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AAC Microtec Clyde Space to investors: Fasten your seatbelts

PARIS — AAC Microtec Clyde Space on Feb. 21 warned investors to expect that the company’s cash flow would be used for further acquisitions in the small satellite manufacturing sector and that the purchase of Scotland’s Clyde Space was only the beginning. AAC Microtec Clyde Space Chief Executive Alfonso Barreiro did not sugar-coat his message during a presentation to the Borsveckan Small Cap...

Satellite insurance: Inexpensive, profitable, abundant — and walking on thin ice

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — Space insurance underwriters in 2017 booked their fourth consecutive year of profitability but also registered another year in which total premium revenue would have been insufficient to cover a single failure of a highly insured European Ariane 5 rocket. A highly insured Ariane 5 carrying two large telecommunications satellites can carry $800 million in insurance....

Allied Minds’s Hawkeye 360: Commercial space-based signals intelligence starts this year

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — A company planning the first-ever commercial service to locate, identify and track radio frequency use worldwide plans to launch its first three-satellite cluster this year and said it’s already generating revenue from U.S. government agencies. Hawkeye 360, majority-owned by Allied Minds and backed by venture capital firms Razor’s Edge and Woodford Investment...

For OneWeb, technology challenge may pale next to regulatory hurdles

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — For broadband satellite internet constellation OneWeb, packing a high-throughput payload into a 150-kilogram satellite package and launching 650 of them on 21 Russian Soyuz rockets by the end of 2019 might end up being much easier than getting regulatory approval to operate worldwide. OneWeb’s predecessors, including mobile satellite service providers Inmarsat,...

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...

Eutelsat, Intelsat covet 133 degrees West for future Ku- and Ka-band. Only one can win

PARIS — Nongeostationary mobile satellite service providers Iridium Communications and SES’s O3b Ltd., and geostationary-fleet operator Eutelsat, are asking U.S. regulators to reject or delay Intelsat’s application to add Ku- Ka-band to a future satellite to replace Galaxy 15 at 133 degrees west. Intelsat says it will launch a spot beam high-throughput satellite as Galaxy 15R in 2022 into that...

Intelsat, SES to FCC: C-band offer includes full-CONUS coverage to terrestrial 5G

PARIS — Satellite fleet operators Intelsat and SES, expanding their offer to clear part of their C-band spectrum for 5G terrestrial services, said they could offer full coverage of the contiguous United States in at least some of the C-band spectrum blocs they would make available. The offer, which was not part of Intelsat’s original October C-band proposal to the U.S. Federal Communications...

ViaSat: Rural WiFi, aero connectivity, defense to take increased share of our bandwidth

Highlights from Feb. 8 conference call: —ViaSat-2 enters service starting week of Feb. 12, nationwide service by end-Feb. —ViaSat-2 antenna issue to reduce throughput by 13%; no material effect on service or business model, which was never based on 100% of capacity. — Company expects ViaSat-2 will be much less residential-broadband focused than the 9095% of ViaSat-1 as rural WiFi, in-flight...

Is 2018 the ‘Max-Q’ year for the smallsat industry?

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — Investors in the New Space sector largely agreed that 2018 would be a key year to determine which smallsat startups are able to demonstrate financial viability and which are picked up in what may be a series of mergers and acquisitions. With some of the larger aerospace and defense companies having accumulated large warchests, and the smallsat sector now being forced...

NASA, ESA on orbital debris: Good news from GEO, but LEO satellites aren’t playing by the rules

PARIS – Data from the U.S. and European space agencies has some good news on the orbital-debris front in 2017 but also shows many satellites in low Earth orbit are still not following satellite-disposal guidelines, and many rocket upper stages delivering satellites to LEO are likewise not being removed. In presentations to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS)...

Global Eagle: We’ve been through the washer, now we’re back, with customer set intact

PARIS — Satellite in-flight and maritime content and connectivity provider Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE) said it had a firm grip on its two main airline customers, Southwest Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle, and said it had concluded a deal with a large new customer for more than 120 aircraft. Industry officials have said GEE has been in long negotiations with Air France, and that the...

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