titan and MOAB BUCs are used by leading gateway and SATCOM terminal customers across the globe for tactical, maritime, In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) and broadband markets.
Mission Microwave’s latest Ku-band amplifier is the most advanced GaN BUC on the market and provides up to 400 watts of linear power in a multi-carrier environment providing an effective replacement for large combining networks using multiple smaller amplifiers. The amplifier is designed for outdoor mounting and sustained operation at 60°C. It is designed to be mounted very close to the antenna feed, further reducing the loss from complex waveguide paths required for larger solutions.
The new one-kilowatt Ku-band version of Mission’s MOAB SSPA/BUC product line was introduced during the IBC Conference along with the company’s signature Stinger, Javelin and Titan model BUCs that have already captured a leading position in the satellite ground segment industry. Mission Microwave products will also be on display in multiple customer stands across the venue, incorporated in industry-leading products in top-tier mobile, maritime and transportable terminals.
“Based on our customers’ success in replacing legacy traveling wave tube (TWT) amplifiers with Mission Microwave GaN products, our customers asked us to extend our compact Ku-Band product line to offer a replacement for complex multi-amplifier combined networks. The resulting kilowatt level Ku-band amplifier in a 68 lb package resets industry expectations for large gateway designs and allows customers to reduce their system amplifier cost by hundreds of thousands of dollars while increasing reliability and reducing operating costs.” — Steve Richeson, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Mission Microwave.
Mission Microwave Technologies continues to be at the forefront of the satellite terminal industry in shipping high power X, Ku and Ka Band BUCs for critical applications in ground, maritime, aviation and aerospace applications for government and commercial industry sectors that require high efficiency, reliability and performance. Mission brings revolutionary design for RF (Radio Frequency) and microwave electronics, using the latest in semiconductor technology. Mission’s focus is to minimize the size, weight, and power (SWaP) for these critical applications while providing its customers with the best possible reliability. (Source: Satnews)
11 Sep 23. GEOST to build resiliency payload for Northrop Grumman Tracking Layer satellites. The Starlite system is significantly smaller and more affordable than predecessor satellite payloads. At approximately the size of a can of soda, Starlite is mission agnostic and applicable to a wide range of government and commercial distributed satellite constellations.
“As the threats to space assets grow, the GEOST Starlite payload on the Tracking Layer constellation and other satellites will add significant resiliency, rapidly and affordably,” noted LightRidge Solutions Chief Growth & Strategy Officer Joshua Hartman. “Small, affordable yet high performance payloads such as Starlite change the paradigm for how capability is delivered across a variety of missions, particularly with regard to the growing number of government and commercial distributed satellite architectures.” — Joshua Hartman, Chief Growth and Strategy Officer, GEOST
GEOST, LLC, a LightRidge Solutions Company, is a rapidly growing designer, producer, and integrator of small, affordable high-performance electro-optical/infrared sensors for critical National Security Space missions. The company was founded in 2004 and has served its core National Security Space customer base since inception. GEOST employs approximately 170 professionals and is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona with additional facilities located in Northern Virginia and Los Angeles, California.
LightRidge Solutions is a rapidly growing designer, developer and producer of small, affordable, high-performance space and airborne sensors and payloads and ancillary technologies. Its operating units GEOST, LLC., and Ophir Corporation, have been selected to fly defense and national security assets, solving customers’ mission critical sensor and payload challenges for more than 50 years. (Source: Satnews)
13 Sep 23. Rocket Lab to launch four Leidos HASTE missions. The missions, scheduled across 2024 and 2025, will lift off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 at Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport within NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. Rocket Lab was selected by Leidos to provide hypersonic test launch capabilities with HASTE under the MACH-TB project. The project was awarded by Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane through the Strategic and Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S2MARTS) Other Transaction Authority (OTA) vehicle on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense Test Resource Management Center (TRMC).
Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 within the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia is the launch site for HASTE. Tailored specifically for technology demonstration missions, HASTE launches from Wallops carry on the extensive tradition of suborbital launch from Virginia’s coast and stands ready to serve the current and future technology needs of hypersonic and suborbital test missions.
Rocket Lab’s HASTE suborbital launch vehicle is derived from the company’s Electron rocket but has been modified to support hypersonic payload deployment. By leveraging the heritage of Rocket Lab’s low-cost Electron, HASTE offers true commercial testing capability at a fraction of the cost of current full-scale tests.
Rocket Lab launched the first HASTE mission on June 17, 2023, for Leidos under the Multi-Service Advanced Capability Hypersonic Test Bed (MACH-TB) program.
HASTE is operated under Rocket Lab National Security (RLNS), the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary created to serve the unique needs of the U.S. defense and intelligence community and its allies.
“Our first HASTE mission in June this year successfully demonstrated HASTE’s ability to accelerate the cadence of hypersonic flight testing for the nation. We’re proud to now follow it up with a series of four additional missions for Leidos to support hypersonic technology innovation and technology maturation.” — Brian Rogers, Senior Director, Global Launch Services. (Source: Satnews)
15 Sep 23. How two SATCOM companies are responding to Starlink’s dominance. With SpaceX’s Starlink constellation dominating the space-based communications market, longstanding satellite operators are positioning themselves to compete with the billionaire-owned company — particularly when it comes to military and government services.
SpaceX, with its 5,000-satellite Starlink fleet, has a hedge on the satellite communication market, but executives at U.K.-based OneWeb and Luxembourg-based Intelsat told C4ISRNET this week during the DSEI conference here they see opportunities to join the behemoth in meeting increasing connectivity demands.
