Sponsored By Viasat
01 Oct 19. US Navy contracts Viasat to deliver KOR-24A STT supplemental units. The US Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWARSYSCOM) has awarded a contract to Viasat to deliver supplemental units for the KOR-24A Small Tactical Terminal (STT). The indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contract will support foreign military sales to US-allied militaries. Viasat’s KOR-24A STT is a multi-channel radio that can enable Link 16 communications in a small form factor.
The terminal also supports interoperability between the US and the military agencies of international partners and enables improved communication.
Viasat Government Systems president Ken Peterman said: “Viasat’s KOR-24A STT has the ability to provide our international military partners with convenient, streamlined access to next-generation technology capabilities needed to enhance situational awareness and improve mission effectiveness across the battlespace. Given current backlog and pending orders of Viasat’s KOR-24A STTs by both US and international defence customers, we see this as another testament to the increased demand for a flexible, multi-channel Link 16 radio at the tactical edge.”
The supplemental units will allow NAVWARSYSCOM to integrate aircraft, vehicles, and maritime vessels into the Link 16 network.
The programme will also enable the command to exchange real-time communication such as tactical situational awareness data and voice with other Link 16-enabled platforms.
Additionally, the contract structure will allow the sale of KOR-24A STT to foreign militaries.
The company’s STT units are intended to be integrated into fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, ground vehicles, and maritime vessels.
The KOR-24A STT is developed by Viasat in partnership with Harris to meet the needs of platforms with size, weight, and power constraints. (Source: naval-technology.com)
03 Oct 19. Black Sky Aerospace begins construction of launch facility. In the race to provide a launch facility for the burgeoning space industry in Australia, Black Sky Aerospace is miles ahead of the competition as construction kicks off at its Queensland facility.
After just announcing that explosives regulators have given the green light for Black Sky Aerospace (BSA) to begin developing their solid rocket motors (SRM) manufacturing facility (pending City of Logan approvals for building permits).
BSA has committed to an expansion of Australia’s first privately owned, commercial sub-orbital launch facility, complete with rooms for operations, storage, accommodation and even an additional sealed runway for critical logistics.
But in a twist, it’s not actually BSA building the facility. The facility, named affectionately as “Funny Farm Space”, a not-for-profit entity named Beyond the Blue Aerospace will manage the property just outside of Goondiwindi.
The facility will be used for space companies to test propulsion systems and for sub – orbital launches.
Goondiwindi mayor Graeme Scheu welcomed the milestone, saying, “The community is experiencing hardship with drought and this sort of diversification is welcomed and exciting. The space facility will be an aerospace hub; supporting our region’s economic growth.”
BSA communications manager Rob Libeau said, “Beyond the Blue Aerospace (BTBA) has been facilitating rocket launches throughout Australia for the better part of a decade. It has been the connection between launch operators and government departments and has scheduled launches all over Australia.
“Black Sky Aerospace is the enabler for Australia to access space and we see Funny Farm space as a critical element for all rocket companies to continue to develop their capabilities.”
Spokesperson for BTBA Lachlan Thomas said, “FFS will be available for space businesses to test propulsion systems and to fly sub-orbital vehicles, up to and above the Karman line.
“The concept is to ensure that use of the facility is fair for all. This means scheduling for not only space companies, but also educational and research institutions and other operators such as high-altitude balloon (HAB) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).”
Funny Farm Space already hosted Australia’s first rocket launch carrying commercial payloads. The three pay loads were sent up to get a better understanding of how the particular components would be affected under the stresses of hypersonic speed and massive air pressures.
With the very high cost of sending a rocket into orbit, it is best practice to test through sub-orbital launch first, so that equipment can be “space qualified” via retrieval and analysis of vehicle and payloads.
BTBA and Funny Farm Space is well-positioned for space companies’ testing and sub-orbital launch objectives because the site is geographically located ideally for these requirements, ensuring accurate data retrieval. (Source: Space Connect)
02 Oct 19. Skynet 6 BLOS Update. Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that following the DSEI Skynet 6 announcement (See: BATTLESPACE EXHIBITION NEWS Vol.21 ISSUE 05, 14 September 2019, DSEI Day 2 Show Daily, UK Announces SKYNET 6 Programme Bost) that, if Airbus play their cards right they should be the long term supplier of hardened GEO satellites. Surrey Satellite, an Airbus subsidiary company, should win any national LEO contributions and Inmarsat could gain and front any additional commercial contribution. Others, such as Viasat, Thales and Lockheed Martin, should be able to put together a persuading case to lead the ‘service delivery wrap.’ “Whether such a team lead thinks it would do better with current Airbus personnel or just advance a cogent case for TUPE, I don’t know but I suspect the latter – a fresh start – would be attractive to some in the MOD,” the source said. However research by BATTLESPACE finds that a clause was inserted into the original Skynet 5 contract which allowed ‘All’ Beyond Line Of Sight (BLOS) be fielded by Airbus whoever the OEM was. This has caused the cancellation of one particular contract run by a specialist SME, due to Airbus taking back control. Once the bidding process begins, those companies competing with Airbus, will be offering quotes for services direct to the MoD customer. Viasat in particular can demonstrate the existence of a very strong and wide area affordable constellation given their civil airline connectivity business.
Viasat told BATTLESPACE, “We’ve long aimed to connect the world. The ViaSat-3 constellation – a trio of satellites in development now – will make that global promise a reality. These satellites will also let us expand our services in the U.S. The new satellites will deliver very high download speeds. Each of the ViaSat-3 satellites is expected to offer 1 terabit or more of total network capacity — a substantial jump from ViaSat-1 (140 Gigabit or Gbps per second) and ViaSat-2 (260 Gbps).
Our planned ViaSat-3 global network will not only help connect the billions of people with limited or no internet access, but also ships at sea, aircraft in the air, islands in the middle of the ocean and just about any other place where terrestrial networks can’t or won’t go.
While a patchwork of such connectivity currently exists on a variety of older satellites, the ViaSat-3 constellation will bring much more uniform coverage with vastly improved speeds and data capacity.
