Airways New Zealand, Aireon Partner on South Pacific Operational Validation
Airways New Zealand and Aireon announced that they have signed an agreement in principle to enter into an operational validation trial. This agreement will pave the way to a formal operational validation agreement allowing for the development of operational concepts for air traffic management in South Pacific airspace and long-range flow management procedures to major New Zealand destinations. These operational concepts will be based on the use of space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data to leverage the efficiency and safety benefits of a global air traffic surveillance capability.
This agreement comes 20 months after the execution of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between Aireon and Airways New Zealand to execute a benefits analysis for deploying space-based ADS-B in their region.
NSSLGlobal Extends VSAT Coverage Across South Indian Ocean
NSSLGlobal announced an upgrade to its Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) network with the activation of a new beam that will extend Ku-band coverage across the entire South Indian Ocean. The new beam significantly extends the reach of NSSLGlobal’s VSAT network in an important international shipping route, providing its maritime customers with a wider and more robust connectivity at sea, according to the company.
The new Ku-band beam is available to NSSLGlobal customers from March and runs on Japanese satellite operator SKY Perfect JSAT’s new JCSat 110A satellite launched late last year.
SKY Perfect JSAT, Kymeta Announce Strategic Partnership
SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation and Kymeta have signed a strategic partnership agreement to provide new mobile satellite communications technology to the Japanese market, and also announced that the company has recently invested in Kymeta.
Kymeta has developed a satellite antenna technology that harnesses the traits of metamaterials. This electronic beamforming mTenna technology enables moving vehicles to leverage high throughput connectivity via satellite.
Indian PSLV-C37 Launches Record 104 Satellites in a Single Flight
In its 39th flight, the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) successfully launched ISRO’s 714-kilogram Cartosat-2 satellite along with 103 co-passenger satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India. This was the 38th successful mission for PSLV in a row.
After a flight of 16 minutes and 48 seconds, the satellites achieved a polar sun synchronous orbit of 506 kilometers inclined at an angle of 97.46 degrees to the equator. In the succeeding 12 minutes, all 104 satellites successfully separated from the PSLV fourth stage in a predetermined sequence, beginning with Cartosat-2 series satellite, followed by ISRO NanoSatellite-1 (INS-1) and INS-2.
AsiaSat Posts Revenue Decline in 2016 Annual Results
AsiaSat saw a decrease in its overall revenues for 2016. This was one the highlights of its latest set of financial results. Revenue for the year was HK$1.2 billion ($163.7 million), a decrease of 3 percent compared to 2015 due primarily to reduced short-term revenue from AsiaSat 3S.
2016 profit attributable to owners maintained at HK$430 million ($55.3 million) as a result of lower income tax charges following the reversal of a provision made in previous years.
Intelsat, OneWeb Merge with SoftBank Backing
In one of the biggest deals of the year so far, Intelsat and OneWeb are set to merge to create a new global powerhouse with satellite assets in GEO and LEO. The deal was announced just before SATELLITE 2017. Intelsat and SoftBank Group have also entered into a share purchase agreement in which SoftBank will buy voting and non-voting shares in the combined company for $1.7 billion in cash and take a 39.9 percent voting stake.
According to Reuters, the merger will allow Intelsat to address its roughly $15 billion debt pile. The debt exchange offers together with the proceeds of the SoftBank investment are intended to reduce Intelsat’s debt by approximately $3.6 billion.
According to the companies involved, the complementary strengths of Intelsat and OneWeb, combined with the SoftBank investment, are intended to create a financially stronger company with the flexibility to aggressively pursue new growth opportunities resulting from the explosion in demand for broadband connectivity for people and devices everywhere.
Intelsat was a founding investor in OneWeb, making a minority equity investment in 2015.
Cyprus Selects Kratos to Scale Satellite Ground Operations
Kratos Defense and Security Solutions announced that the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA), an international telecommunications hub in the Eastern Mediterranean, has selected Kratos’ end-to-end network management suite of products to support its expanding satellite ground operations. The network management suite will help CYTA scale its international operations by automating network functions and managing customer services and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) more effectively across hybrid satellite and terrestrial networks. The suite will be deployed at the company’s Makarios teleport station.
Makarios Teleport’s operations are already supported by Kratos’ Monics integrated Radio Frequency (RF) monitoring system, which is connected to more than 60 satellite antennas and provides direct visibility to the satellite carriers transmitted and received at the site.
Eutelsat to Provide Payload and Services for Next-Generation EGNOS
The European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) has selected Eutelsat Communications for the development, integration and operation of the next-generation EGNOS payload on a future Eutelsat satellite.
Eutelsat and GSA have concluded a long-term contract valued at 102 million euros ($107 million) covering the preparation and service provision phases for the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) GEO-3 payload.
Serco Wins Contract to Operate European Meteorological Satellites
The European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) has awarded Serco a new contract to continue managing operations for the Meteosat series of geostationary meteorological satellites. Serco’s team of specialists will be responsible for around-the-clock monitoring and control of the four Meteosat meteorological satellites in orbit, operating the mission control center, ground stations and antennas, and managing the transmission of data between the satellites, mission control center and EUMETSAT’s clients.
