Monday, April 15, 2013

Arianespace Enjoyed A 'Remarkable' Year In 2012

The French satellite launch company, Arianespace, announced its net income of €1.7 million for 2012 on sales of €1,329 million.

Despite the contrasted market conditions, according to the company, Arianespace enjoyed a remarkable year in 2012 in  terms of both number of launches and orders booked.

Retaining its world leader status in terms of satellite launching, Arianespace currently has seven Ariane 5 launches orbiting 12 commercial satellites plus the ATV3 Edoardo Amaldi supply vessel for the International Space Station. They have three Soyuz launches, as well, and the first launch of Vega, And having signed 13 launch contracts out of 18 open to competition is not that bad.

In 2013, it looks as though Arianespace is up for even a better year since Eutelsat (for two satellites launches), Australian operator NBN (two satellites launches), and Intelsat (one Vega launch) all signed contracts with the company.

With one Ariane 5 already launched this year, Arianespace still has five more launches planned for this year and a couple more with Soyuz, and Vega launch.

See also: Hawaii To Launch Its First Satellite On October 2013

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Azerspace-1/Africasat-1a now offers full commercial service

Azerbaijan’s first satellite, Azerspace-1/Africasat-1a, is finally done with all in-orbit testing and has entered full commercial service, this according to Azercosmos and MEASAT.

Launched on February 7 aboard the Ariane 5 vehicle, the Azerbaijani communications satellite will deliver services to customers residing in Azerbaijan, Africa, Central Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The satellite offers C-band capacity in Africa, Central Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and Ku-band capacity over Europe and Central Asia.

Azerspace-1/Africasat-1a is based on the platform of Orbital Science Corporation’s GEOStar-2 and has a life expectancy rate of more than 15 years. The satellite generates about five kilowatts of payload power, carries 36 active transponders and operates from 46 degrees east longitude orbital location.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Norsat Awarded Repayable Government Contribution For Research & Development

A $13.3 million repayable contribution from the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI) was awarded to Norsat International Inc. One of the leading innovation communication solutions provider, Norsat said that the contribution will enhance Norsat’s strategic research and development program and enable the company to maintain a leadership position in the development of innovative new or improved communications products, services and processes.

According to a statement Norsat released, the company's research and development program focuses on communications technologies that provide militaries, governments, and commercial customers around the world with connectivity in locations or applications in which infrastructure is unreliable, damaged, insufficient or non-existent.

Norsat President and CEO, Dr. Amiee Chan, said, "Norsat has a long history of excellence in research and development, and the contribution from SADI ensures we remain at the forefront of communications technology development. Through a 2008 contribution from SADI, we have developed over 20 products for the satellite and wireless markets, including our industry leading GLOBETrekker 2.0 fly-away satellite terminal, and we anticipate making further advances through this new contribution.   The relationship with SADI has been a major benefit to our R&D program, and we look forward to using this funding to collaborate with universities and channel partners as we continue to develop technology that enables our customers to remain connected wherever they go."

The contribution from SADI will further six major projects, including the development of:

  • Microwave products with improved technical specifications and performance.  Norsat’s microwave components are used worldwide for satellite signal transmission and reception.
  • Fly-away satellite terminals with improved ease-of use and technical performance
  • Communications-on-the-Move (COTM) technologies that provide connectivity throughout moving deployments.
  • Wireless communications technologies for Land Mobile Radio (LMR)
  • Novel antennas that deliver high performance, reliability, and durability
  • Complementary Communications solutions, providing end to end solutions for applications such as monitoring, surveillance and emergency communications.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

ORBCOMM, KCM team up to provide global telematics solution

M2M communications and solutions provider ORBCOMM Inc. has collaborated with Kobelco Construction Machinery Co. Ltd., to deliver global telematics application.

Kobelco will use the global satellite communications network of ORBCOMM to keep track and monitor the location, status and performance of equipment they use for construction. The powerful on-board system of the KCM will allow their customers to gain essential operating advantages and cost savings through improved visibility and better asset management of their machinery.