Along with the needs of people and business, it will also enable the U.S. government and other allies to take advantage of artificial intelligence and cloud-based applications over a highly resilient network that can also connect senior leader aircraft. The first ViaSat-3 satellite is planned for launch in 2021. The second ViaSat-3 satellite is expected to launch about six months later. And the third ViaSat-3 class satellite is expected to launch in the second half of 2022. These satellites will focus on the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia-Pacific, respectively.
“The innovations in the Viasat-3 system do what until now has been impossible in the telecommunications industry – combining enormous network capacity with global coverage, and dynamic flexibility to allocate resources according to geographic demand.” Mark Dankberg, chairman and CEO, Viasat
One of the greatest innovations of our ViaSat-3 satellites will be their ability to dynamically move resources to where customers are located.
“One of our key design criteria for Viasat-3 was to have the flexibility to allocate bandwidth resources efficiently over very broad geographic areas, while still being able to focus it on very small ones,” said Mark Dankberg, Viasat’s Chairman and CEO.
Here in the U.S., users won’t have to wait for ViaSat-3 to get an improved or new service. ViaSat-2 service began in early 2018, offering unlimited data plans and speeds up to 100 Mbps in some areas. ViaSat-2 expands our geographic reach seven times, across the continental U.S. and into Canada, Central America, the Caribbean and Central America. The satellite also covers air and maritime routes across the Atlantic to Europe. The potential for new markets and improved service will dramatically expand again with the ViaSat-3 satellites.”
You add this capability with any sweetener in the provision of good value ground stations, then that might be an offer the MoD, with its current problem over funding a new Galileo system, may find it hard to refuse? Keep an indigenous Airbus capability but have the option to lease BLOS coverage from other sources along with the accompanying ground stations and other equipment. In addition, with the current UK MoD Policy of buying from and investing in SMEs, Skynet 6 policy may also see more buying of specialist systems and technology direct from such specialist SMEs as Spectra, the Hereford-based satcom specialist.
03 Oct 19. RAF pilot to help launch UK Space Force satellite. Fifty years after the lunar landing the Royal Air Force is taking its first small steps into space. Flight Lieutenant Mathew Stannard will be the first RAF pilot to help launch a satellite as part of the Ministry of Defence’s £30m space programme. He will be swapping the cockpit of his RAF Typhoon jet for a heavier and slower Boeing 747. The specially adapted passenger plane has been designed to carry a rocket which can launch satellites into space. Working with the Virgin Orbit programme in California, Flt Lt Stannard will be a pioneer of the fledgling Space Force.
Speaking to the BBC in his first interview since being selected for the project, he said he was “very excited” to be joining a “very cool” space industry.
He reminds me he is not going to be the UK’s first person in space. Helen Sharman and Michael Foale preceded him along with, more recently, Tim Peake, who once served in the Army. But he will be the RAF’s “first person to go along this route to be followed by many more”.
The MoD’s spending on the space programme is modest when compared with the billions of dollars already being spent by the US, China and India. But it is yet more proof that space is the new frontier and next frontline for defence.
The RAF pilot notes that “it’s the commercial sector leading the way”.
‘No longer valuable targets’
Historically, it has taken a much larger rocket to launch a satellite from the ground, but Virgin Orbit aims to make it cheaper and quicker.
Its specially adapted 747 named Cosmic Girl carries a much smaller rocket under its wing, which will be fired into orbit at about 30,000 feet.
The rocket will contain a small satellite of about 300kg. Flt Lt Stannard said the unique selling point of Virgin Orbit is that it can be “launched from anywhere in the world” including the UK.
The other game changer is the satellite technology. The one that he will fire into orbit next year will be the “size of a washing machine”.
The RAF already has a similar small satellite in orbit – launched conventionally from India last year. The UK-developed Carbonite 2 provides high quality video to the RAF and the plan is to have a “constellation” of these small satellites in orbit, providing high quality images, video and secure communications.
In theory, they will be quicker and cheaper to build, launch and to replace so “that they no longer become valuable targets,” Flt Lt Stannard said.
It highlights the evolving threats in space. The US, China, Russia and India have all been developing anti-satellite weapons from missiles to lasers and jammers.
With that threat in mind the UK has also become the first formal partner of a new US-led coalition aimed at deterring “hostile acts in space”.
Britain is sending eight military personnel to join Operation Olympic Defender to work alongside allies at the Combined Space Operations Centre in California.
These are the first small steps for the RAF in space and with limited resources it is largely having to rely on the US and the commercial sector to get beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. But it is still a giant leap into the unknown for Flt Lt Mathew Stannard. (Source: BBC)
02 Oct 19. Blue Canyon Technologies Completes Performance Design Review for DARPA Blackjack Program. In collaboration with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the US Air Force (USAF), small spacecraft manufacturer Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) has completed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) for the Blackjack program. BCT is designing an ESPA-class microsat for Blackjack, incorporating their state-of-the-art commoditized FleXbus spacecraft architecture.
The PDR took place on July 29th at BCT’s Boulder-Colorado manufacturing facility and demonstrated the spacecraft bus design meets mission requirements. The PDR culminates the first phase of the program. An extension is currently being negotiated to include a supplemental design review to occur in a matter of months.
BCT is the first company on contract with DARPA to complete a PDR for the Blackjack program. The manufacturer will submit a bid for Blackjack Phase 2 once DARPA finalizes requirements.
“The successful PDR represents a culmination of an intensive 10 months of engineering design effort within Blue Canyon and with external partners who will be vital to meeting Blackjack mission requirements” said Bill Schum, Blackjack Program Manager at Blue Canyon Technologies.
With funding from DARPA and the USAF, the Blackjack program aims to develop and demonstrate the critical technical elements of a global high-speed network platform in low Earth orbit (LEO) that enables highly networked, resilient, and persistent Department of Defense (DoD) payloads.
Blue Canyon’s diverse spacecraft platform has the proven capability to enable a broad range of missions and technological advances for the New Space economy, further reducing the barriers of space entry. The X-SAT microsat spacecraft uses BCT’s heritage FleXbus avionics to provide an advanced platform that maximizes payload volume. The spacecraft includes ultra-high-performance pointing accuracy, a robust power system, command and data handling, RF communications, and dedicated payload interfaces.
BCT is currently building more than 60 spacecraft for government, commercial and academic missions. The company has doubled in size over the past 12 months and plans to open its new 80,000-square-foot headquarters and production facility in 2020.