Serco and its subcontractor Telespazio Vega Deutschland have managed operations for EUMETSAT’s Meteosat missions since 1995.
SES and Satcom Global Sign Agreement for Global Ku-Band Network
SES and Satcom Global, a provider of global satellite communications services to the maritime and land sectors, have signed a strategic partnership. The agreement provides Satcom Global with access to SES’ current and upcoming satellite fleet.
SES’ mobility solution will form a crucial part of Satcom Global’s new Ku-band VSAT service, Aura, providing high-speed connectivity to hundreds of maritime, offshore and land customers.
EMCALI Selects ETL Systems for Colombian Power Project
Colombian telecommunications, water and electricity services provider, EMCALI, has selected ETL Systems to provide Radio Frequency (RF) equipment for its Cali teleport expansion project.
EMCALI required a 32 input by 128 output L-band matrix system that could be used to manage L-band signal necessary to improve operation and performance of video and data traffic. This in turn would improve the quality of service to end-customers and offer a more robust operation, allowing power to be provided to several Low-Noise Block (LNB) downconverters and compensate for loss individually on each channel. ETL’s Vortex L-band Matrix VTX-10 system and the Piranha PRN-10 LNB powering system were selected by EMCALI to fulfill these requirements.
ETL designed a system that easily expands into a 32×192 L-band matrix system to adhere to EMCALI’s future requirements whilst minimizing downtime, allowing the company to provide enhanced communications without affecting the traffic running through the system at the time.
Velconet Selects Eutelsat 115 West B for Southern Cone Broadband
Velconet has signed a multi-year agreement with Eutelsat to provide broadband services across Argentina, Peru, Paraguay and Chile via the Eutelsat 115 West B satellite.
Velconet will use Eutelsat 115 West B’s Ku-band coverage across the Southern Cone to provide broadband connectivity in areas located beyond the reach of terrestrial networks. The service will target corporate customers mainly in the agricultural industry, which represents one of the largest economic sectors in Argentina with more than 250,000 farms, in addition to tourism, construction, banking, and small businesses.
SPI Selects Eutelsat and SES to Pursue Expansion Across the Americas
SPI International/FILMBOX Channels Group has signed a multi-year multi-satellite agreement with Eutelsat Americas to distribute 10 High-Definition (HD) channels and one Ultra-HD channel to homes across the Americas. The company also signed a multi-year capacity agreement with SES to support its expansion in Latin America and distribute its HD channels in the region.
SPI International is leveraging two Eutelsat satellites to take its channels to a broad audience across the region. Eutelsat 113 West A will be used to distribute channels in the United States and Spanish-speaking Latin America, while the new Eutelsat 65 West A satellite will enable SPI to serve regionalized content to operators in Brazil. United Teleports in Miami will provide play-out and uplink services along with the technical management of the platform.
SPI will extend its reach in Latin America thanks to the C-band capacity of the NSS 806 satellite, which covers the entire region in one single beam and is capable of reaching about 90 percent of all pay TV subscribers in South America, according to SES. SPI will broadcast its premium content to cable operators and DTH providers from the United States, bringing up to 10 HD channels to the region.
Arianespace Orbits DirecTV Satellite
Arianespace has successfully launched SKYBrasil-1 for AT&T/DirecTV. This launch was the first of the year for Arianespace’s Ariane 5 heavy launcher and marked its 77th successful mission in a row.
SKY Brasil-1 is the 10th satellite Arianespace has launched for AT&T/DirecTV. Its previous mission for this operator was in May 2015, with an Ariane 5 dual launch that orbited SKY Mexico-1 and DirecTV-15. AT&T subsidiary DirecTV Latin America provides services to more than 12.5 million subscribers, mainly in Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Brazil.
The launch included Telkom 3S for Telkom Indonesia. Ariane 5’s total payload lift performance on this mission was 10,450 kg (23,037 lbs).
Gilat and Hughes Unveil Dual-Band Aero Antenna for IFC
Gilat Satellite Networks and are releasing a new high-performance dual Ka-/Ku-band aero antenna agnostic to the underlying VSAT modem technology and service platform. The companies have been working together for nearly two years on the development of the antenna.
The new antenna from Gilat and Hughes supports both Ka- and Ku-band on a single antenna platform while affording favorable weight and drag characteristics versus the use of two separate antennas. The dual band capability enables continuous broadband connectivity for commercial aircraft traveling air routes that require a combination of Ka and Ku coverage to serve the full air route. The antenna further meets the volume requirements for radome line-fit installations on both Airbus and Boeing aircraft, while optimizing its aperture size under the available volume.
Gilat and Hughes are both offering the antenna to their respective customers integrated with their own aeronautical VSATs. The antenna was developed in accordance with Hughes’ RF and technical specifications and is compliant with open-standard specifications.
