Industry at Large
Blue Sky Network Unveils Cockpit Integrated Satellite Voice Capabilities
Blue Sky Network announced a new satellite-based panel-mounted control head for aircraft. The ACH1000 offers cockpit integrated voice capabilities and short code messaging to its D1000-series global satellite flight tracking products. The system uses the Iridium Satellite LLC constellation for satellite connectivity.
Blue Sky Network; 1298 Prospect Street, Suite 1D, La Jolla, CA 92037; Tel: 858/551-3894; Fax: 858/551-3891; Web: http://www.blueskynetwork.com)
Apposite Releases New Link Emulator
Apposite Technologies, Inc. released its Linktropy 4500 link emulator. The Linktropy 4500 allows users to simulate terrestrial, wireless, internet, satellite or private network links in a lab environment in order to validate application performance and test networks under a variety of conditions. The Linktropy 4500 simulates bandwidth, delay, congestion, bit errors, and other link characteristics independently at speeds up to 155 megabits per second. (Apposite Technologies Inc.; 9543 Culver Blvd., Suite 200, Culver City, CA 90232; Tel: 310/836-4001; Fax: 310/945-5944; Web: http://www.apposite-tech.com)
Datapath Announces New Portable Communications Solution
Datapath Inc. introduced the Datapath ET 2750Q Portable for ground multiband communications, a fly-away terminal that enables users to establish voice, data and video communications links in remote areas where no information technology infrastructure is accessible. The system provides simultaneous, dual-carrier transmission in C-, X-, Ku- and military Ka-bands, as well as Internet protocol (IP) connectivity. The system also supports dual antenna configurations and baseband connectivity to other IP devices. (Datapah Inc.; 2450 Satellite Boulevard, Duluth, GA 30096; Tel: 678/597-0300; Fax: 678/597-0301; Web: http://www.datapath.com)
DirecTV Unveils Latest DVR
DirecTV announced that its latest digital video recorder, DirecTV Plus, is available at retail locations in the United States. The recorder can store up to 100 hours of DirecTV programming, as well as pause and rewind live television for up to 90 minutes. The unit is available to new and existing DirecTV customers at no cost, after a $100 mail-in rebate. (DirecTV; Web: http://www.directv.com)
Globecast Launches IPTV Super Headend
Globecast unveiled its upgraded technical operations center in Miami, which is designated to support the company’s newly inaugurated Internet protocol TV (IPTV) Super Headend. The Super Headend is capable of aggregating hundreds of television signals from around the globe in MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 and providing IP encapsulation and retransmission of content via satellite for distribution to local IPTV headends across North America.
The upgrade of the Miami facility is a central component to Globecast’s expansion of its offer of fully managed content delivery services for IP-based video and rich media. All of the company’s IPTV services will originate from the new center. (Globecast; 7291 NW 74th St, Miami, FL 33166; Tel: 305/887-1600; Fax: 305/391-4424; Web: http://www.globecastworldtv.com)
Ocean Equipment Unveils Mounting Solution For KVH Satellite TV Antenna
Ocean Equipment, a mounting solutions provider for marine electronics, introduced a new range of Scanstrut mounts for use with KVH’s Tracvision M3 satellite television antenna. Options for both power boats and sailboats reduce the mounting footprint of the antenna domes by up to 60 percent, allowing more choice in the positioning of the antenna. (Ocean Equipment; 2 Thomas, Irvine, CA 92618; Tel: 949/588-1470; Fax: 949/588-1479; Web: http://www.oceanequipment.com)
Spectrum Signal Baseband Products To Be Used In Military Satellites
Spectrum Signal Processing Inc. said its Flexcomm Pro-3500 baseband processing engine will be used for the development of a software communications architecture (SCA)-compliant waveform intended for use in a next-generation military satellite communications system.
The communications system is designed to provide simultaneous voice, data and video communication services for U.S. and allied forces around the globe. The SCA-compliant waveform will be able to operate on the Joint Tactical Radio System devices. (Spectrum Signal Processing Inc.; 300-2700 Production Way, Burnaby, B.C., V5A 4X1, Canada; Tel: 604/421-5422; Fax: 604/421-1764; Web: http://www.spectrumsignal.com)
Thrane & Thrane Brings Tracking And Lifeline To Commercial Fisherman
Thrane & Thrane Inc. unveiled its Sailor VMS Systems, which provides global connectivity for commercial fisherman on Inmarsat-C, a network for safety at sea and global maritime communications.