Blue Canyon Technologies, Inc., (BCT) a Colorado-based private company founded in 2008 to bring innovative, reliable and affordable solutions to space missions, is an experienced integrator of aerospace systems and developer of advanced aerospace products and technologies. BCT is a vertically integrated spacecraft manufacturer supporting nearly 40 unique missions with over 70 spacecraft. The company currently has more than 60 satellites in production and is developing a new 80,000-square-foot facility for high rate production.
BCT has supported missions for The US Air Force, NASA, The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and many others and provided the Attitude Control Systems for the first interplanetary CubeSats which successfully traveled to Mars. The company has been recognized with awards including Inc Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies, 2017 Colorado Companies to Watch, and the 2019 Colorado Biz Made in Colorado Emerging Manufacturer Winner. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
03 Oct 19. USQ welcomes ASA/NASA space research collaboration. The University of Southern Queensland has welcomed the announcement of research collaboration between the Australian Space Agency and NASA, with vice-chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie saying USQ was perfectly poised to play a defining role in the new era space research and innovation.
Professor Mackenzie said USQ was perfectly positioned to play a defining role in the new era and to drive innovation in Australia’s growing space sector.
“The federal government’s exciting decision to work with the US to return to the moon and travel to Mars will propel science and engineering in both our countries into a new realm,” she said.
“The federal government’s financial support will allow Australian organisations and research bodies to drive innovation and increase Australia’s share of the $350bn global space market.”
USQ’s Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences is at the forefront of Australia’s space sector – with expertise in astrophysics, lunar and planetary science, hypersonics, rocketry and advanced materials.
“USQ research, facilities and global partnerships are already something Australia can be proud of and we stand ready to support the Australian Space Agency as we realise a new era of space activity,” Professor Mackenzie added.
“Our expertise is already recognised globally – from our Mt Kent Observatory working with NASA on discovering new planets, to our Neora program delving into asteroid prospecting, to our Space Materials team testing static rockets.
“Deep collaboration between USQ, the government and our industry partners offers opportunities for growth and differentiation based on our natural advantages, unique capability and established partnerships.
“What’s more, investment in the space sector translates to technologies which improve all our lives – from robotics and automation to remote medicine – through industry-led collaboration and research solutions.” (Source: Space Connect)
01 Oct 19. Ariane 6 on the Home Stretch. The detailed definition of the design of Europe’s new Ariane 6 launcher was validated at the closing meeting of the Critical Design Review (CDR) held in Paris on September 25, which brought together the project management teams from the European Space Agency (ESA), French space agency CNES, Arianespace, and ArianeGroup. This step marks the end of the detailed design phase for the Ariane 6 launcher and its means of production – a major milestone in the ESA program, for which ArianeGroup is lead contractor and design authority. Final technical adjustments and verifications will now be carried out.
“We are now entering the home stretch of Ariane 6 development. The launcher design is now validated and all the design decisions for the required launcher performance criteria in terms of production costs, reliability and versatility, have been finalized. We can begin the qualification phase for a first flight in the second half of 2020,” said André-Hubert Roussel, CEO of ArianeGroup.
The next major milestone for Ariane 6 is the start of combined testing of the launcher and its launch pad in Kourou, French Guiana, scheduled for the first half of 2020. The different parts of the launcher will be transferred to Kourou, where the ArianeGroup teams will carry out final assembly in the Launcher Assembly Building (BAL). The launcher will then be installed on the launch pad (ELA-4) for coupling with the boosters and the fairing. All interactions and interfaces with the launch pad will then be tested, with several core stage test firings. Combined Tests Model (CTM) stages are currently being integrated in the ArianeGroup sites in Bremen, Germany (upper stage) and Les Mureaux, France (core stage). At the same time, a second test model of the Ariane 6 upper stage, equipped with the re-ignitable Vinci engine, will be tested at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) site in Lampoldshausen.
In Kourou, the P120C solid rocket booster will undergo its third and final test firing early next year. The Ariane 62 model will be equipped with two lateral boosters and Ariane 64 with four. The P120C is also the main stage of the Vega-C launcher. The formal qualification of the Vulcain 2.1 and Vinci liquid propulsion engines is being finalized, following the success of all test firings.
The first flight model of the Vinci engine, for Ariane 6’s inaugural launch in the second half of 2020, is already in integration at ArianeGroup’s Vernon site in France. During the summer, the first virtual flight, controlled by the new flight software, was executed and ran perfectly.
Series production of the first 14 launchers began on May 6 and the entire industrial chain is up and running for production of the launchers that will fly from the first half of 2021, in accordance with the schedule agreed with the first customers for Ariane 6.
Ariane 6 is an ESA program. ArianeGroup is design authority and lead contractor for launcher development and operations. CNES is responsible for the construction of the launch pad in Kourou, French Guiana, and carries out the tests on that site.
ArianeGroup is lead contractor for Europe’s Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launcher families, responsible for both design and the entire production chain, up to and including marketing by its Arianespace subsidiary, as well as for the missiles of the French oceanic deterrent force. The group is a joint venture equally owned by Airbus and Safran, and employs approximately 9,000 highly qualified staff in France and Germany. Its 2018 revenues amounted to 3.6bn euros. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Ariane Group)
01 Oct 19. The Pentagon wants to extend the life of satellites and refuel on orbit. Northrop Grumman is on the verge of launching a new satellite servicing vehicle that could extend the life of satellites by years, and the Pentagon is interested in becoming a customer.
The lifespan of satellites is often limited by their allotment of fuel, which they use to remain in their assigned orbit or to move to a new one. While the satellite might be fully operational for years to come, if it runs out of fuel then it’s the end of the road. So even though the technology already in orbit is still useful to a client, a satellite provider has to launch an entirely new space vehicle with enough fuel to replace the doomed satellite.
But what if satellites could be refueled in orbit?
At the 2019 Global Satellite Servicing Forum Oct. 1, leaders from SpaceLogistics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman, said they were on the verge of doing just that. Starting with the imminent launch of their first Mission Extension Vehicle, the company is launching a satellite servicing service that can can extend a satellite’s lifespan by years by docking with in-orbit satellites and augmenting their propulsion.
While the launch of MEV-1 was delayed from Sept. 30, SpaceLogistics leaders expect their initial satellite servicing vehicle to launch in the coming weeks.
