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31 Jan 19. Airbus completes Telesat LEO Constellation System review. Airbus Defence and Space said it was “keen” to continue to deepen its partnership with Telesat after completing the LEO Constellation System Requirements Review. Airbus confirmed that it is now working on a “detailed design” of the system, as it continues to work to offer solutions to meet Telesat’s “ambitious requirements”.
Telesat plans to launch a satellite constellation in low Earth orbit (less than 1,000km from Earth) that will “seamlessly integrate with terrestrial networks”. This technology will be able to deliver fiber quality throughput anywhere on Earth and provide low-latency networks across the globe.
Airbus said the LEO constellation will “transform global communications by offering an unsurpassed combination of capacity, speed, security, resilience, low cost and low latency, comparable to, or better than, today’s terrestrial networks”.
Airbus also said the Telesat LEO will accelerate 5G expansion.
A consortium of Thales Alenia Space and Maxar Technologies also completed their System Requirements Review as they too look to advance detailed designs for the complete LEO system, both for space and ground segments.
“Telesat has ambitious objectives for the performance of its LEO system, and the innovative solutions both contractor teams recently presented give us high confidence that the cost and performance goals set for Telesat LEO can be achieved,” said Erwin Hudson, vice president of Telesat LEO.
“Working with these two outstanding teams – Airbus and Thales Alenia Space-Maxar – not only reduces project risk but gives Telesat access to the latest space-based technologies from true industry leaders. Telesat continues to collaborate with both teams as they further the development of their designs, and we look forward to selecting a prime contractor for the Telesat LEO program later this year.”
“Our consortium is applying the latest technologies to optimize system network performance and assure that the constellation design is the best one for achieving Telesat’s goals,” said Martin Van Schaik, senior VP sales and marketing of Thales Alenia Space.
“The project team, consisting of engineering specialists at both Thales Alenia Space and Maxar’s SSL, is developing game-changing solutions as we successfully complete one milestone after another.” (Source: Space Connect)
31 Jan 19. Blue Origin breaks ground on engine manufacturing facility. Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin has kicked off construction of the company’s engine production facility in the US, marking a major milestone in the company’s commercial space flight ambitions. The 46-acre facility will be responsible for delivering the Blue Engine 4 or BE-4, supporting more than 300 new jobs in Huntsville, Alabama. Blue Origin’s BE-4 engine is the most powerful liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled rocket engine ever developed. Using an oxygen-rich staged combustion cycle, BE-4 is capable of producing 2,447 kN (550,000 lbf) thrust with deep throttle capability. BE-4 is currently undergoing full-scale engine development testing in company facilities in Van Horn, Texas. Full rate production will take place in Blue Origin’s new engine manufacturing facility in Huntsville, Alabama.
Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin, welcomed the next stage of the manufacturing process, saying, “Thanks to the votes of confidence from United Launch Alliance, from the Air Force for national security missions, and from Huntsville and the state of Alabama, we are breaking ground on a world-class facility to produce our engines and power the next generation of spaceflight.”
The BE-4 is America’s next rocket engine and is made for both commercial and government missions. The production of this engine would end the nation’s dependence on Russia for access to space for critical national security space systems.
Blue Origin’s engine production facility is the latest exciting addition to Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park, which is the second-largest research park in the US and fourth-largest in the world.
The BE-4 engine was recently selected by United Launch Alliance to power the Vulcan rocket, while the New Glenn launch vehicle and Vulcan were selected by the US Air Force as part of its Launch Services Agreement contract.
Building on this, Blue Origin is in the final negotiations with Marshall Space Flight Centre for acceptance testing for both the BE-4 and BE-3U engines at Test Stand 4670, the historic site for testing the Saturn V first stage and the Space Shuttle main engines.
Blue Origin envisions a future where millions of people are living and working in space. It is focused on developing infrastructure for the creation of human spaceflight capabilities. (Source: Space Connect)
28 Jan 19. Vega-C’s First Stage P120C Motor Achieves Final Milestone Test. The first qualification model of the P120C solid-fuel motor, configured for Vega-C, was static fired yesterday on the test stand at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. Fully loaded with 142 tonnes of fuel, the 13.5 m long and 3.4 m diameter motor was ignited for a final simulation of liftoff and the first phase of flight. During a burn time of 135 seconds, the P120C delivered a maximum thrust of about 4650 kN. No anomalies were seen and, according to initial recorded data, the performance met expectations. A full analysis of these test results will confirm readiness of this motor for Vega-C’s debut launch. The P120C replaces the current P80 as the first stage motor of Vega-C, significantly increasing performance.
