It is all about Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) in this edition. LEO is the revolution that is happening in our industry, as numerous operators launch an unprecedented number of satellites. I write this just after SpaceX launched an additional 60 satellites for its Starlink constellation in January. One can only guess how many satellites will ultimately end up in this constellation. It is changing the face of our industry as we know it.
In this edition, we look at various different aspects of what we call the “LEO Revolution.” The ground segment, for example, is an important part of the equation. For technology vendors with Geostationary Orbit (GEO) orders now just a trickle at best, adapting their technology to operators who will be launching aggressive LEO plans is fundamental for a successful future. It is a fascinating part of this.
A lot of times, this industry — dare I say it — obsesses over the operators. The likes of SpaceX and Amazon bring a certain glamor to our industry that perhaps it didn’t have 15-20 years ago. But, in order to make these constellations work, a lot of pieces need to fall into place. We take a detailed look at the ground segment and the state-of-the-art tech that will power these constellations and networks.
We also look at the changing face of the launch market, which never ceases to amaze me. Not long ago it was very much a Proton/Ariane duopoly. Now, with a number of small satellites likely to go up, new entrants are springing up across the board. It is incredible.
So, the “LEO Revolution” is here. We hope you enjoy this edition. We are also in our final preparations for SATELLITE 2020, a show that will kick off this new decade in style. We wish you all the best in the roaring ‘20s. For our industry, it will be the decade of change. That’s often said as an empty cliché, but in this case, the transformation will undoubtedly happen because it’s already begun.