Israel Tractors to Integrate HiSky Terminal on Cat Vehicles
HiSky and Caterpillar’s Israeli dealer, Tractors & Equipment (ITE) will carry out a joint pilot program to integrate hiSky’s satellite terminal (the Smartellite) with the machines and vehicle platforms of the manufacturers represented by Zoko Enterprises in Israel. One of the goals of the pilot program is to give Cat machines complete management capabilities, even in locations where there is no mobile coverage or in areas with limited mobile connectivity.
The program will explore the integration of the satellite terminal into the company’s platforms to enable transmitting and receiving of data to control centers, location and data analysis, diagnostics, fuel consumption, data collection and processing, designation of assignments to platforms, remote data transmission and computer updates, via hiSky’s satellite communication system. The system integration will enable the platform operator to make satellite phone calls and send messages.
Mx1 to Provide Israel Premier Football League with Live Editing Solution
The Israel Premier Football League (IPFL) has selected MX1’s end-to-end MX1 360 service for live editing of sports content. MX1 360 provides the IPFL with a cloud-based media asset management solution, with fast turnaround for live highlights production of multiple weekend games.
With the solution, all content, highlights and metadata are archived and can be repurposed at a later point to enable additional monetization opportunities.
Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center and KARI Sign MoU
The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) has signed an MoU with the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) in South Korea with the goal of cooperating on various space-related activities and transferring expertise. Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, director general of MBRSC, and Gwang-Rae Cho, president of KARI both signed the MoU. Commenting on the signing, Al Shaibani stressed the importance of the close relationship between MBRSC and KARI. He also referred to the knowledge transfer program with MBRSC’s strategic partner Satrec Initiative, which started back in 2006 with the launch of the first UAE satellite project DubaiSat-1.
Taqnia Space to Provide IFC via Eutelsat HTS
Eutelsat Communications and Taqnia Space (TSC), owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, have signed an agreement to enable email, social networking and live streaming at 36,000 feet for passengers connected to Taqnia Space Aero services’ platform.
The multi-million dollar, multi-year deal covers spotbeam capacity on the Eutelsat 3B satellite in order to provide High Throughput Satellite (HTS) connectivity services to Taqnia Space Airline clients over the Middle East, North Africa, Mediterranean and Europe regions.
Intelsat Acquires Equity Stake in Kymeta, Announces Service for Satellite Purchases
Intelsat announced that it has acquired an equity stake in Kymeta, and that Stephen Spengler, Intelsat’s chief executive officer, has joined Kymeta’s board of directors. The two companies are partnering together on a new service called Kalo.
Kalo, which will become available in the third quarter, will introduce a simplified way to buy and sell connectivity to customers and sectors that are currently unreached or underserved by terrestrial networks. According to the companies involved, Kalo will change the way satellite services are purchased by direct users, integrators and service providers because it will be sold much like cellular services are purchased.
“This investment further solidifies the Kalo bundled services offering by providing a global high-throughput network for our easy to purchase services packages,” said Nathan Kundtz, founder, president and CEO of Kymeta. “The investment aligns with our mutual interest in simplifying satellite access.”
Bezos Announces Eutelsat as First Customer for New Glenn Rocket
Blue Origin CEO and founder Jeff Bezos stunned SATELLITE 2017 before the Opening General Session by bringing Eutelsat CEO Rodolphe Belmer on stage to announce Eutelsat as the first customer of Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket set to debut in 2020.
The agreement covers the launch of a geostationary satellite in the 2021 to 2022 time frame. The New Glenn launcher will be compatible with virtually all Eutelsat satellites, giving flexibility to allocate the mission 12 months ahead of launch.
OneWeb Breaks Ground On High-Volume Satellite Manufacturing Facility
OneWeb Satellites has announced the beginning of construction on its estimated $85 million high-volume satellite manufacturing factory in Exploration Park, Florida. The company stated that the factory near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is set to begin its full series, autonomous assembly line production, integration and satellite testing later this year.
OneWeb Satellites is building the high-volume satellite factory in partnership with the state of Florida and Space Florida.
Virgin Orbit Announces Its Entry to the Small Satellite Market
Virgin Galactic has announced that its family of space companies now numbers three. Virgin Galactic will continue to provide commercial human spaceflight services and The Spaceship Company will continue to offer design, manufacturing and testing services to build vehicles for Virgin Galactic. But its small satellite LauncherOne team will become a new company: Virgin Orbit, led by President Dan Hart, who joins Orbit after 34 years at Boeing.
Virgin Orbit is the newest addition to Virgin Group’s commercial space portfolio, Galactic Ventures, led by Chief Executive Officer George T. Whitesides and owned by the Virgin Group and Aabar Investments PJS.
Telesat Reports $21 Million Loss for Q4, Overall Revenue Decrease for 2016
Telesat, the Canadian satellite operator, saw falling revenues in 2016. For the 12 months to the end of Dec. 2016, Telesat had revenues of $931 million, a decrease of 3 percent ($24 million) compared to the same period in 2015. For the fourth quarter, Telesat reported revenues of $240 million, a decrease of approximately 7 percent ($17 million) compared to the same period in 2015.
Operating expenses of $46 million for the quarter were 12 percent ($6 million) lower. VS