Preparing the P120C solid rocket motor
New features make this motor a proud achievement of European industry. The large motor case made of carbon composite was built in one piece. Advanced manufacturing techniques have been incorporated in horizontal robotic integration of the nozzle, and efficient production has driven down costs in a competitive launchers market.
This hot firing follows the test of the P120C development model in July last year. The second qualification model, configured for Ariane 6, will be tested later this year. Ariane 6 will also use P120C motors as strap-on boosters, either two or four according to the configuration. Building a common motor for Europe’s next-generation launch vehicles has benefitted development goals and economies of scale, supporting ESA’s goal to maintain independent access to space for Europe. ESA, France’s CNES space agency, and Europropulsion under contract to Avio and ArianeGroup, collaborated on this test. (Source: ASD Network/European Space Agency (ESA))
29 Jan 19. Shanahan has identified top pick to lead Space Command. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan has identified who he wants to lead U.S. Space Command, and work is underway on the confirmation process. However, when it comes to a name, Shanahan is keeping things close to his vest.
“We do have a person we’re going to move through in terms of who would lead the Space Command,” Shanahan told press at the Pentagon on Tuesday. “I’m not going to mention the individual’s name. That is moving the way through the process.”
In December, President Donald Trump signed the order to create Space Command, with the goal of overseeing and operationalizing U.S. efforts in space. The command’s creation is seen as the first step toward an eventual Space Force, a new branch of the military sought by Trump; Defense News first reported that the Pentagon plans for that force to reside under the Air Force, similar to how the Marines reside under the Navy.
Expected to cost about $800m, the command will pull about 600 staff from existing military space offices at its creation. The command will be led by a four-star general and a deputy.
While Shanahan has previously said he sees experience with space issues more as a nice-to-have than a must-have for the top spot, there is expectation that Gen. John Raymond, commander of Air Force Space Command, is a leading candidate to lead the command.
It is expected more details on Space Command, including where it will be based, will be shared around the release of the fiscal 2020 budget.
As deputy secretary, Shanahan served as the point man for the department’s space reorganization efforts. While taking on additional responsibilities since replacing Jim Mattis in the top spot, Shanahan indicated he plans to continue the focus on space.
The acting secretary also acknowledged the need to work with Capitol Hill, where some lawmakers have expressed skepticism about the various space plans put forth from the department.
“When I go up on the Hill and talk to members about where they have concerns and where their interests are, they’re very focused on how do we not grow a bureaucracy, how do we not generate unnecessary costs. When we talk about the Space Force, and I think about the discussions we’re going to have over the next five to six months, it’s going to be small, as small as possible [a] footprint,” he said. (Source: Defense News)
29 Jan 19. ‘The Model T Ford of satellites’: Meir Moalem, Sky and Space Global. Australian-listed Sky and Space Global is preparing to deliver leading-edge, nano-satellite based connectivity to equatorial Africa with the company’s next-generation Pearl nano-satellite constellation. The 200 nano-satellites in the Pearl constellation will be launched between mid-2019 and late 2020 in a staggered deployment that reduces risk, allows learnings between launches, and more efficient use of capital and management of cash flow. The Pearl constellation builds on the experience gained throughout the development and successful launch and testing process of the Three Diamonds constellation as part of SAS Global’s partnership with the Indian Space Research Organisation in 2017-18.
Three Diamonds gained formal approval from Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, confirming the “bringing into use” (BIU) classification – a critical regulatory classification that confirms the existence of the satellite in space as well as validating the network’s capabilities to send and receive signals from a space station.
SAS Global CEO and managing director Meir Moalem told Space Connect, “The Pearl constellation will provide communications and connectivity in the narrow band width that is targeted toward things like mobile phone calls, text messaging, machine-to-machine communications and the Internet of Things (IoT). Narrow band width is a more cost-effective way of providing connectivity to remote parts of the world.”
Working in collaboration with Virgin Orbital, SAS Global’s first launch projected for later this year will deliver the first payload of 16 nano-satellites currently being manufactured by GomSpace in Europe, with two satellites currently being produced a week, with the aim for a satellite a day in the coming months.