The first client satellite is Intelsat 901, a communications satellite, said Joe Anderson, vice president of operations and business development for SpaceLogistics.
Following the launch, it will take MEV-1 about three months to meet up with Intelsat 901 in geostationary orbit. At that point, the Intelsat satellite will propel itself upward into the geosynchronous graveyard, an area above geosynchronous orbit typically used to dispose of satellites to prevent them from becoming orbital space debris. There, the space vehicle will approach the satellite and capture the client satellite.
Once attached, the mission extension vehicle takes control of Intelsat 901, using its electric propulsion to return the satellite to its geostationary orbit. The vehicle will remain docked for the next five years, extending Intelsat 901’s service life, before eventually taking it out to the GEO graveyard to dispose of it. Since MEV-1 has a 15 year design life, it can actually extend Intelsat 901’s service life longer or move onto another satellite to provide the same services. It’s not immediately clear how prolonged operations as a life extension tool affect the mission extension vehicles lifespan.
According to Anderson, Space Logistics will be the first to market with this new on-orbit servicing service.
And the Pentagon is interested in this technology. The Space Enterprise Consortium issued a contract to SpaceLogistics via the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center in late July to study the servicing of four national security satellites in space. The deal is a four phase contract, explained Joshua Davis, head of developmental planning and projects at the Aerospace Corporation, a federally funded nonprofit that advises the Department of Defense. According to Davis, that contract is currently in a feasibility study phase, which will be followed by a deep technical dive, mission unique hardware development and, eventually, the execution of a servicing contract.
“We are not buying a servicer, we are procuring commercial services,” said Davis.
Davis noted that the Pentagon needs to be focused on building serviceability into satellites now so that it will be easier to have their life extended once they are on-orbit. The cost of design elements that would make government satellites easily serviceable is negligible, said Davis, and it can save ms of dollars down the line.
Although Davis noted that no Pentagon satellites with on-orbit servicing features had been launched to date, Anderson said that their space vehicle was compatible with approximately 80% of satellites on orbit, including many Department of Defense satellites. And for those military satellites that are not compatible, future vehicles will be able to use robotic attachments to service them, he added.
While the second vehicle is entering production, Anderson said Space Logistics is exploring their next generation of on-orbit servicing products. In the next iteration, a Mission Robotic Vehicle will launch along with a series of Mission Extension Pods. The pods will fan out until they are close to the client satellite in geostationary orbit, and then they will wait. The vehicle will make its way to each pod in turn and go through the process of attaching it to the client satellite, where it will be able to extend the satellites service life by augmenting their propulsion. Once the pod is attached and working, the vehicle moves on to the next pod/satellite pair that needs to be attached.
In addition to installing the pods, the technology can also be used for basic satellite repairs, inspections and directly docking with in-orbit spacecraft.
Once installed, the pods are controlled by the customer. And when the satellite eventually reaches the end of its extended life, the pod will be able to deorbit the satellite or take it to the GEO graveyard, preventing it from contributing to the growing threat of space debris.
This next generation of SpaceLogistics’ satellite servicing crafts is slated for a launch in late 2023 or 2024. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
01 Oct 19. Raytheon Company’s (NYSE: RTN) GPS Next-Generation Operational Control System, known as GPS OCX, has completed full software and hardware development and entered the system integration and test phase. The milestone keeps GPS OCX, the enhanced ground control segment of a U.S. Air Force-led effort to modernize America’s GPS system, on track to meet its June 2021 contractual delivery deadline.
“GPS OCX is one of the largest, most complex software development programs in the Department of Defense, and we’re now in the home stretch toward full system delivery,” said Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services business.
The GPS OCX team completed development of 1.5 m lines of software code, supported by a pivot to leading-edge commercial software development processes that began in 2016. Additionally, the team’s information assurance best practices helped the program achieve the highest level of cybersecurity protections of any DoD space system.
The U.S. Air Force used the cybersecure GPS OCX launch and checkout system, often referred to as Block 0, to launch the first modernized GPS III satellite into space in December 2018 and the second in August 2019. The team’s focus for the remainder of 2019 is the delivery of the system’s new modernized receivers, which will measure and monitor legacy military and civilian signals sent by the current GPS satellite constellation plus the new signals sent by the next-generation GPS IIIs.
01 Oct 19. UK and Australia space agencies are developing a hypersonic ‘space plane.’ At the UK Space Conference 2019, the country’s space agency announced that it would be closely working with the Australian Space Agency on an agreement called the “world’s first Space Bridge” that includes the prospect of hypersonic space travel between Australia and the UK. A possibility, thanks to the Sabre engine currently in development at the Oxfordshire-based Reaction Engines Limited.
By 2030, hypersonic flights could potentially let people travel from the UK to New York in an hour or reach Australia in four hours. That’s the ambition set by the UK and Australia’s space agencies as they recently signed up on a ‘space bridge’ agreement to collaborate and advance in the space industry.
The development took place at this year’s UK Space Conference held in Wales. “A space bridge agreement will bring significant benefits to both our thriving space industries, facilitating new trade and investment opportunities and the exchange of knowledge and ideas,” commented Dr Graham Turnock, CEO of the UK Space Agency. “It was a pleasure to welcome the Australian Space Agency to the UK Space Conference 2019 and to set out our intent to increase collaboration,” he added.
Part of this collaboration involves working on a new hypersonic aircraft powered by UK’s Reaction Engines Ltd. The Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) currently undergoing development at the company is said to have the fuel efficiency of a jet engine combined with the power and high-speed ability of a rocket.
“When we have brought the SABRE rocket engine to fruition, that may enable us to get to Australia in perhaps as little as four hours,” said Dr Graham, adding that “This is technology that could definitely deliver that. We’re talking the 2030s for operational service, and the work is already very advanced.”
Reaction Engines also ran successful tests of a precooler in April this year, in which it simulated conditions at Mach 3.3 (more than three times the speed of sound). These simulations were conducted at a testing facility in the Colorado Air and Space Port in the US.
The precooler was tested to ensure that extremely hot temperatures caused by high-speed air-flow through the engine wouldn’t damage any components. The company said that the precooler was able to cool gases over 1,000 °C to ambient temperature in less than 1/20th of a second. “This is a hugely significant milestone which has seen Reaction Engines’ proprietary precooler technology achieve unparalleled heat transfer performance,” said Mark Thomas, CEO of Reaction Engines.
