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NOAA to smallsat operators: ‘Got an Earth imager? Come get a license, we’re free & quick(er)’

Key takeaways from NOAA’s presentations at Smallsat Symposium: — NOAA now much better at keeping to 120-day license approval after falling behind with flood of New Space satellite systems in recent years. — In 2011, it had 20 licensees; now it’s about 70. Licensed satellites in orbit now total around 200; by late 2018 that will be around 780. — The fact that Hawkeye 360’s RF mapping...

Kratos: Satellite communications is big winner in 2018 U.S. defense budget

PARIS — Satellite communications is among the most-favored categories in the U.S. Defense Department budget proposal as the U.S. repositions its military spending away from asymmetric threats, Kratos Defense and Security Solutions Chief Executive Eric M. DeMarco said. The uplift in military satcom spending, combined with Kratos’ position in tactical and target drones, is one of the reasons...

With airborne background, Mynaric adapts laser communications to LEO satellite constellations

PARIS — Startup laser communications technology provider Mynaric AG’s recent IPO in Germany grossed 27 million euros ($32 million), which will be invested in expanding staff and production facilities to prepare for LEO broadband satellite constellations. Mynaric, whose technology origins are with the German Aerospace Center, DLR, has established an office in the United States and expects to...

Eutelsat: Peace between satellite and 5G terrestrial operators difficult, but crucial to growth

PARIS — Eutelsat Chief Executive Rodolphe Belmer said consumer satellite broadband, both fixed and mobile, was the company’s principal vector for future growth as its core satellite-video business matures. And the mobile business, he said, requires making peace with terrestrial network operators. “The subject for us is a return to growth with the interlinking of space and terrestrial networks,”...

Kratos: Our satellite communications division is well-positioned for US government

PARIS — Kratos Defense and Security Solutions on Nov. 2 said its satellite communications business was in a strong growth phase and that Kratos management had no intention of selling it — or the company’s microwave or training divisions — to focus on unmanned air systems. The question, during a Nov. 2 investor call, was an occasion for Kratos Chief Executive Eric M. DeMarco to say that while the...

Space Angels counts $519 million in satellite equity investment so far in 2017

PARIS — The commercial space industry is likely to see a record number of investments — both entries and exits — in 2017, with the launch sector dominating the figures because of big-slash financings of Blue Origin and SpaceX, according to angel and venture-capital investor Space Angels. A first look at the numbers suggests that investors have eyes only for rockets, which given the launch...

Satellite flat-panel antenna designer Phasor raises $16 million, confirms 2018 commercial debut

PARIS — Flat-panel antenna designer Phasor Inc. said it had raised $16 million in B-round funding from an unidentified group of “leading satellite communications mobility companies, financial investors and shareholders,” a development that makes more credible Phasor’s promised 2018 commercial introduction. The latest funding round, which the company said closed in the summer, brings to about...

ViaSat to continue legal battle vs Inmarsat satellite/terrestrial network despite UK regulatory ruling

BREMEN, Germany — Broadband satellite hardware and services provider ViaSat Inc. on Oc. 24 reiterated its intention to take legal action against Britain’s telecommunications regulator in the wake of the regulator’s approval of Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network (EAN). Via:Sat said it is pursuing separate legal challenges to Inmarsat’s EAN before regulators in Belgium, the European Union,...

Cyber security 2: Satellite network providers say they’re acting in advance of global standards

TOKYO — Satellite services providers for corporate networks said cyber security’s growing importance means they can no longer assume their customers are adopting best practices and must verify on their own that other companies’ hardware is secure from attack. Officials from Speedcast and Kratos said that, at customers’ request, they are acting ahead of industry cyber security regulations they...

Cyber security 1: Satellite constellations’ mass markets come with vulnerability

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — Cyber security experts said the arrival of multiple satellite constellations threatens to make satellite networks just as vulnerable as terrestrial systems, with potentially disastrous consequences. The democratization of the satellite sector — many players, off-the-shelf technologies and a “build your own satellite” approach — is likely to wipe out the advantage...

Flat-panel phased-array antennas for satellite broadband: Here’s the state of play

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — The future growth of the satellite communications industry in transitioning from a niche to a mass market for mobile broadband in large part rests on the shoulders of the ground-antenna manufacturers. How can they break through what Advantech Wireless Chief Executive David Gelerman called the “chicken-and-egg situation: To you get large volumes you need low cost, and...

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