North America

Tampa Microwave to Design Terminals for Global Xpress

Inmarsat has signed Tampa Microwave as a terminal partner for land satellite terminals for its forthcoming Global Xpress high-speed broadband service. Already in use by U.S. Special Forces, the Tampa Microwave family of manpack terminals has been specifically designed for mobile operations requiring a rugged and lightweight terminal that can fit into a backpack.

Following type-approval by Inmarsat, the 65cm aperture COTS manpack terminal will offer government customers access to the global, secure coverage provided by Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite network.

 

Spot Releases Satellite-Based Theft-Alert Tracking Device

Spot, a wholly owned subsidiary of Globalstar, has launched its new Spot Trace anti-theft, asset-tracking device. Spot Trace can be used to monitor cars, motorcycles, boats, ATVs, snowmobiles and other assets, notifying owners via email or text when movement is detected.

Spot’s products use satellite technology to provide location-based messaging and emergency notification for on- or off-the-grid communications. Spot Trace users can view their asset’s GPS coordinates online 24 hours a day in near real-time through Google Maps. Battery life last up to 18 months.

 

Orbital Sciences Launches Ball Aerospace-Built STPSat 3 Satellite

STPSat 3. Photo: Ball Aerospace

STPSat 3. Photo: Ball Aerospace

Orbital Sciences launched the Ball Aerospace-built STPSat 3 satellite onboard a Minotaur 1 rocket. The satellite was launched as one of 29 separable payloads on board, with the remaining 28 being all cubesats. STPSat 3 was built for the United States Department of Defense and is part of the Operationally Responsive Space 3 (Ors 3) mission.

STPSat 3 joins its predecessor STPSat 2, which launched in 2010 on the same date and was also built by Ball Aerospace. These satellites aim to demonstrate the ability to rapidly access space by using standard interfaces on a standard spacecraft bus.

 

Hunter Communications Enters Canadian Market, Begins Selling Space Segment

Hunter Communications has been approved by Industry Canada to compete in the Canadian market. The company is selling satellite space segment on its hosted payload, first using the Satmex 5 satellite, followed by additional capacity on Satmex 7 in approximately two years.

The Satmex 5 satellite has been positioned to serve all of North America, but with an emphasis on northern Canada, where capacity has been scarce and expensive. Satmex 7 will have an even more tailored coverage of northern Canada. With an orbital position of 114.9 west, the footprints of the two satellites are ideal to cover the entire Canadian land mass.

With increased competitive telecommunications service in northern Canada and a competitive satellite environment across Canada, Brent Perrott, president, Hunter Communications, said the additional capacity will play an important role in providing competitive alternatives, significantly reduced ground station costs, diversity and redundancy.

 

Xcor and ULA Complete First Hot Fire Test of XR 5H25 Engine

Xcor XR 5H25 engine hot fire test at Mojave Air & Space Port. Photo: PRNewsFoto, Xcor and Mike Massee

Xcor XR 5H25 engine hot fire test at Mojave Air & Space Port. Photo: PRNewsFoto, Xcor and Mike Massee

Xcor Aerospace and United Launch Alliance (ULA) have completed the first successful hot fire of the subscale 2500 lbf thrust XR 5H25 engine in the Xcorand ULA liquid hydrogen (LH2) engine development program. The 5H25 engine is intended as a test bed, but could also be suitable for future in-space use on upper stages, Earth departure stages, landers, and probes.

Conceived as a lower-cost, risk-managed approach, the goal of the LH2 engine program is to produce and operate a subscale demonstration engine. This demonstrator will enable a future decision to pursue development of a flight-ready cryogenic upper-stage engine in the 25,000 lbf thrust class. The larger thrust Xcor XR 8H21 LH2 engine is expected to cost significantly less to produce and be much easier to operate than competing upper stage rocket engine technologies.

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