The company’s program director Shaun Driscoll said that the Sabre engine was like a hybrid of a rocket engine and an aero engine as it allowed a rocket to breathe air. “Rockets really haven’t progressed in 70 years, whereas aero engines have become very efficient, so if you can combine an aero engine and a rocket you can have a very lightweight efficient propulsion system and basically create a space plane,” he said.
With over £100 m ($130 m) in funding over the past four years, Reaction Engines has garnered interest of many big names in the industry including BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Boeing.
A testing facility at Buckinghamshire, UK, is being finalized for construction that will serve as the location for the first ground-based demonstration of a SABRE engine air-breathing core. (Source: News Now/https://www.techspot.com)
25 Sep 19. Britain Needs a ‘Space Force’ to Stop Enemy Forces Destroying Its Satellites, Industry Leaders Warn. UK warned it needs ‘space force’ to protect interests outside Earth’s atmosphere. Threats include jamming satellites, or using lasers or nets to destroy them. Will Whitehorn said the military needed to help protect Britain’s space interests. Britain urgently needs a ‘space force’ to stop enemy forces destroying its satellites, industry leaders have warned. Threats could include jamming satellites, or using lasers, nets or missiles to disable or destroy them.
Will Whitehorn, the incoming president of UK Space, the space industry’s trade association, said the military needed to help protect Britain’s increasing interests outside of the Earth’s atmosphere.
He said: ‘We will see and should see the creation of a space force in the UK.’
The former president of Virgin Galactic said that a huge expansion will happen in satellite technology in Earth’s orbit and further in future space stations. He added: ‘We are about to go through an industrial revolution in space, nothing short of that.
‘We have to be able to defend ourselves in space, if we know there are non-state and state actors who may be inclined to disrupt in the future the ability of any nation state to operate commercially in space. It is clear that these technologies are capable of being taken to a level of relatively unsophisticated use. What nation states like the UK have to do is make sure we are ahead of that game. And we only get ahead by thinking about it in advance.’
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, defence procurement minister, said there are five potential ‘theatres’ of operations for the UK military – air, sea, land, cyber and space. (Source: Satnews)
25 Sep 19. Russians Attach U.S. Satellite Incorrectly. Launch of MEV-1 and Eutelsat-5WB Satellites Postponed. The launch of the Proton-M carrier rocket with European satellite Eutelsat-5WB and U.S. spacecraft MEV-1 was postponed as the U.S. satellite was attached incorrectly, a source in the space rocket industry told the Russian news service TASS on Wednesday.
“Specialists from Roscosmos [Russia’s space corporation] and MOKB Mars [manufacturer of Briz-M control systems] have established the reason of malfunction. The problem emerged because the U.S. spacecraft was not attached correctly to the upper stage,” the source said.
The source added that “the Briz-M control system for the upper stage is operating in the routine mode, adding that “it may take several days to fix the problem with the MEV-1 satellite.”
Another source in the space rocket industry told TASS that malfunction revealed during pre-launch checks “manifests in electromagnetic interference in the Briz-M control system.”
TASS does not have an official confirmation of the information provided by the sources. The press service of Roscosmos told TASS on Tuesday that the launch of the Proton-M carrier rocket — initially planned for September 30 — was postponed to perform additional checks of the upper stage. As of this writing, no new launch date has been announced. (Source: Satnews/TASS Russian News Agency)
27 Sep 19. Spacecom Built for Today’s Strategic Environment. The U.S. Space Command that activated last month is quite different from the U.S. Space Command that stood up when Ronald Reagan was president, Spacecom’s commander said.
Spacecom’s earlier incarnation started in 1985, when the United States was still involved in the Cold War. In 2002, it was shuttered and folded into U.S. Strategic Command.
This combatant command has an area of responsibility that’s 100 km above mean sea level, globally, and higher.” Air Force Gen. John W. Raymond, commander of U.S. Space Command
During a presentation in Washington today sponsored by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, Air Force Gen. John W. Raymond, the Spacecom commander, explained some of the ways the new command will be different from the old.
One difference is scope, Raymond said, noting that today’s Spacecom is a geographic combatant command.
“The last combatant command was a functional combatant command,” he said. “This combatant command has an area of responsibility that’s 100 km above mean sea level, globally, and higher. We did that to solidify space as a warfighting domain and to allow us to have a clear, tighter partnership with the other geographic combatant commands and other combatant commands that we have to operate with.”
The new Spacecom will work much closer with partners — not just with American partners, but with other nations as well. One of Spacecom’s operational components is the Combined Force Space Component Command, Raymond said. “Combined” applies to an organization involving partnerships with foreign allies, as compared to a “joint” command, for which the partnerships that are limited to U.S. military services.
“Based on the Five Eyes order being releasable, we now have partners that have signed up to it,” the general said said. “We now have a combined command that is going to provide great advantage for our nation and for our partners.”
The United States, along with the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, make up an intelligence partnership called “Five Eyes.” The U.K. was the first of those U.S. partners to sign on to be part of the U.S.-led Operation Olympic Defender Defender, which started in 2013 as an effort to deter hostile actions is space.
Raymond also said today’s Spacecom will enhance partnerships with the joint force as well.
“We’ve got a tighter link to our joint warfighting partners,” he said. “We’re going to stand up integrated planning elements of space professionals that will be embedded in all the combatant commands we partner with.”
An integrated planning element for Stratcom is already in place, and small teams are working with U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. European Command. Teams will be formed for the other combatant commands as well, Raymond said.
Today’s Spacecom also enjoys a closer relationship with the intelligence community.
“If you look at the mission statement of the command, we are to protect U.S. and as directed, partner satellites,” the general said. “A couple months ago, we came to an agreement with the intelligence community. Today we operate on what we call a unity-of-effort basis.”
Under that agreement, he said, during times of a heightened state of readiness in which decisions must be made quickly, Spacecom will make those decisions.
“The intelligence community will take direction from the U.S. Space Command commander to protect and defend our nation’s critical capabilities,” he said. “In higher states of conflict, we’ll work tighter and they will take direction, so we can make sure we can … defend the capabilities that we rely so importantly on.”