“The Pearl nano-satellites really are like the Model T Ford of satellites. The units themselves are approximately 10 kilograms and about the size of a small shoe box, highlighting the capability of the nano-satellite platform to provide low-cost, reliable and leading-edge communications and connectivity capabilities,” Moalem said.
Assessed all technical components, including schedule, overall design, altitude control performance and system budgets (mass, power and link). To accommodate the needs of SAS, GomSpace is establishing a separate production line so that a new batch of 25 satellites will be ready for launch every two to three months.
The new production line will operate according to the serial production established by the automotive industry and signals a significant advancement in satellite manufacturing; GomSpace has conducted 50 satellite missions and delivered the first nano-satellites to the European Space Agency, with SAS Global’s first launch on track for mid-2019.
“Nano-satellites are the most cost-effective and reliable way of connecting people, and SAS Global will remain at the leading edge of the nano-satellite revolution, driving innovation and outcomes for our customers,” Moalem explained. (Source: Space Connect)
29 Jan 19. Rocket Lab to support DARPA Electron mission. Rocket Lab has announced that its first launch mission of 2019 would see the launch of a specialised satellite for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency from the company’s launch site in New Zealand. The 150kg satellite is a key component of DARPA’s Radio Frequency Risk Reduction Deployment Demonstration (R3D2) mission, which is scheduled for launch in late February. DARPA intends to space-qualify a prototype reflect array antenna to improve radio communications in small spacecraft. The antenna, made of a tissue-thin Kapton membrane, packs tightly inside the small satellite for stowage during launch, before deploying to its full size of 2.25 metres in diameter once it reaches low Earth orbit.
The mission highlights the US government’s demand for the type of responsive, ultra-flexible and rapidly acquired launch service that characterises the Rocket Lab launch experience on Electron.
This high compaction ratio enables larger antennas in smaller satellites, enabling satellite owners to take advantage of volume-limited launch opportunities while still providing significant capability. The mission could help validate emerging concepts for a resilient sensor and data transport layer in low Earth orbit – a capability that does not exist today, but one which could revolutionise global communications by laying the groundwork for a space-based internet.
Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck said, “Rapid acquisition of small satellite launch capabilities is increasingly important to US government organizations like DARPA. The ability to rapidly space-qualify new technology and deploy space-based assets with confidence on short notice is a service that didn’t exist for dedicated small satellites until now.”
The mission, the first of monthly Electron launches this year, will lift off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on the Māhia Peninsula of New Zealand. To ensure precise insertion and responsible orbital deployment, the R3D2 payload will be deployed via the Electron Kick Stage to a circular orbit.
“We’re honored to provide Electron’s agile and flexible launch service to DARPA and we look forward to delivering the innovative R3D2 payload to orbit,” Beck said.
Using this unique launch method, Electron’s second stage is left in a highly elliptical orbit where the stage is subject to significant atmospheric drag, causing it to de-orbit and burn up to nothing in a reduced time frame. The Kick Stage is then used to deploy the satellite payload to a precise orbit, following which the Kick Stage can perform a de-orbit burn to speed up its re-entry, leaving no orbital debris behind in space. The Rocket Lab Electron launch experience is the world’s first customised small satellite launch service. With the choice of two Rocket Lab launch sites, and the ability to rapidly launch to orbit as frequently as every 72 hours, each mission is tailored to the customer requirements. (Source: Space Connect)
28 Jan 19. £1m injection into pioneering new space technology. The development of a new generation of pioneering British deployable satellite antennas has been boosted following a £1m MOD investment. The ‘wrapped rib’ antenna is lighter, less complex and more cost-competitive than those currently available commercially. The antenna will be exclusively developed in the UK by Oxford Space Systems (OSS). It will make the UK the first European country with the capability of a flight-proven parabolic deployable antenna. The lighter weight of the ‘wrapped-rib’ antenna means it can be transported to space more efficiently at less expense. This is critical in an industry where launch costs are high. The MOD funding will assist OSS to increase the antenna’s size and its performance to meet the needs of defence.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: I have been clear that we need to accelerate the development of new, innovative capabilities – especially those in the space domain. It is vital that we have homegrown affordable technologies like this pioneering deployable satellite antenna to maintain a commanding military advantage over our adversaries and competitors. In collaboration with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and the Defence Innovation Fund, this is the largest contract placed with a first-time supplier by the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA).