In a company statement, ORBCOMM CEO Marc Eisenberg said: “KCM’s agreement with ORBCOMM further demonstrates our market leadership as the top choice for wireless M2M network service among the largest global manufacturers in the heavy equipment industry. With the growing importance of cost-effective, reliable connectivity in powering M2M applications, ORBCOMM will play a pivotal role in the successful implementation of KCM’s high-performance asset monitoring solution in key international markets.”

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thuraya introduces satellite adaptor for iPhones

Thuraya Telecommunications, an international mobile satellite services provider, has just introduced its adaptor called Thuraya SatSleeve designed to deliver satellite connectivity to Apple’s iPhone.

A little bigger than the iPhone, Thuraya SatSleeve is intended to be a compact adaptor that aims to provide easy and affordable access to mobile satellite communications over the Thuraya satellite network. As such, it will enable users to keep in touch via voice and text, something that terrestrial networks that have limited coverage cannot do.

Speaking about the recent launch, Thuraya CEO Samer Halawi noted, “The launch of Thuraya SatSleeve represents a major milestone and a game-changing innovation in the satellite industry. This is the first consumer friendly mobile satellite phone ever launched, which dramatically increases the reach to satellite telephony for enterprise, government, and everyday consumers alike. It provides iPhone users with a versatile and highly affordable means of conducting phone calls and sending SMS via satellite from the world’s most remote locations."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Four Of The World's Largest Fixed Satellite Operators Announce A Few Surprises At Satellite 2013

Named as the "big four" at the last SATELLITE 2013, the FSS panel, Intelsat, Eutelsat, SES, and Telesat, dropped a few surprises and came out worry-free despite centered on financing and the diminishing ability to raise capital in the industry on the account of the recession in the past few years.

David McGlade, Intelsat Chairman and CEO, singled out ULA’s Delta 5 rocket as an excellent, but pricey choice to launch his satellites.

Eutelsat's CEO, Michael de Rose, on the other hand, told the audience that the most significant moment for the satellite industry last year was the death of Apple Founder and CEO Steve Jobs, who he called “the true pioneer of mobility and an innovator that made, and will continue to make, a considerable impact on our industry.”

Praising technological developments from O3b Systems, SES CEO, Romain Bausch, talked about it going so far as to call it the most significant development of the past year. It is important to note that SES has a considerable financial investment in the worldwide satellite broadband provider.

Giving two of the more surprising answers of the panel session was Telesat's CEO, Dan Goldberg. The first was when he was asked how long it would take for Ultra HD to really make an impact on the bandwidth markets. While the three other panelists said that this would most likely happen in the 2015 to 2016 timeframe, Goldberg didn’t think Ultra HD would make its presence known for at least another five years – in 2018 – despite the upcoming 2016 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympic Games, both happening in Brazil.

He also praised McGlade and Intelsat for the operator’s Epic NG offering, saying, "Most likely emulate Intelsat’s approach with another high-throughput-style offering. The EpicNG development just makes sense for our market and that’s the direction we may take in the future.”

However, with McGlade and de Rosen expressed excitement over the new capability, and Bausch and Goldberg said that they didn’t believe these solutions would make much of a difference, the panelists didn't agree on the potential impact of in-orbit servicing and satellite re-purposing on the operator business.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Avanti Communications To Help In Bringing Ka-Band To Libya

With the help of Europe's pioneer in Ka-band satellite technology, Avanti Communications Group PLC's Hylas 2 satellite, the Libyan satellite provider, Sana, is planning to offer broadband services to businesses and government organizations that are helping rebuild Libya.

Sana's spokesman, Aimen Sabkha, said in a statement, “Thanks to the flexibility of Avanti’s Ka-band technology, we can optimize our services to create high speed resilient and secure networks for large enterprises and domestic consumers. By using satellite, consumers can get connected and businesses can operate effectively which supports the economic growth of the country.”

Sabkha also adds that satellite broadband is expected to play an essential role in the re-emergence of Libya after recent political instability.

With only 5.5% of Libyans who have access to the internet, Libya currently holds one of the lowest rates in terms in the Middle East and North Africa, connecting at the lowest internet speeds in the region at that. This new tie-up between the two companies may be successful as the demand from the consumers in the region is predicted to continuously rise. Also, Sana expects to provide backhaul support services in the future.

See also: Glowlink To Monitor Satellite Links for NOAA