While a U.S. Space Force has not been established, Raymond said, he remains confident that Congress will do so.
“We are very hopeful that … we will get a sixth branch of the armed forces that will be a Space Force,” he said. “It’s a national imperative that we do this. U.S. Space Command will only be as good as the capabilities that a Space Force will provide.” (Source: US DoD)
25 Sep 19. ‘Shields Up’: Defence Department Looks for New Ways to Protect Canada’s Satellites, with a Nod to Star Trek. The Defence Department wants to take a page out of Star Trek and has asked researchers to develop ways to protect Canadian satellites from such threats as laser attacks and missiles. Dubbed the “Shields Up” project, the plan would see the development of innovative capabilities that could be incorporated into the design and operation of Canada’s space-based systems.
The Shields Up terminology is a nod to the sci-fi TV and movie series Star Trek in which the USS Enterprise starship is protected by deflector shields that can be instantly activated in response to a threat.
“Satellites are vulnerable to natural and artificial threats as well as, increasingly, threats from adversaries who seek to disrupt or destroy allied space systems,” said Dan Le Bouthillier, a spokesman for the Department of National Defence.
Enemy action against satellites could include cyber-attacks, jamming, lasers or missiles, while natural threats could be solar flares, space weather or collisions with debris in space.
The Defence Department and the Canadian Forces are the only Canadian entities with the mandate of protecting and defending the country’s space capabilities, Le Bouthillier noted.
The call for proposals is part of a DND science innovation program.
Ideas that are accepted will receive $200,000 to further the proposal over a six-month period. The most promising solutions could receive another $1m for additional development, Le Bouthillier said.
Canada’s RADARSAT-2 satellite is seen in this illustration. Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates
Most satellite services are commercial in nature and defensive measures have not been a primary criteria in their design. But the DND wants that to change. The concepts or designs have to provide a reasonable method to deal with the threat. They also have to take into account Canada’s international relations and obligations and the fact that various satellites operate in different orbits, which could influence the type of threats they face. There are 1,950 operational satellites in Earth orbits. Le Bouthillier said militaries are increasingly dependent on space-based systems for communication, surveillance, environmental monitoring and navigation. (Source: Satnews)
22 Sep 19. C-Band Alliance Proposals Decision Day — Intelsat Discusses Loss of IS-29e — Intelsat Sues OneWeb. A report from investment bank Exane/BNPP suggests that ‘decision day’ for the C-Band Alliance (CBA) will soon hear from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with its verdict on the CBA’s proposals, this according to a new filing by journalist Chris Forrester at the Advanced Television infosite.
“Our review of the FCC record suggests that alternative proposals to the CBA are not gaining traction. With the likes of Altice, Dish and Comcast likely to bid for C-band, the number of bidders looks greater than expected. This bodes well for pricing and suggests that market expectations on the C band outcome remains too conservative in our view. FCC newsflow on October 4th, 29th or November 21st could be a catalyst,” said the bank’s satellite analyst, Sami Kassab.
The bank says it remains confident that satellite operators will soon be able to monetize their C-band spectrum usage rights. “Our review of the FCC record shows that alternative proposals are not gaining traction and have been opposed by major stakeholders such as Disney, AT&T, Verizon or the Church of Jesus Christ (a major operator of C-band Earth stations).”
Kassab added, “We also believe that Eutelsat is unlikely to hold out on the auction. It is not in its financial interest, in our view, and we believe its legal case to challenge a license modification under Section 316 looks thin. We argue that the number of large bidders for C-band spectrum could also surprise on the upside. In addition to Verizon, we see Comcast, Charter, Altice and Dish as interested in a large number of geographic areas (PEAs). This bodes well for pricing.”
“Based on our C-band valuation analysis we believe that the market is currently far from pricing the favorable scenario we see for satellite operators. We argue that the market is currently assuming C-band price realization of around USD0.15 per Mhz POP (assuming SES core business is valued at 7.5x). We believe the large number of bidders could push prices towards our assumption of USD0.30 per Mhz POP,” said the bank.
The report stated that publication of the agenda of the FCC monthly meetings on October 4th (for the October 25th meeting), October 29th (for the November 19th meeting) or November 21st (for the December 12th meeting) could include reference to the C band proceeding and act as a positive catalyst for satellite share prices.
Chris is also reporting that Intelsat is already drifting an orbiting satellite in order to replace the lost IS-29e, which failed in April.
Speaking at a Goldman Sachs investor conference, CEO Steve Spengler said Intelsat expected to suffer a $70m EBITDA hit from the loss of IS-29e at 50 degrees West which would translate into a $50 m revenue impact.
Spengler said the loss of the satellite needed a ‘multi-pronged’ response which as well as moving a satellite to the orbital location, a new satellite would be ordered by the end of this year, and that it would be supplied in a short time-frame.
Spengler gave some information as to the likely cost to C-Band Alliance members (Intelsat, SES and Telesat) of a favorable decision by the FCC to its proposed scheme for the auction of some C-band frequencies. Spengler said that it would cost between $1bn-$2bn to place new satellites into orbit and to supply and install around 90,000 filters to the Alliance’s cable and IP clients across the U.S. to ensure no interference.
The Alliance expects to have to buy eight smallsats, four from Intelsat and four from SES, to replace the lost capacity and maintain services to clients.(Source: Satnews)
27 Sep 19. UK and Australia launch new space bridge agreement. The United Kingdom and Australia have announced a new “space bridge” agreement to boost cooperation between the two governments, their regulators and industry. This follows the model of the successful “fintech bridge” and lays the foundations for speedy negotiation of space-related opportunities under any future post-Brexit UK-Australia trading arrangements. The agreement was announced at the UK Space Conference this week and builds on the memorandum of understanding signed by the two national space agencies in October last year. It will serve as a base for discussions, especially space-related opportunities, between governments, regulators and industry of the two nations.
“This latest agreement builds on a number of recent international agreements that are positioning Australia to play an increasingly important role in the global space industry,” said Australian Space Agency head Megan Clark.
UK Space Agency CEO Graham Turnock said the UK space heritage has strong links to Australia, with the first British rockets lifting off from Woomera in the 1950s. “We are committed to strengthening our friendship and partnership,” he said.
