Boeing to Help Develop Emergency Satcom System in Japan
Boeing announced an equity stake in Softbank Satellite Planning Corp., a division of the Tokyo-based Softbank Group, to help create concepts for a national satellite-based disaster response communications system. Softbank plans to evaluate concepts from Boeing and propose them to Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
Previous Boeing emergency satcom projects include a disaster response system developed with Thuraya in the late 1990s, and a current contract with Mexsat to provide a communications system for emergency services, telemedicine, and telecommunications, with an operational date set for 2016.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to Launch KhalifaSat for EIAST
The Emirati Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) has selected the H2A rocket from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to launch its third large satellite, KhalifaSat. The satellite will launch with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA’s) GOSAT 2 environmental research satellite.
KhalifaSat is nearly complete, leveraging knowledge gained from DubaiSat 1 and DubaiSat 2. The satellite, along with its two predecessors was collaboratively developed through a long-term partnership with South Korea’s Satrec Initiative.
SpeedCast to Acquire Hermes Datacomms
SpeedCast International has signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition of Hermes Datacommunications International. The acquisition, expected to be completed by March 25, will provide communications and IT services to the energy sector.
The combined entity will have enhanced capabilities to serve and support energy customers worldwide, with an extended staff located in the primary energy markets around the world. The acquisition will benefit SpeedCast’s existing global energy customer base, as SpeedCast leverages Hermes Datacomms’ infrastructure, local presence and experience, to augment its own global network.
SES, Digicel Provide Emergency Satcom in Vanuatu After Cyclone Pam
Digicel Pacific Limited and SES have donated satellite capacity and equipment to the relief effort in Vanuatu, a South Pacific island with a population of approximately 267,000 that was severely impacted by Cyclone Pam. The telco is using capacity from SES’ NSS 9 satellite at 117 degrees west to restore vital communication networks across the island.
“With widespread devastation across Vanuatu, humanitarian organizations are working to deliver food, water and supplies as quickly as possible. Re-establishing communication networks is hastening this process and helping the people of Vanuatu connect with anxious family and friends across the globe,” said Michael Murphy, Asia-Pacific CEO at Digicel.
Satcom Global Opens Australia Office
Following the opening of its Russian office in 2014, Satcom Global continues its international expansion with the opening of new sites around the world. On March 10 the company announced a Perth, Australia office to improve service to customers in the western region of the country.
Prior to the new office, Satcom Global established a regional point of presence in Sydney in 2011, and also set up representatives in Brisbane. The company plans to offer sales and account management for customers in maritime, land, Machine-to-Machine (M2M), and handheld satellite communications.
Eutelsat Announces Government EMEA Division
Eutelsat announced the creation of a new division in the United Kingdom that will drive its strategy for serving providers of end-to-end government services, NGOs and institutional agencies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Eutelsat Government EMEA will be located at Harwell, near Oxford, in security-cleared facilities at the heart of an emerging community of space-based companies and agencies that include ECSAT, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) new facility for space applications and telecommunications, and the Satellite Applications Catapult (formerly the International Space Innovation Centre).
Eutelsat Government EMEA will complement Eutelsat America’s efforts through marketing of satellite capacity to government service providers and providers of disaster recovery and humanitarian communications in the EMEA region. It will leverage Eutelsat’s portfolio of C-, Ku- and Ka-band satellites that provide global coverage and are available from small circuits to multiple transponders.
Airbus Defence and Space Receives 3-D Printed Satellite Parts
3T RPD, a pioneering U.K.-based additive manufacturing company, completed an aluminum Additive Layer Manufactured (ALM) bracket for Airbus Defence and Space. The space-qualified 3-D printed component is the first of its kind following a two-year research and development program with Innovate U.K. and the U.K. Space Agency.
The bracket is used for mounting the Telemetry and Tele-Command (TMTC) antennas onto the satellite, which communicate with Earth stations. Created as a single piece laser melted part, the bracket weighs 35 percent less than the previous bracket, which was made of four parts and 44 rivets. Additionally, it is 40 percent stiffer and resulted in less waste than conventional machining.
GEE, SES Team Up to Deliver Global In-Flight Connectivity
SES and Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE) have signed capacity deals for services on three SES satellites. These agreements are part of a strategic partnership to deliver In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) and services to airline passengers around the world.
Under the deal, GEE will use Ku-band wide beam and High Throughput Satellite (HTS) spot beam capacity aboard the SES 12, SES 14 and SES 15 satellites. The three spacecraft, currently under construction, are scheduled for launch in 2017.
Arianespace to Launch Skybox Imaging Satellites, Two Launches for UAE
Arianespace has signed two new launch contracts; one with Skybox Imaging and one with Airbus Defence and Space for the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces.
Under the contract with Skybox, Arianespace will launch a block of high resolution imaging satellites aboard the Vega launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Center in 2016. “This new contract with Skybox marks our first U.S. customer of the Vega and adds to Vega’s order book of nine small satellites to be launched in the coming three years.” said Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël.