Thrane & Thrane is a VMS vendor approved by the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Its systems work nationally, pending NOAA’s approval for the Northeast Region. (Thrane & Thrane Inc.; 509 Viking Drive, Suites K,L & M, Virginia Beach, VA 23452; Tel: 757/463-9557; Fax: 757/463-9581; Web: http://www.tt.dk)
BGAN Service Officially Launches
The major Inmarsat service providers – France Telecom Mobile Satellite Telecommunications, Stratos Global Corp., Telenor Satellite Services and Xantic — announced the commercial availability of Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service. BGAN offers data communications at speeds up to 492 kilobits per second and the ability to conduct voice and data communications simultaneously.
The service is available to subscribers in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, with coverage scheduled to expand into North and South America starting this quarter.
Echostar Adds Dominican Network To Lineup
Echostar Communications Corp. has added Television Dominicana, a 24-hour Dominican network, to its Dish Network direct-to-home satellite television service.
The station broadcasts news, comedies, talk shows, variety shows and lifestyle shows in the Dominican Republic and will be available through all three of Dish’s Latino packages: Dish Latino, Dish Latino Dos and Dish Latino Max.
Galileo Information Center For Latin America Opens
Galileo program officials announced the opening of the Galileo Information Center for Latin America in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil. The center will provide a focal point for promotion of Galileo satellite navigation system services and applications throughout the region and also is intended to implement information and training activities and facilitate interaction between Latin America and Europe.
Officials also announced that a Galileo cooperation project for Latin America, which will support satellite navigation plans and development, will be launched shortly by the Galileo Joint Undertaking.
Globalstar Extends Satellite Data Service To Australia
Globalstar LLC announced that independent gateway operator Globalstar Australia Pty Ltd. plans to offer simplex, or one-way, data services to customers throughout Australia and New Zealand following an upgrade of its satellite gateway.
The simplex data offering is a low-cost, one-way satellite data service that allows customers to use Globalstar simplex modems and integrated management solutions to track mobile assets using GPS or other location-based applications.
ICG Launches First Iridium Satellite ACARS Solution
International Communications Group (ICG) announced the availability of its Iridium satellite-based messaging solution offering ACARS (Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System), weather graphics and other conventional data link services.
ACARS offers business aviation aircraft operators and air transport carriers a two-way messaging service with worldwide coverage using the Iridium network of low-earth orbiting satellites. ICG plans to implement the satellite data link solution as a software and hardware upgrade on the company’s ICS-200 airborne Iridium communications system.
ISRO To Use Viewcast Video Cards For Educational Satellite
Viewcast said that the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) would use its Osprey-230 video cards as part of an interactive distance learning and streaming video program through ISRO’s educational satellite Edusat.
An Osprey-230 will be located each school site served by the program. The ISRO distance learning program covers more than 1,000 schools and is expected to expand to 10,000 schools within the next three years.
Point.360 Deploys Global HD Transmission Service
Point.360 announced the availability of its standard-definition and high-definition (HD) global satellite transmissions service for spot distribution, syndicated program distribution and events.
The service, based on Globecast’s worldwide satellite and fiber network, will provide 24-hour access for production studios and advertising agencies to have their latest HD products delivered to broadcast clients through a turnkey service.
The service, based in Point.360’s Hollywood, Calif., facility, is being used to deliver HD programming to Canadian broadcaster CTV.
Alcatel Alenia Space To manufacture Chinasat 6b
Alcatel Alenia Space signed an agreement with China Satellite Communication Corp. to design and manufacture the Chinasat 6B satellite.
Chinasat 6B will be based on the Spacebus 4000 C2 platform and fitted with 38 C-band channels. The spacecraft, weighing about 4,600 kilograms at launch, will be placed into orbit by a Chinese Long March 3B launch vehicle and reside at 115.5 degrees East. Alcatel Alenia Space will assist China Satcom with the launch campaign, orbital positioning and in-orbit testing.
Financial terms and delivery date for the satellite were not disclosed.
ATK To Develop Crew Launch Vehicle
ATK has been named the prime contractor to design, develop, test and evaluate the first stage propulsion system for NASA’s next-generation crew launch vehicle, ATK announced. The first stage will be based on the space shuttle solid rocket booster, which ATK manufactures.
Comtech Wins pair of equipment orders
Comtech Telecommunications Corp. said that its Tempe, Arizona-based subsidiary, Comtech EF Data Corp., received an order valued at more than $1 million from satellite operator Chinasat Communications Group for Comtech EF Data’s CDM-600 Satellite Modem. Chinasat will deploy the modems in a GSM network to support telephony services in rural areas throughout the region.
Comtech EF Data Corp. also secured a $1.5 million order to provide satellite communications equipment to an unnamed telecommunications provider in Latin America. The equipment will be used to upgrade existing cellular backhaul infrastructure in the region.