“A space bridge agreement will bring significant benefits to both our thriving space industries, facilitating new trade and investment opportunities and the exchange of knowledge and ideas.”
Under the agreement, the two space agencies will work with the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) and Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) and with industry leaders such as the UK Satellite Applications Catapult and the new Australian SmartSat Collaborative Research Centre.
The space agencies, along with DIT and Austrade, will now focus on developing the Space Bridge Framework Agreement.
Last year, the two space agencies launched the Surrey Satellite NovaSAR, which is designed to use radar to view the Earth and share 10 per cent of its data with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
The UK-Australia Fintech Bridge came into effect in March last year seems a good model for enhanced space collaboration after Britain departs the EU.
It aims to offer Australian and UK fintech start-ups more speedy entry into each country’s regulatory systems and faster licence processing for companies already holding a licence in the opposing country.
“We will work to identify emerging trends, share policy developments, and position firms for the challenges of entering a foreign market,” then Treasurer Scott Morrison said at the time.
“It will provide exciting new opportunities for trade and investment into the future, in an ever-increasingly digital world where innovation and competitive edge are paramount.”
The new agreement has prompted fresh media discussion of the prospects of hypersonic travel between Australia and the UK, with craft powered by the Sabre engine now under development in the UK.
The ultimate dream is an hour from the UK to New York or four hours to Australia.
“I really like the concrete sense of a bridge linking us, and when we have brought the Sabre rocket engine to fruition, that may in a sense be the manifestation of that space bridge, enabling us to get to Australia in perhaps as little as four hours,” Mr Turnock told the UK Telegraph newspaper.
“Once you’ve got hypersonic engines operating, then that kind of journey time is achievable.
“This is technology that could definitely deliver that. We’re talking the 2030s for operational service, and the work is already very advanced.” (Source: Space Connect)
25 Sep 19. DoD Swats Away Blue Origin Launch Protest. One space expert, with no skin in the NSSL game, opined that for the most part Blue Origin’s protest is “simply whining,” and characterized SpaceX’s lawsuit as “sour grapes.” DoD and the Air Force are pushing back hard against Blue Origin’s claims of unfair ball in the fierce competition for the service’s next-generation rocket, as time winds down toward the June 2020-planned decision. Breaking D obtained a detailed rebuttal of a Blue Origin “Fact Sheet” enumerating its protest. In the rebuttal, a DoD official insisted that the service’s May Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Phase 2 National Security Space Launch (NSSL) contract does not have vague award criteria, is not anti-competitive and does not discriminate against new competitors.
When asked for response, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek added, “during source selection, we will not comment or provide any further specific details.”
The DoD official also argued that any delay at this point “will result in a one- to two-year delay which could force the National Security Space Launch program to continue reliance on Russian rocket engines to launch our nation’s most critical space capabilities.” Congress ordered DoD to ditch the Russian RD-180 engine by 2020 — the engine used by the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle that the NSSL is designed to replace.
The Air Force RFP’s closing date of Aug. 12 is the same day Blue Origin initiated a protest to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). (Colleague Valerie Insinna wrote a detailed account of the protest.)
Despite that protest, the Air Force has made it clear that it intends to proceed with the competition. The two winners will lock up future launches (under a 60/40 split) through 2027, representing hundreds of ms — if not several billion — dollars in contract awards.
Raytheon’s suite of weapons, avionics and sensors gives pilots the next-generation capabilities they need to control the skies.
The four companies vying for the deal are Northrop Grumman, United Launch Alliance (ULA), SpaceX, and Blue Origin. (Blue Origin submitted a proposal despite its protest.) Blue Origin, a private start-up founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos, and SpaceX, founded by the ever-retiring Elon Musk, are relative newcomers to launch of big national security payloads; whereas Northrop Grumman and ULA are institutional players.
The NSSL effort has been plagued by controversy since its inception, with contractor complaints and congressional meddling. Blue Origin had been lobbying Congress and the Air Force for months prior to the RFP’s issuance to delay the down-select, to no avail. SpaceX in May sued over Air Force decisions made earlier in the process, a lawsuit that is still pending.
In particular, the DoD official elaborated on why the upfront choice of two alternate contractors for launches through 2027 does not, as Blue Origin alleges, “unnecessarily restrict competition.” The statement says:
“While price is an important factor, reducing the Phase 2 ordering period would put critical missions at risk and decrease the value to both industry and the Government. The economic benefit (individual cost per launch service) of an extended indefinite order requirements contract would be lost if Offerors are not be able to amortize their costs over a longer period of time and, subsequently, more launches. Additionally, the NRO’s most critical missions (in FY25 and FY26) may not be included in the reduced ordering period which could result in costly multiple early integration efforts. Shortening the contract may dis-incentivize providers from developing all the capabilities required to launch the entire manifest, resulting in niche providers and significant risk to maintaining a certified Category C launch capability. This scenario could force the Government to buy more Delta IV Heavy launch vehicles at an extreme cost.”
One space expert, with no skin in the NSSL game, opined that for the most part Blue Origin’s protest is “simply whining,” and characterized SpaceX’s lawsuit as “sour grapes.” However, the source said, Blue Origin does have a valid point with its criticism that the criteria for the decision are too vague. In particular, the RFP fails to explain how it would determine which two providers in combination would equal best value. “It is an inscrutable evaluation criteria,” the source said.
Another fair question is why all this public posturing is happening now.
One likely answer, say savvy outsiders, is that House and Senate appropriators are in the midst of conferencing about DoD’s fiscal 2020 budget. The Senate Appropriations Committee fully funded DoD’s $1.2bn request for the NSSL program on Sept. 12, but only if the Air Force maintains its “launch development and launch service procurement schedules.” Likewise, the House Appropriations Committee provided full funding back in May and urged “the Secretary of the Air Force to proceed expeditiously with its strategy in order to minimize the risk of a gap in assured access to space.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/https://breakingdefense.com)
02 Oct 19. Aussie company gets go-ahead to raise funds for operations. Australian space company Sky and Space Global (SAS) has been given the green light to proceed with raising funds for the next stage of its operations. A general meeting of shareholders last week passed resolutions for new board appointments and for a share placement to fund the construction, testing and launch of the company’s first eight commercial 6U nanosatellites.