The second contract is through Airbus Defence and Space to launch two Falcon Eye satellites into Low Earth Orbit (LEO), using two Vega (or Soyuz) launchers from the Guiana Space Center.
France Awards Three Military Satellite Orders to Airbus, Thales
France’s Direction Générale de L’Armement (DGA) has selected Thales and Airbus Defence and Space to work together as co-prime contractors for a trio of military satellites. The companies were awarded to build the Capacité de Renseignement Electromagnétique Spatiale (CERES) or Space Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) capacity, which will use three satellites in close proximity to each other for the detection and location of ground radio-telecommunications and radar signals.
Rural Mexico to Use Hughes Jupiter Satellite System
Grupo Pegaso, which promotes projects of global importance to Mexico, has selected Hughes Network Systems to supply its Jupiter System to help close the digital divide for communities in rural Mexico. Pegaso Banda Ancha, a Grupo Pegaso company that provides satellite connectivity in North America, will deliver services over the Bicentenario satellite owned by Mexico’s Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT), operating a Hughes Jupiter Gateway and more than 5,000 remote terminals, helping the government reach its goal of providing Internet access to 100 percent of the country’s schools and municipalities.
Thales Alenia Space and Omnisys Open Brazilian Space Tech Center
Thales Alenia Space and Omnisys have inaugurated their joint Space Technology Center in the Sao Jose dos Campos technology park in Brazil.
Initially, the new center will develop technology partnerships with local Brazilian space companies. Omnisys will also look to help the center develop its engineering and design activities for space applications in upcoming contracts.
Gilat Wins $285 Million Telecom Infrastructure Bid in Peru
Peru’s telecommunications investment fund Fitel has awarded a $285 million regional telecommunications infrastructure project to Gilat Satellite Networks. This is the largest contract ever won by the company since its inception.
Fitel’s regional initiative represents the complementary phase of the Peruvian National Fiber Backbone project, aimed to connect rural villages to broadband services. Within the framework of this phase, Gilat won the bids for three Built, Operate and Transfer (BOT) regional projects in Huancavelica, Ayacucho and Apurimac.
Gilat will build the fiber-optic transport networks, operate them for one year and then transfer them to the government.
Bansat Anticipates Greater VSAT Demand for Kioscos Vive Digital
Less than three years ago, Bansat, a relatively new company in Latin America, started offering satellite broadband as a way to diversify its business. As the company reaches its third year with this offering, Luis Manuel Faviani Rincon, director of operations at Bansat, told Via Satellite the company is already seeing great traction.
Currently, Bansat’s big project is providing broadband for public schools as part of the Colombian government’s Kioscos Vive Digital (KVD) program. New requirements are upping the speed per school from 4 Mbps to 6 Mbps. That, combined with an increasing number of installations, will likely lead to a need for new capacity.
“At this moment we have 650 VSATs in that project called KVD Phase 2, in which the government provides communications for rural areas and in schools. The total VSATs in this stage are 5,000 and for the next one we believe that the government is going to ask for a 10,000-VSAT solution. We also have close to 400 other VSATs in Ka band installed in public schools as well,” said Faviani.
The KVD project, led by Colombia’s Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications (MINTIC), has been a significant driver of satellite Internet in the country. Companies such as Hispasat, Intelsat and Gilat have been actively providing capacity, VSATs, and services to remote communities and educational facilities. KVD and similar projects have spurred the growth of satellite in Latin America.
Faviani expects High Throughput Satellites (HTS), along with the influx of new traditional satellites, will bolster connectivity across the continent. In Colombia, he expects new capacity will help bridge the digital divide as well as drive down costs. Euroconsult predicts Latin America will surge to become the second largest region in terms of HTS capacity supply by 2017. De Ruiter said total available HTS capacity in Latin America will increase to more than 350 Gbps in 2017, though narrow spot-beam technology will typically limit the total available supply in any region to around 7 Gbps.
Looking ahead, Faviani said Bansat is interested in expanding beyond C-, Ku- and Ka-band satellite services to also include X- and L-band solutions by the end of the decade. Goals include offering every satellite solution available in the market and becoming a strong regional provider.
Globecomm to Build New Teleport for du’s Relocation Project
UAE-based teleport operator du awarded Globecomm a multimillion-dollar contract to build a new teleport for the company to relocate. The new facility, also located in the UAE, will host more than 50 Earth stations supporting C, Ku and Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) frequencies with satellite antennas ranging from 2.4 to 9 meters in diameter.
The augmentation also incorporates the provision of all supporting systems, such as baseband, network management, turnaround services, fiber optic and others. From the company’s current teleport, du links the majority of Direct to Home (DTH) TV platforms in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region.
The project’s timeline will result in a phased transfer of du’s satellite transmission services to the new teleport. Globecomm expects the project will migrate live traffic without interrupting critical services.
YahClick to Connect Square Kilometer Array in South Africa
Yahsat’s satellite broadband division YahClick received a contract to provide connectivity for the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) in South Africa. SKA is a massive project to build the world’s largest radio telescope, with a large swath of it being built across South Africa and its eight African partner countries. The amount of data anticipated from the telescope over the course of a year will be 70 times the amount of information that moves across the Internet.