The new antenna will be used to meet the needs of fine-resolution Low Earth Orbit Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery. SAR permits all weather Earth observation, irrespective of time of day or night. This provides unique advantages for both civil and defence applications. The technology will enable the UK to deploy a number of antennas in space, providing more accurate and frequent satellite images.
The technology consists of a specialist carbon-fibre composite and utilises origami engineering techniques to create a unique, compact, deployable antenna. This results in an antenna that is compact and light weight when folded for easy portability and deployability but can unfurl to several metres when in space, just like a large pop-up umbrella.
OSS Senior Commercial Strategist, Shefali Sharma said: This contract represents a considerable stamp of endorsement by the UK Government for OSS on the global stage. The funding allows us to create high value employment in the space sector and grow our team of experts at our Harwell base. We can now focus on maturing the ‘wrapped rib’ antenna toward on-orbit demonstration. We view our antenna technology as a key enabler for the next-generation of communications and SAR services from orbit. The antenna is highly scalable and tunable and has been specifically designed for volume production, targeting smallsat constellations. As such, it’s suitable for a range of commercial opportunities not only here in the UK, but globally too. Our doors are open to international trade and we are excited about where future partnerships will take us.
Head of DASA, Lucy Mason said: Our work with OSS ticks all DASA’s objectives, not only did we provide the initial stimulus to establish this partnership, but it will also open up opportunities for truly cross government collaboration, with the potential to meet the needs of both our defence and security customers. Additionally, the project will contribute to UK prosperity by creating jobs and increasing export opportunities. This is exactly why DASA exists.
The move is just the latest defence involvement in the space sector. The Defence Secretary has announced that he will launch a dedicated Defence Space Strategy, whilst the department is also supporting the UK Space Agency with work on a national alternative to the EU’s Galileo satellite system. The RAF was also involved in the launch and operation of the Carbonite-2 demonstrator satellite; now in orbit, the satellite offers sovereign, full-motion colour video from space for the RAF for the first time. (Source: U.K. MoD)
24 Jan 19. Thales Alenia Space and Maxar Consortium Achieve Major Milestone in Design Phase of Telesat’s LEO Satellite Constellation. Thales Alenia Space, a Joint Venture between Thales (67 %) and Leonardo (33 %) and SSL, a Maxar Technologies company (NYSE: MAXR; TSX: MAXR), have completed an important milestone for the Telesat LEO constellation. The success of the consortium’s System Requirements Review (SRR) demonstrates increasing momentum for Telesat’s global communications system design and was highlighted by three satellite industry leaders agreeing on key innovations that will enable Telesat LEO to deliver breakthrough performance and affordability.
As previously announced, Telesat selected the consortium of Thales Alenia Space and Maxar Technologies, the owner of SSL and MDA, as one of two contractors for its LEO system design phase. The consortium, led by Thales Alenia Space, is designing an end-to-end communications system, including satellites, landing stations, user terminals, operations centers, and ground network.
The Thales Alenia Space / Maxar design for Telesat LEO is based on the combined companies’ proven experience, industrial capability and a strong supplier base for fully integrated communications satellite systems, including payload antenna design, on-board processing, optical inter-satellite links and LEO satellite production. The success of the SRR was the result of multiple work streams located in France, the U.S. and Canada working together to apply the consortium’s very best talent to every task.
“Our consortium is applying the latest technologies to optimize system network performance and assure that the constellation design is the best one for achieving Telesat’s goals. The project team, consisting of engineering specialists at both Thales Alenia Space and Maxar’s SSL, is developing game-changing solutions as we successfully complete one milestone after another. Thales Alenia Space leads the industry in successfully deployed constellations and we are very excited to be supporting this new constellation from Telesat that will bring unprecedented levels of capacity and flexibility for broadband services around the world”, declared Martin Van Schaik, Senior VP Sales and Marketing Thales Alenia Space.
