Archive for the ‘satellites’ category

Jan 24, 2020

A TV satellite is about to explode following ‘irreversible’ battery damage

Posted by in categories: electronics, satellites

A Boeing-made TV satellite is being hastily moved into ‘graveyard orbit’ following a devastating ‘anomaly’ that turned its batteries into bombs.

Jan 23, 2020

DirecTV fears explosion risk from satellite with damaged battery

Posted by in categories: energy, satellites

WASHINGTON — DirecTV is racing to move its Spaceway-1 satellite out of the geostationary arc after the 15-year-old satellite suffered a crippling battery malfunction that the company fears could cause it to explode.

DirecTV told the U.S. Federal Communications Commission that it does not have time to deplete the remaining fuel on Spaceway-1 before disposing of it by boosting it 300 kilometers above the geostationary arc, a region home to most of the world’s large communications satellites.

Spaceway-1 is a Boeing-built High Power 702 model satellite that was designed to last 12 years. Launched in 2005 on a Sea Launch Zenit 3SL rocket, the 6,080-kilogram satellite originally provided high-definition television direct broadcasting services from its orbital slot at 102.8 degrees west longitude. More recently, Spaceway-1 was being used to backup Ka-band capacity over Alaska.

Jan 21, 2020

Startup Skylo seeks to connect millions of devices, vehicles, vessels via satellite

Posted by in categories: innovation, satellites

SAN FRANCISCO – Startup Skylo emerged from stealth mode Jan. 21 with $116 million in the bank and plans to connect devices by transferring data over existing geostationary communications satellites.

“The key challenge we wanted to address was how data was going to be moved from machines and sensors outside of the areas where traditionally connectivity has existed,” Parthsarathi “Parth” Trivedi, Skylo co-founder and CEO, told SpaceNews. “If we could lower the cost of providing ubiquitous, affordable and reliable connectivity, there would be a phenomenal number of applications.”

Skylo raised $13 million in a Series A investment round led by DCM Ventures and Innovation Endeavors with participation by Boeing HorizonX and Moore Strategic Ventures. In its latest Series B round led by SoftBank with participation by all the firm’s previous investors, Skylo raised $103 million, according to the firm’s Jan. 21 news release.

Jan 21, 2020

Capella Space reveals new satellite design for real-time control of high-resolution Earth imaging

Posted by in categories: satellites, sustainability

Satellite and Earth observation startup Capella Space has unveiled a new design for its satellite technology, which improves upon its existing testbed hardware platform to deliver high-resolution imaging capable of providing detail at less than 0.5 meters (1.6 feet). Its new satellite, code-named “Sequoia,” also will be able to provide real-time tasking, meaning Capella’s clients will be able to get imaging from these satellites of a desired area basically on demand.

Capella’s satellites are “synthetic aperture radar” (SAR for short) imaging satellites, which means they’re able to provide 2D images of the Earth’s surface even through cloud cover, or when the area being imaged is on the night side of the planet. SAR imaging resolution is typically much higher than the 0.5-meter range that Capella’s new design will enable — and it’s especially challenging to get that kind of performance from small satellites, which is what Sequoia will be.

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Jan 20, 2020

Iceye releases dark vessel detection product

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, information science, robotics/AI, satellites

SAN FRANCISCO – Radar satellite operator Iceye released a product Jan. 20 to detect dark vessels, ships at sea that are not identifying themselves with Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponders.

Iceye combines observations from its constellation of three synthetic aperture radar satellites with other data sources to provide customers with radar satellite images of vessels that are not broadcasting their identification, position and course with AIS transponders. The technology is designed to help government agencies, nongovernmental organizations and commercial customers curb drug and human trafficking, find illegal fishing vessels and enforce rules against illegal transshipment of goods, Finland-based Iceye said in a Jan. 20 news release.

Dark vessel detection is a popular application for radar satellites which gather data day, night and in all weather conditions, Pekka Laurila, Iceye co-founder and chief strategy officer told SpaceNews. With three satellites in orbit, Iceye offers customers the ability to frequently revisit areas of interest. In addition, the company has developed machine learning algorithms to speed up dark vessel detection, he added.

Jan 19, 2020

A new GPS III satellite is online. What will it bring to the fleet?

Posted by in categories: military, satellites

Thanks to the Contingency Operations program, the military is able to utilize the first GPS III satellite without the next-generation ground segment being built for it. The second GPS III satellite was launched in April, and a third launch is slated for later this year. (Airman 1st Class Dalton Williams/Air Force)

Jan 17, 2020

Here’s how just four satellites could provide worldwide internet

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

New models show how to keep turn forces that usually degrade satellite orbits into supportive ones that keep them propped up in space.

Jan 15, 2020

Advanced Lockheed Martin satellite leaves Colorado in massive plane, bound for South America

Posted by in category: satellites

Four years after Lockheed Martin secured a contract to build the JCSAT-17 satellite, the satellite is now traveling to South America where it will soon launch.

Jan 14, 2020

Lucy Mission Overview: Journey to Explore the Trojan Asteroids

Posted by in categories: materials, satellites

Launching in late 2021, Lucy will be the first space mission to explore the Trojan asteroids. These are a population of small bodies that are left over from the formation of the solar system. They lead or follow Jupiter in their orbit around the Sun, and they may tell us about the origins of organic materials on Earth.

Lucy will fly by and carry out remote sensing on six different Trojan asteroids and will study surface geology, surface color and composition, asteroid interiors/bulk properties, and will look at the satellites and rings of the Trojans.

Jan 12, 2020

Thaicom sniffs out partners

Posted by in categories: government, internet, satellites

SET-listed satellite service provider Thaicom is in talks with three foreign companies on partnership deals to operate ground stations for satellite data transmission as the government works towards opening the satellite industry to private operators through a licensing regime.

The ground stations, known as satellite gateways, are responsible for transmitting data to and from the satellite to the local area network. The antennas and equipment for converting the radio frequency signal to an internet protocol signal for terrestrial connectivity are already installed.

The deals are expected to be concluded this year, with operations kicking off next year, according to Thaicom chief executive Anant Kaewruamgvongs.

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