Protection requirements from the Astronomy Geographic Advantage (AGA) Act demand that telecommunication services are provided in a “radio astronomy friendly” manner. Southern Africa is a prime location of the telescope array due to its lack of radio signals that would otherwise cause interference.
YahClick will connect the research project using Ka-band spot beans.
SkyStream Ups Capacity on SES to Serve Middle East Oil and Gas Customers
SkyStream has renewed capacity on SES‘s NSS 6 satellite and has taken on additional capacity on SES’s NSS 12 satellite to deploy VSAT networks across the Middle East. SkyStream will use the Ku-band capacity on NSS 6 at 95 degrees east and NSS 12 at 57 degrees east to serve the maritime and oil and gas industries.
“We are glad to renew and expand capacity agreements with SES in order to support the growth of our customers in the maritime and oil and gas industries,” said Riyadh Al Adely, managing director at SkyStream.
SES, Airbus Defence and Space to Deliver Satcom Services to Enterprise Markets
SES and Airbus Defence and Space announced that they have signed a multi-year multi-transponder agreement to deliver managed satcom services to corporate customers in Africa and globally. Airbus Defence and Space will couple the latest satellite technology from SES and its satcom developments as a platform for new Terralink services planned to launch later in 2015.
This agreement encompasses the possibility to expand Ku-band capacity on SES’s Astra 2G, Astra 4A and NSS 12 satellites.
MDA Provides Payload Equipment to Turkish Comms Market
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) has signed a contract valued at more than $23 million with Aselsan Electronic Industries to provide Ku-band payload equipment for a communications satellite subsystem. This award is in addition to the existing contract announced in April 2014 for the provision of a X-band communication hosted payload solution.
Aselsan, a space and defense company located in Turkey, is a prime contractor for the construction of the Ku- and X-band payloads, which are scheduled to provide government and other communication services once it is launched in 2020.
Intelsat, the Space Connection to Expand North American Business
Intelsat and The Space Connection, a wholly owned subsidiary of Telesat Canada, announced a new, multi-year capacity agreement. Under the deal, The Space Connection expanded its capacity commitment on Intelsat’s Galaxy 17 satellite located at 91 degrees west and renewed services on Intelsat’s Galaxy 3C satellite located at 95 degrees west.
Galaxy 17 is a sports neighborhood within Intelsat’s Galaxy fleet, with marquee sports programming transmitted to cable head-ends throughout North America. By renewing and expanding its agreement with Intelsat, The Space Connection will continue to provide existing customers with regional and national sports content, as well as leverage the additional capacity to expand its distribution reach in a cable distribution neighborhood that has a 98 percent penetration of cable head-ends. The agreement also secures continuity of service for The Space Connection’s current customers at Galaxy 3C.
TCS Launches Antenna System for Tracking LEO and MEO Satellites
TeleCommunication Systems (TCS), announced the availability of its new deployable X/Y Tracking Antenna System. The deployable systems are specifically designed for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites in support of Earth observation, remote sensing, and telemetry, tracking and control for tactical applications.
A higher demand for more ground station terminals and antenna systems capable of tracking these satellites is expected. Future Department of Defense (DOD) reconnaissance applications will include the use of LEO small satellite technology for quick, cost-effective earth imaging. TCS’ new X/Y Tracking Antenna System can be controlled or monitored from anywhere in the world.
TCS currently provides X/Y antenna solutions to military, higher education and commercial customers.
ViaSat and Boeing Announce Flexible Broadband System
ViaSat and Boeing are teaming together to offer the ViaSat Flexible Broadband System. The Flexible Broadband System is designed to provide the satellite bandwidth economics in a more affordable package, tailored to regional operators.
This system enables service providers to start with a smaller investment, focus capacity to match the bandwidth demand in their markets, and scale their infrastructure as expansion is needed. The Flexible Broadband System is based on the ViaSat High-Capacity Satellite System, the same flexible networking system developed for the ViaSat 2 satellite scheduled to launch next year.
Panasonic to Acquire ITC Global
Panasonic Corporation has announced its acquisition of ITC Global. Under the deal, ITC Global will become “ITC Global, A Panasonic Company” and will operate as an independent unit of Panasonic Avionics. ITC Global will continue to execute its current strategic plan under the leadership of Joe Spytek, ITC Global’s founder and CEO, who will report to Paul Margis, president and CEO of Panasonic Avionics.
ITC Global’s management team will remain in place and will continue to focus on its customers in the energy, mining, and maritime markets, while Panasonic Avionics will remain dedicated to its customers in the aviation market.
Harris Awarded Potential $450 Million DISA Contract
The United States Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has selected Harris Communications for a single award Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with a one-year base and nine one-year options worth a potential of $450 million. Harris is tasked with providing systems engineering and program management services for DISA’s Crisis Management System (CMS), which sustains voice and video communications during emergency situations for senior U.S. government officials.