“The consortium of Thales Alenia Space and Maxar’s SSL has made great progress in developing innovative solutions for the Telesat constellation,” said Dario Zamarian, Group President, SSL. “Completing the SRR is a significant milestone and demonstrates the success of our collaboration with Thales Alenia Space and the value of our SSL and MDA businesses working together to bring integrated solutions that drive competitive advantages for satellite operators, and help build a better world.” (Source: ASD Network)
25 Jan 19. USAF Space Command Eyeing Opportunities for Rapid Acquisition. Air Force Space Command plans to continue its use of streamlined acquisition authorities to speed up the delivery of new capabilities, a top official said Jan. 25. In recent years, Congress has granted new authorities to the Defense Department — such as those from Section 804 of the fiscal year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act — designed to cut through the bureaucratic red tape that often plagues the Pentagon’s traditional procurement processes. Lawmakers and department leaders are hoping that tools such as other transaction authority agreements, which have become increasingly popular, will enable program officials to move products from the design and prototyping stage into production faster. The efforts come as the U.S. military is trying to maintain its technological edge over peer competitors such as China and Russia.
The Air Force has come under criticism for the slow pace in which it fields space systems. Lt. Gen. David Thompson, vice commander of Air Force Space Command, said he is looking to shorten timelines for bringing in new capabilities.
“I’d really like to thank Congress, and those who have helped with … giving [us] the new acquisition authority,” he said during remarks at an event in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. “The Air Force’s assistant secretary for acquisition is pushing … the space sector hard in terms of using those authorities to move forward,” Thompson added, referring to Will Roper.
Thompson noted three initiatives for which the service intends to leverage the new acquisition tools. One is fast-tracking the development of new virtual reality technologies that are used to train pilots. Service officials are expected to increasingly utilize VR and other computer-generated tools such as augmented reality to train airmen. They have touted benefits such as cost-effectiveness and improved readiness.
Another capability the Air Force will use are streamlined acquisition authorities for is its next-generation overhead persistent infrared program, Thompson said. The new OPIR satellites will replace the current Space-Based Infrared System. They are expected to provide improved missile warning capabilities that are more survivable against emerging threats. The service has said it hopes to launch the first next-gen system in 2023.
Another project ripe for streamlined acquisition is the Enterprise Space Battle Management Command and Control, Thompson said. The new technology is expected to be able to manage more data than legacy systems and efficiently transmit information between the military and the intelligence community.
The service will also apply the authorities for a “whole host of other capabilities by which we can very quickly move from knowing what the requirement is … to [beginning] the process of actually getting the program up and started rather than what is the standard DoD process” for acquisition approval, he noted. (Source: glstrade.com/National Defense)
25 Jan 19. US Navy to equip E-2D with MUOS satcom. The US Navy (USN) is looking to equip the Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft with an upgraded satellite communications (satcom) suite. The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) announced on 24 January that it intends to award Northrop Grumman a sole-source contract to undertake a technical study on the feasibility of fitting both dual satcom channels of the carrier-borne AEW aircraft with the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS). Work is to take place between August 2019 and May 2020, with nine one-year options to extend the term of the contract. As noted by Jane’s C4ISR & Mission Systems: Maritime, the MUOS is a next-generation narrowband tactical satcom system developed by Lockheed Martin Space Systems to significantly improve communications for mobile US forces. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
22 Jan 19. British In-Space Missions Plans for Carpool Satellite Launch this Year from New Zealand. The British company In-Space Missions announces a full manifest for its first Faraday mission, in Q2 this year on an Electron rocket from New Zealand. The company provides access to space at an affordable entry price by launching multiple payloads on a single satellite. The objective of providing turnkey, in-orbit demonstration services for payload providers is accomplished as the result of the company’s team of industry veterans at In-Space Missions who provide the expertise to assemble, integrate, test, and operate the platform thereby enabling the payload providers to focus on developing their payload, business case, and downstream services.
Faraday-1 launches in Q2 this year on an Electron rocket from New Zealand and has a complement of five payloads that deliver the Faraday mission approach with plans to demonstrate, qualify and provide early service roll-out for commercial customers.
The payloads include those from Lacuna Space, the Space Environment Research Centre in Canberra, Canadensys Aerospace, and two confidential customers and will demonstrate a range of applications including IoT, on-orbit characterization of an adaptive optics corrected ground-based laser, 360-degree optical imaging, and RF spectrum monitoring.
Doug Liddle, In-Space CEO stated that Faraday-1 is a fabulous new proposition for the space sector as his company has now demonstrated that the business case for an international commercial IOD mission can be closed at a price that meets customers’ expectations and needs. While this first Faraday satellite is a 6U cubesat, future Faradays will make use of a range of platforms to improve still further the economies of scale from multi-manifesting payloads while still meeting the time to orbit requirement.