“Following shareholder approval, SAS will now proceed to complete the placement together with the joint lead managers for the company to finalise new board appointments and recommence trading on the ASX as soon as practicable,” SAS said in advice to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
SAS has embarked on an institutional and broker roadshow through Asia and Australia to pitch for the $15m it needs to further its plans.
SAS, based in Perth, is well advanced in plans for what it calls the Pearls constellation of as many as 200 nanosatellites in equatorial orbit, providing low cost communications, data and internet services for markets in Africa, South America and Asia. The company is proposing an additional satellite constellation, allowing full global coverage, including Australia, Russia, China, South Africa, Argentina and Canada. The company has more than 50 agreements in place for use of its services once they are in place.
In 2017, SAS Global launched three prototype satellites on an Indian rocket to test its technology. SAS has experienced its fair share of problems, particularly attaining the cash needed to advance its operations. The presentation said it is offering cost efficient and reliable remote communication services based on nano-satellites, dedicated to rural connectivity, internet of things (IoT) and asset tracking. SAS incorporated in the UK in 2015 and listed on the ASX in May 2016. SAS said proceeds from the share placement would be used for manufacture of satellites by Danish firm GomSpace, facilitating their launch, manufacturing ground terminals, plus other operational costs and expenses of the placement. The company said the market opportunity is in remote communication services, which are currently lacking in coverage, reliability, cost efficiency and scalability.
It said it expects to see its first revenues in fourth quarter 2020, following launch of first commercial satellites and the roll-out of ground terminals. (Source: Space Connect)
02 Oct 19. Southern Launch signs rocket launch deal with Korean space company. Korean space company Perigee Aerospace has signed an agreement with South Australian firm Southern Launch to start launching small rockets from its proposed facility on the Eyre Peninsula. The first test launch of one of Perigee’s Blue Whale rockets is scheduled for next year.
Perigee is Southern Launch’s first commercial customer for its Whalers Way facility at the bottom of the Eyre Peninsula. The deal was signed at the international space conference in Adelaide on Monday, between Southern Launch chief executive Lloyd Damp and Perigee CEO Yoon Shin, who said Southern Launch offered a unique facility that was a perfect match for his company’s small rocket.
“We look forward to launching our rocket from Australia in the near future,” Mr Shin said.
Mr Damp said Southern Launch offered a unique facility that was a perfect match for his company’s micro-lift rocket.
“Perigee Aerospace shares our key values of efficient operations and high levels of safety for both the public and the environment,” he said.
“This signing establishes a partnership based on trust and implicit understandings about their usage of our launch site.”
Southern Launch said Perigee Aerospace was a leading orbital launch vehicle manufacturer in South Korea, currently developing the small launch vehicle Blue Whale, designed to lift small satellites into low-altitude, high-inclination orbits.
“These orbits are useful for weather, remote-sensing and imaging satellites. Those applications are increasingly in demand for commercial, scientific and defence purposes alike,” it says on its website.
“Blue Whale will be a small, efficient launch vehicle, designed to carry payloads of up to 50 kilograms. Perigee Aerospace already has multiple customers signed.”
However, in order to launch rockets, Southern Launch needs to get its facility up and running.
Earlier this month, the South Australian government declared the proposed launch facility a major development, opening the way for acceleration of the development process.
Southern Launch examined a large number of possible locations for its launch site across Western Australia, Victoria and SA before settling on the 1,190 hectare site at Whalers Way. That had the advantages of proximity to a nearby town, Port Lincoln, as well as an airport and harbour for delivery of rockets and components. The site is also clear of major air traffic routes and launching south, rockets pass over ocean.
The location is well suited to launches into polar or polar-like orbits.
Its development could eventually give Australia two space launch sites – the other is the Equatorial Launch Australia facility in the Northern Territory – maybe three if proposals for Queensland proceed.
Equatorial Launch Australia plans to conduct its first launches of NASA sounding rockets next year. (Source: Space Connect)
01 Oct 19. EOS establishes space comms business division. Australian technology company Electro Optic Systems (EOS) has announced the establishment of a new business segment, called EOS Communications Systems. The business segment will be the third discrete business element in EOS, joining EOS Defence Systems and EOS Space Systems.
EOS said that the launch of the new business comes after the company completed “several technology breakthroughs required for next-generation space communications”, and announced that it would be investing around $250m over nine years, including around $50m of contributions from government partners in the US and Australia, towards achieving this outcome. All of the intellectual property developed with the project funds belongs to EOS.
“The breakthrough EOS has achieved in space communications is not a scientific experiment or a specific technical phenomenon. It is a complete suite of interactive and deployable solutions for the next generation of space communication,” group CEO of EOS, Dr Ben Greene, said.
“EOS recognised early the wide range of developments required for achieving the next leap forward in satellite communications, so we executed almost a decade of research and development across several disciplines to overcome the barriers to efficient optical communication. This program included technology development, refinement and operational testing as well as supply chain development.”
One of the technological breakthroughs, and the final one needed to clear the path for the establishment of the new division, was the achievement of new technology allowing specific laser effects in space to be achieved with typically 0.1 per cent of the power previously required.
“The industrial and commercial applications of this technology are vast because the laser power density required for many space applications can now be achieved with much smaller lasers. In some cases, including next generation space communications, this is an enabling step,” a release from EOS said.
The Canberra-based company confirmed that they will apply the technology immediately towards an estimated $120bn of space communication infrastructure requirements
Simply put, the new technology allows EOS to manipulate emitted laser beams from Earth without any distinction between atmospheric change, meaning the previously unavoidable loss of laser intensity can be largely overcome and the negative impact of atmosphere on the laser can be ignored for many applications.
“EOS will exploit this technology through a new business segment, EOS Communication Systems, which has been positioned to address this major market. We will imminently announce the staffing, structure and initial customers of this new segment,” Dr Greene said.
“EOS does not intend to raise new funds to establish its new Communication Systems segment, which we expect will be profitable from its initiation by addressing a key niche in this market. Later expansion to ultimately address most of the identified market is planned.”
The company said that it estimates the new suite of technologies will have “significant impact in other valuable markets and applications, including space situation awareness, space debris management and mitigation, space traffic management and space propulsion”. (Source: Space Connect)
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