Chris Moore, OneWeb’s vice president for defence and security, said in a Sept. 12 interview demand for these services means that other providers likely won’t be waiting in the wings much longer.
“We’ve got a supply problem — it’s a good problem to have,” he said. “There’s plenty of room for us and Starlink in terms of meeting the world’s connectivity problems in the short term. And of course, others are going to be coming online.”
SpaceX’s success with Starlink has also pushed its competitors to refocus and make new investments, according to Rory Welch, vice president of global government and satellite services at Intelsat.
“It’s forced a lot of the traditional providers like Intelsat to up our game,” Welch said in an interview. “And we are. We’re making big investments in our future network.”
Starlink’s preeminence in the satellite internet services market has put SpaceX in the spotlight in recent weeks following the release of a biography of the company’s bnaire founder Elon Musk. The book, written by journalist Walter Isaacson, claims that Musk secretly turned off Starlink services to prevent Ukraine from targeting Russian naval vessels in Stevastopol, the largest city in Crimea.
Musk has since stated that he didn’t turn off Starlink, but had in fact never activated the service in the region over concerns about how Russia might respond to an attack.
While SpaceX wasn’t under a military contract at that time, the U.S. Defense Department has since formalized an agreement with the company for Starlink services, though officials have not confirmed details on the specifics of that deal.
The scenario has raised concerns among military leaders that commercial companies like SpaceX could refuse services in a time of conflict and underlines the pitfalls of relying on a single commercial provider for such a vital capability. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said this week at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber conference in National Harbor, Md., that without assurances that a commercial company will provide capabilities when needed, “they’re not something we can rely on in wartime.”
For OneWeb and Intelsat, the path toward competing with industry giant SpaceX has included a certain degree of rebuilding. Both companies declared bankruptcy in 2020 and underwent a financial restructuring.
Since emerging from bankruptcy, OneWeb has launched hundreds of satellites to low Earth orbit — about 1,200 miles (2,000 km) above the planet’s surface. That includes its latest batch in May, which brought its constellation to 634 spacecraft and helped it achieve global coverage in orbit. By early next year, it expects to have fully rolled out its ground infrastructure, which will close the loop for full global coverage.
During DSEI, OneWeb announced that Britain’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship, Argus, had connected to its LEO constellation — marking the first time a military vessel deployed its SATCOM services. It also revealed the release of a portable, lightweight terminal that will bring broadband connectivity to users in remote areas. The equipment, which can fold into a large backpack, is ideal for military operators and rescue crews working in hard-to-reach areas with difficult terrain.
OneWeb’s fleet is much smaller than Starlink’s, but Moore said the company has a narrower customer base that includes high-end industries like telecommunications and energy as well as military and other government agencies. While it may compete with Starlink in those areas, it’s less focused on the mass consumer market.
The company’s impending merger with French SATCOM provider Eutelsat — which is set to close at the end of this month — will also allow it expand its coverage to new orbits, offering future customers a more diverse capability.
Eutelsat operates a fleet of satellites in geostationary orbit, about 22,000 miles (35,000 km) above Earth. While LEO constellations like Starlink can provide a more responsive service to a broad set of consumers, GEO-based systems offer more power and capacity to support higher-end missions, such as machine-to-machine teaming for uncrewed military aircraft.
Having that combination, Moore said, differentiates the company.
OneWeb is also in the process of designing its next generation of LEO satellites, which could be operating as soon as 2025. The spacecraft will replace older systems in the constellation, bring more capacity and will be upgradeable through software modifications. The second-generation, or Gen 2, satellites will also be built with both military and commercial requirements in mind, Moore said.
“Where Gen 1 was very much a commercial platform and a commercial architecture with some military applications on top, we’re designing Gen2 to be dual-use from the outset,” he said. “We’re in lots of conversations with a few governments about what that looks like.”
Beyond low Earth orbit
Intelsat has also been working to bolster its position in the SATCOM market. A central feature of that work was establishing its global government and satellite services business in January, which Welch leads.
The new business unit is focused on growing the company’s work with international allies. That includes not only the traditional Five Eyes partners, but other countries in Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the Asia-Pacific region who worry about security threats from Russia or China.
“When they spend more on defense, typically there’s a drag along with them spending more on space,” Welch said. “And these are countries that tend to operate in a more austere environment with less infrastructure or where they’re doing more deployments outside of their individual countries, a lot more need for beyond-line-of-sight communications.”
Along with offering Intelsat’s core SATCOM services, the global business unit provides assistance to customers as they design, build, launch and operate their satellites.
The company is also looking to expand its global, GEO-based satellite network to include operations in medium Earth orbit, between GEO and LEO. Welch said Intelsat considered whether to develop its own LEO constellation but determined that MEO “made better sense” from a cost and complexity standpoint. The company is in the early stages of designing those satellites.
Intelsat is establishing new partnerships with LEO operators and is also producing a new line of software-defined GEO satellites that can reroute traffic and adjust beams to ensure full coverage across orbits.
“We’re really focused on the multi-layer elements of our network because we really think that it’s not just one — it’s not just LEO or GEO or MEO,” Welch said. “We’re going to compete with Starlink and other LEO operators because we’re a commercial company, but I think it’s more about what we can do as a multi-orbit constellation.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
At Viasat, we’re driven to connect every warfighter, platform, and node on the battlefield. As a global communications company, we power ms 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.