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Viasat: Business case for 1-Tbps Viasat-3 satellite over Asia closes without India, China

LONDON— Viasat Inc.’s business plan for its terabit-per-second Viasat-3 satellite over Asia assumes the company is unable to serve India and China because of regulatory restrictions, Viasat Chief Executive Mark D. Dankberg said. A key selling point of the Viasat-3 program is the satellites’ ability to train capacity on high-demand areas. They are not locked in to an even distribution over a...

Case study: Aer Lingus on merits of connected electronic flight bags and cockpits

PARIS — Electronic flight bags have already proved their value in reducing on-board paperwork and digitizing aircraft manuals and navigation charts. When connected via data link to the flight management system, they can do even more. But what about a broadband satellite link to the ground during flight? Richard Niland, senior flight operations engineer at Aer Lingus, which operates more than 50...

Not just Galileo: UK lists satellite/space programs that could be affected by ‘No Deal’ Brexit

PARIS — The British government has asked the European Commission to clarify whether UK organizations with high-bandwidth access EU Copernicus Earth observation satellite data will be cut off from the service in the event of a “No Deal” Brexit. It was one of several still-undetermined consequences if UK-European Union negotiations on Brexit end without an agreement. Brexit’s effects on EU space...

SSL President Zamarian: We’ll protect our customers no matter what – even if we have to shut down Palo Alto plant

PARIS — When Dario Zamarian left private-equity investment company Blackstone Group to become president of satellite builder SSL in 2017 he thought he would be helping diversify a company away from large, commercial, geostationary-orbit telecommunications satellites. He knew he arrived at what was then thought to be the latest cyclical downturn in GEO satellite orders, out of which Palo Alto,...

Telesat: First review of Maxar/Thales v Airbus bids for LEO program in a few weeks

PARIS — Telesat expects to select a prime contractor for its multibillion-dollar LEO broadband constellation by mid-2019 from competing bids by Airbus Defense and Space on the one hand and a joint bid of Maxar Technologies’ SSL and MDA with Thales Alenia Space, said Erwin Hudson, vice president of Telesat LEO. Hudson said Sept. 11 that Telesat will be making its first big review of the bidders’...

OneWeb, treading water awaiting debt financing, now a source of industry concern

PARIS — Startup broadband mega-constellation operator OneWeb’s recent change of CEO and its continued lack of debt financing is feeding concerns among industry officials of the consequences for the commercial space sector if the multibillion-dollar constellation is seriously delayed, downsized or worse. OneWeb, founded by Greg Wyler and backed by Softbank and a half-dozen OneWeb suppliers that...

Viasat selects ULA Atlas 5 to launch one of three Viasat-3 satellites

PARIS — Viasat Inc. selected United Launch Alliance (ULA) to launch a Viasat-3 broadband satellite into geostationary orbit sometime between 2020 and 2022 aboard a ULA Atlas 5 in its 551 configuration, the vehicle’s largest variant, Viasat and ULA announced Sept. 10. It was ULA’s first commercial deal since Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services handed over Atlas 5 commercial sales...

French CLS, with government backing and Thales Alenia Space as contractor, plans IoT constellation

PARIS — CLS, a company known for its Argos satellite-tracking business for animal migrations, has given itself until the end of the year to raise upwards of 120 million euros to build its own constellation of narrowband satellites for a much broader Internet of Things (IoT) market. Toulouse, France-based CLS, which is majority-owned by the French space agency, CNES, has signed on Thales Alenia...

Interview: Smallsat electric propulsion provider Exotrail CEO David Henri

PARIS — France’s Exotrail is the latest addition to the group of startups that have raised financing to design electric propulsion for small satellites. All are betting that the no-propulsion Planet and Spire smallsat models will gradually give way to slightly larger satellites, in more-precise orbits, that will require propulsion for in-orbit maneuvering. Exotrail has raised 4 million euros...

M2M/IoT satellite startup Sky and Space Global says cash now sufficient for coming year

PARIS — Startup satellite narrowband M2M/IoT service provider Sky and Space Global (SAS) reported a narrower net loss in the 12 months ending June 30 compared to the previous year and said that a previous stock issue had raised sufficient cash to cover expenses for the coming 12 months. The company, registered in Britain and traded on the Australia Stock Exchange (ASX), is in a race to line up...

For commercial satellite SigInt startup Kleos, a rough 1st week after IPO

PARIS — Commercial electronics-intelligence satellite startup Kleos Space’s initial public offering on the Australian Stock Exchange succeeded in securing sufficient cash to fund planned operations for the coming 12 months but showed that stock markets don’t respect honeymoons. The Aug. 24 raised the targeted 11 million Australian dollars ($8 million), selling 55 million shares — CHESS...

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