In addition to the payloads noted above, Faraday-1 will also prototype the vision system and content processing for SpaceTime Enterprises (an In-Space joint venture providing real-time video from space) and de-risk key elements of the CubeScale product, a plug-and-play low cost scaling product that makes use of cubesat technology to deliver up to 100 kg sized satellites.
Tony Holt, CTO at In-Space added that at the core of the Faraday-1 satellite is the highly successful GOMX-4 bus from Gomspace. They integrate this bus, along with the payloads at In-Space’s facilities at BASE Bordon in the UK. They are also making use of the expertise of Bright Ascension in building the space and ground software and they have a commercial, non-space, partner providing the user interface.
Ed Stevens, Director of Space Systems remarked that working together with payload providers from around the world, balancing their individual requirements with the platform capability, and launching a satellite in a short timescale is challenging but also exciting! It plays to the strengths and experience of the team at In-Space and they look forward to a very interesting year.
In-Space is now building the manifest for the second Faraday satellite which is planned to launch in 2020 and still has available capacity for payloads. (Source: Satnews)
23 Jan 19. The First OneWeb Constellation’s Satellites Have Shipped to Launch Site. OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture between Airbus and OneWeb, as delivered the first satellites for the OneWeb constellation. The satellites were manufactured at the OneWeb Satellites facility on the Airbus Defence and Space Toulouse site and the first six have been shipped to Kourou for launch. The first launch of the mega constellation is scheduled for February 19, 2019, on a Soyuz rocket.
OneWeb Satellites will now turn its focus to ramping up production of the full constellation of satellites in its new factory in Florida, demonstrating once again the agility of this JV. OneWeb Satellites is a joint venture between OneWeb, a global communications company whose mission is to provide Internet to everybody, everywhere, and Airbus with its first order to include the production of ultra-high performance communications satellites.
The Toulouse OneWeb Satellites facility is being used to validate the innovative production methods necessary to manufacture these satellites at a scale never achieved before, de-risk any potential issues, and lay the framework for the larger multi-line OneWeb Satellites factory near the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The satellites, weigh approximately 150 kg. and will operate in near-polar, 1,200km., LEO orbit.
Tony Gingiss, the OneWeb Satellites CEO, said with this generation of satellites, the company is entering a new chapter in the story that started three years ago. The firm’s team is transforming the space industry and OneWeb Satellites is in the midst of demonstrating the company can deliver on the firm’s promises. (Source: Satnews)
22 Jan 19. Second Generation Beamformer ICs Debut from Anokiwave for SATCOM. Anokiwave, Inc. has released their 2nd generation K-/Ka-band SATCOM Beamformer IC family for the design and commercial deployment of phased array based ground terminals. The new K/Ka-band ICs enable active antenna based phased array SATCOM ground terminals that can auto-align and auto-position and support SATCOM-On-The-Move (SOTM) using LEO/MEO/GEO satellites. The new IC family builds on the company’s first generation of beamformer ICs, improving performance, reducing cost, and providing a host of digital functionality that simplifies the active antenna array design. The highly integrated AWMF-0132 K-Band Rx IC and the AWMF-0133 Ka-Band Tx IC both support four dual polarization radiating elements with full polarization flexibility. Using a small 4.4×3.6 mm WLCSP (Wafer Level Chip Scale Package) makes the overall phased array assembly and thermal management even easier.
Abhishek Kapoor, Anokiwave VP of Sales, said that high-performance with system level design considerations and low cost are fundamental to making mass scale commercial deployment of SATCOM active antennas and phased arrays a reality. The company’s new K/Ka-band beamformers set a new and unmatched industry standard of performance and cost combination. Already received have been multiple SATCOM customers who are successfully building and deploying arrays using the new ICs who are achieving first pass success with their arrays with these new ICs. (Source: Satnews)
25 Jan 19. Gilat Launches 5G-Ready Satellite Backhaul Solution – optimizes SkyEdge II-c Multi-Service Platform. Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. (NASDAQ, TASE: GILT) has answered the call for the global demand for higher throughputs and greater efficiencies for next-generations services that will be accelerated with 5G, resulting in generating exponential growth in network capacity as well as in the number and types of connected devices and services. Gilat is now further enhancing and optimizing its SkyEdge II-c multi-service platform for 5G capacity, service and network availability targets, to deliver new levels of satellite connectivity in multiple dimensions from cellular nodes and to the most demanding applications.
