Articles by Peter J. Brown

ELaNa: Educational Launch of Nanosatellites. Photo: NASA

A Look Back at Smallsats’ Challenges and Opportunities

It was all smallsats this week at the Small Satellite Conference in Utah. However, the conversations about smallsats’ place in our industry has been going on for quite a while. And this 2006 article from our archives is proof. Back then we talked to ESA, Orbital, Surrey Satellite, Ball Aerospace, and more, about the growing […]

By | August 10, 2017

Kazakhstan Keeps Quiet about Kazsat 1 Loss

In June, Kazakhstan’s National Space Agency, KazCosmos, announced that it had lost contact with the nation’s first communications satellite, Kazsat 1. News coverage of this event to date has been minimal at best. Built by Moscow-based Khrunichev Space Center and launched in mid-2006, the 850-kilogram Ku-band satellite carried an estimated price tag of $65 million […]

By | August 1, 2008

Satellite Broadband And Politics In Burma

The impact of widespread satellite broadband deployments on previously unserved and underserved regions of the world has been substantial and represents a real win-win for the user and service provider alike. But in the case of certain satellite broadband services in Burma there is a dark cloud overhead. The human rights policies and repressive practices […]

By | June 1, 2008

Applications: What’s Hot And What’s Getting Hotter

Satellite industry experts pretty much agree that satellite-delivered TV and video, including direct-to-home services, direct broadcast services and the distribution of digital and high-definition TV are the star performers in the application category. Beyond that, opinions differ widely when it comes to what business areas are hot today and which ones will heat up in […]

By | May 1, 2008

Military Satellite R&D: All Eyes on Software

Military satellite designers rely on increasingly complex layers of software, and this means more vulnerabilities are lurking in space and on the ground. As more emphasis is placed on everything from real-time video transmissions to cyber warfare, the software that sustains satellite network performance becomes an even greater cause for concern. It must be even […]

By | April 1, 2008

Number Of Factors May Impede Situational Awareness

Situational awareness cannot be taken for granted, and anything that adversely impacts the performance of GPS signals and satellite navigation equipment needs to be watched closely. In mid-April, the U.S. Air Force Research Lab Space Vehicles Directorate will launch the Communication/Navigation Outage Forecasting System (C/NOFS) satellite to demonstrate a technique for locating and forecasting scintillations […]

By | April 1, 2008

Africa 2008: New Satellites, New Hopes

The launch of a pair of satellites owned and operated by African interests have given new hope to communications providers that transponder prices will come down and enable more networks and other services to be developed throughout the continent. But that may not be the case, as demand for services continues to outstrip growth in […]

By | March 1, 2008

The Electra-fication Of Deep Space

A team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is using the agency’s first software-defined radio (SDR) system in deep space to communicate with spacecraft studying Mars. The system, dubbed Electra, is a fully redundant UHF relay solution aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which was launched in 2005 and is expected to operate until 2010. In […]

By | February 1, 2008

Legacy Systems: Keeping Older Satellite Systems Operating

The launch of a new, more powerful satellite is exciting, as it opens the door to a range of new services and capabilities. But many satellite customers are quite satisfied with their current services and equipment, and as a result, satellite operators and ground equipment vendors alike must be creative in terms of offering next-generation […]

By | January 1, 2008

NASA And The Space Channel

The time is right for NASA to transform its TV channel — NASA TV —- into something more international, more engaging and more likely to attract a larger audience. In effect, NASA TV should be put to rest and in its place should be — The Space Channel. Credit Sputnik for this proposal. On Oct. […]

By | December 1, 2007

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