Category: Satellite 2019

Orbital Micro Systems, with GomSpace, AAC Clyde satellites booked — and novel use of Lockheed offset — plans Series A round

PARIS — Orbital Micro Systems’s planned constellation of cubesats carrying passive microwave radiometers for meteorological measurements took a big leap forward with the U.S. Air Force as inaugural customer, agreements with satellite builders GomSpace and AAC Clyde Space and a deepening relationship with the U.K. government.
The business model is to offer fill-in atmospheric coverage to U.S., European and other governments’ existing meteorological satellites.
OMS’s goal is to reduce the current 6-hour interval to well . . .
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Signals intelligence startup Kleos, counting on March ISRO launch, secures loan from Winance of Dubai

PARIS — Space-based signals intelligence provider startup Kleos Space, running short of cash as a result of delays in the launch of its first four satellites, has secured a loan from Winance of Dubai that will enable the company to pursue work on its second batch of satellites.
The company, based in Luxembourg, credited a late-January Luxembourg trade government mission to Dubai with helping seal the loan agreement.
“Luxembourg and the UAE share the same commitment to support the economic development of the commercial . . .
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ESA asks for $1.94 billion to boost Europe’s satcom-related competitiveness, with a focus on 5G and optical

LUXEMBOURG — The European Space Agency (ESA) is asking its member governments for 1.74 billion euros ($1.94 billion) to invest in satellite telecommunications-related programs over 3-5 years to bolster the commercial competitiveness of Europe’s satellite sector.
The budget, to be decided by ESA ministers at a Nov. 27-28 conference that ESA has labeled Space19+, reflects the agency’s ambition to accompany industry into a broad array of promising technologies — high-altitude communications platforms, the integration of satellites into the future 5G landscape, very-high . . .
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Cubesat builder AAC Clyde Space reports 9% drop in Q1 revenue, but points to upward trend for the year

UPDATE June 10: AAC Clyde said its rights offering was 39% oversubscribed and that the company had raised 82.5 million Swedish krona ($8.75 million) before costs. "Proceeds from the rights issue will further accelerate ÅAC's ability... to take a leading position in the emerging New Space market”, Chief Financial Officer Mats Thideman said. Erik Penser Bank AB was AAC's financial advisor for the transaction.
WASHINGTON — Cubesat manufacturer AAC Clyde Space of Sweden and Scotland reported a 9% drop in revenue for the three months ending . . .
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Inviting criticism, Iridium CEO Desch says satellite orbital debris/space traffic regulations are needed — now

WASHINGTON — With his second-generation constellation safely in orbit and more than 60 first-generation satellites, Iridium Chief Executive Matt Desch thinks it’s a good time get outspoken about orbital debris.
Desch admits right away that he can be accused of being disingenuous. Of his own satellite constellation — 95 satellites launched between 1997 and 2002 — more than 20% failed in orbit and will remain there for a century and now he wants to tighten regulations for debris mitigation?
“It’s a valid criticism,” Desch said. “It . . .
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Hughes reports 2% increase in satellite consumer broadband subscribers, thanks to Central & South America

WASHINGTON — EchoStar’s Hughes Network Systems reported a nearly 2% in total satellite consumer broadband subscribers in the three months ending March 31, with most of the growth coming from Central and South America, where subscribers totaled more than 150,000.
It was the first time EchoStar reported its non-North American subscriber count, and in this case it was the non-U.S. business that drove the growth. At March 31, the Hughes consumer broadband subscriber base stood at 1.388 million, up 27,000 from where it . . .
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Viasat on Amazon, SpaceX LEO plays, Inmarsat’s GEO expansion, the Chinasat aero-IFC deal and the regional-HTS landscape

WASHINGTON — The number of smart engineers with lots of career options who want to work on LEO-orbit broadband constellations has increased with the news that Amazon is looking at developing its own system.
Amazon has deep pockets and a reputation for sober decision-making. It has started hiring outside Seattle, where a pool of experts formerly working for SpaceX’s Starlink project is available for duty for a company with patience and cash resources.
It is not yet possible to gauge how . . .
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For its Starlink satellite constellation, still a mystery, SpaceX to launch “dozens” of test satellites on May 15

WASHINGTON — The mystery that is SpaceX’s Starlink mega-constellation of broadband satellites deepened on May 7 when SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said the company would launch “dozens” of Starlink spacecraft on May 15 aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, but that the satellites would not be fully operational.
Assuming the launch and the satellites’ early operations go smoothly, she said at least two launches of fully operational Starlink satellites would occur later this year, and perhaps as many as six.
SpaceX has said previously that the upcoming . . .
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OneWeb targets aero, maritime markets first; government a new focus; Florida satellite plant opens this month

WASHINGTON — Startup broadband satellite constellation operator OneWeb said maritime and aeronautical applications will be its biggest moneymakers early on, followed by government applications as the company focuses on vertical markets before turning to its headline mission of connecting the world’s poor.
In a recurring theme at OneWeb, Chief Executive Adrian Steckel the company has to assure profitability before taking on the more-noble task of fitting rural schools with broadband access.
“Most of the people [at OneWeb] are here to fulfill that mission of [founder] Greg . . .
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Crowded EU house: Spain’s Hisdesat buys two UHF/Ka/X-band satellites from Airbus/Thales Alenia Space

WASHINGTON— Spanish military satellite operator Hisdesat has contracted with Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space to build two X-, UHF- and Ka-band military telecommunications satellites as part of a long-term commitment with the Spanish government.
Under the contract, announced May 6, Airbus and Thales Alenia Space have committed to providing substantial work for their Spanish subsidiaries, including the communications payloads for both satellites.
The Spanish subsidiary of Thales Alenia Space will build the UHF and military-X-band payloads . . .
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