The enhanced SkyEdge II-c solution enables 2.5 Gbps throughput from a single forward carrier and 1 Gbps throughput from associated return channels, enabled by highly efficient DVB-S2X wideband transmission in the forward direction and Gilat’s innovative LDPC fast adaptive return access scheme.
The SkyEdge II-c solution supports the full suite of current modems and capabilities, including GTP acceleration, Mobile-Edge Computing (MEC) and carrier grade Layer-2 and Layer-3 with GTP acceleration.
In addition, the SkyEdge II-c satellite modem product family is now being extended with its newest addition, Capricorn-PLUS. This new modem is equipped with a powerful processing engine that supports new levels of users and services density with up to 100,000 PPS as well as higher throughputs and efficiencies with up to 100 Mbps throughput on the MF-TDMA return channel.
Moreover, the SkyEdge II-c scalable, cloud-based architecture offers a migration path to Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) with software upgrade, making it a future proof solution.
Moti Goldshtein, Head of Products at Gilat stated that as networks evolve to 5G, Gilat is excited to be at the forefront with a next generation satellite backhaul solution to support the coming transition and enable the delivery of new services. SkyEdge II-c has become the satellite solution of choice for the world’s leading LTE networks, and with the launch of a new set of capabilities they’re now paving the road to 5G connectivity everywhere. (Source: Satnews)
24 Jan 19. UPDATE: Blue Origin’s New Shepard Rocket Successfully Launches and Returns. Blue Origin’s New Shepard reusable launch system was launched and landed at Blue Origin’s West Texas Launch Site, on January 23, 2019, at 15:05 UTC (09:05 CST).
This was the fourth mission, launch and landing, for this New Shepard launch vehicle. For Blue Origin’s mission NS-10, the New Shepard Crew Capsule 2.0 transported nine NASA-sponsored research and technology payloads — see the information below for payload details.
NASA’s Flight Opportunities program is an essential program for researchers providing access to microgravity for technology development. Blue supports NASA’s Flight Opportunities program and its role in perfecting technology for a future human presence in space.
The payloads flying on NS-10 include:
Carthage College Space Sciences Program: The Modal Propellant Gauging experiment led by Dr. Kevin Crosby is a joint effort with the NASA Kennedy Space Center Cryogenics Laboratory. It demonstrates a way to measure fuel levels in microgravity by using sound waves. Controlled Dynamics Inc.: The Vibration Isolation Platform (VIP) aims to separate payloads from the normally occurring vibrations experienced during spaceflight. The payload led by Dr. Scott Green allows researchers to have a clear understanding of microgravity’s effects on their research results.
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab: On its second flight with Blue, the EM Field experiment will observe and collect data on the naturally occurring electromagnetic fields both inside and outside New Shepard during the launch. Principal Investigator Dr. Todd Smith will use success of this experiment to determine how global measurements of the Earth’s electromagnetic field can be conducted in the future.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: Cooling tightly-packed electronics onboard a spacecraft can be challenging, and many solutions have not been able to undergo robust testing. Principal Investigator Franklin Robinson will test one of these solutions in his Flow Boiling in Microgap Coolers experiment.
Purdue University: Dr. Steven Collicott’s payload looks at Zero-Gravity Green Propellant Management Technology, which aims to help advance the use of a safer and more environmentally friendly rocket propellant by better understanding the fuel’s behavior in microgravity.
University of Central Florida: Two teams led by Dr. Josh Colwell and Dr. Addie Dove both have planetary science payloads on NS-10. The Collisions Into Dust Experiment (COLLIDE) aims to understand how dust particles react after surface contact during exploration missions to places such as the Moon, Mars and asteroids. The Collection of Regolith Experiment (CORE) addresses the unique challenge of collecting and analyzing material samples in microgravity.
University of Florida: Dr. Rob Ferl and Dr. Anna-Lisa Paul are adapting technology designed for the ISS to suborbital uses with their experiment, Validating Telemetric Imaging Hardware for Crew-Assisted and Crew-Autonomous Biological Imaging in Suborbital Applications. By recalibrating the way data is collected, the experiment will enable more biological research on suborbital missions. (Source: Satnews)
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