Datapath To Deliver Communications Infrastructure
Datapath Inc. received a $42.4 million contract from the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command in Ft. Monmouth, N.J., for custom satellite earth terminals and associated services.
Datapath will deliver its ET 3000 Portable trailer-based satellite earth terminals and DKET 5000 Transportable self-contained satellite earth terminals as well as provide the Army with associated logistics, depot and technical and engineering support.
The contract extends the Army’s Joint Network Node initiative to provide enhanced communication service to multiple National Guard units in Iraq and provides additional capabilities to the Marine Corps’ video storage wide area network and logistics support wide area network initiatives.
DirecTV Announces Agreement With Network Live
Network Live will provide direct-to-home satellite television service provider DirecTV with entertainment programming. As part of the agreement, Network Live, a joint venture among America Online, XM Satellite Radio and AEG, will become the music and live entertainment programming partner for DirecTV, and DirecTV will serve as Network Live’s exclusive television partner.
Network Live programming will debut on DirecTV in March with both standard-definition and high-definition channels.
EADS Astrium Nabs Contract For Swarm Satellites
EADS Astrium received an 86 million euro ($101 million) contract from the European Space Agency to build three satellites for the Swarm mission.
The mission, scheduled for launch in 2010, will provide detailed data on the geomagnetic field and its temporal evolution, giving insights into improving knowledge of the Earth’s interior and climate.
The mission also will analyze the sun’s influence on the Earth and is expected to help provide better forecasting of radiation hazards in space and improved navigation and exploration for new resources on Earth.
Euro1080 Signs Pace Deal
Set-top box manufacturer Pace Micro Technology will provide equipment for the rollout of advanced high-definition services by Euro1080 across Europe.
Eutelsat Signs Morocco Broadcaster Deal
Eutelsat signed a deal with Morocco’s national public broadcaster, Sociï¿½tï¿½ Nationale de Radio et de Tï¿½lï¿½vision Marocaine (SNRT), to broadcast six television channels and four radio stations using Eutelsat’s Hot Bird 4 satellite. The new multiplex, which marks the transition of Morocco’s leading national channels to digital format, is part of the reform of Morocco’s broadcasting landscape initiated by the country’s Ministry of Communications.
EMS Satcom To Deliver Search And Rescue System To Venezuela
Venezuela’s Insituto National de Aviacion Civil awarded EMS Satcom, a division of EMS Technologies Inc., a $2.9 million contract for a search and rescue system, EMS announced.
EMS Satcom will provide Venezuela with a SARMaster rescue coordination center, Leolut 600 low earth orbit satellite ground stations and the OCC 200 mission control center. The systems works with the Cospas-Sarsat satellite constellation to receive and locate distress-beacon activations, forwarding the data to rescue coordination centers and mission control centers.
Globalstar Wins Italian Government Contract
Globalstar LLC said that Elsacom, an independent gateway operator and Globalstar service distributor in Central and Eastern Europe, won a 20 million euro ($23.6 million) contract to provide mobile satellite telephone service to the Italian government. Elsacom will provide Globalstar satellite voice and data services, as well as supply and maintain Globalstar mobile satellite handsets.
Iridium Inks Agreement with China Spacecom
Iridium Satellite LLC signed an agreement for China Space Mobile Satellite Telecommunications Co. Ltd. (China Spacecom) to be an Iridium service provider.
China Spacecom will be responsible for the establishment, development, provisioning and management of Iridium services throughout China for both domestic and international use. China Spacecom also will develop satellite communications packages to provide voice, data and asset tracking applications in maritime, aeronautical and land-based sectors.
Mainstream Data To Distribute UPI Content To Middle East
Mainstream Data has entered into an agreement with United Press International (UPI) to distribute UPI’s news services via satellite to the Middle East. These news services include UPI’s Arabic News Service, UPI International Intelligence and UPI Security & Terrorism. Mainstream will use its DVB broadcast satellite network on Telestar-12 for service delivery and also will assume end-to-end responsibility for the installation and maintenance of satellite receivers using.
MTV Inks Lease Contract With SES Astra
SES Astra closed a new long-term agreement with MTV Networks Europe for further capacity on an Astra satellite located at 19.2 degrees East. MTV will use the capacity to launch TV channels for different European markets, including France and the Netherlands. SES Astra did not identify the specific satellite is carrying the transponder being leased.
Norsat To Supply Newslink To CBS Alaska Affiliate
Norsat International Inc. said that Alaska-based CBS affiliate KTVA Anchorage has purchased Norsat Newslink for its news gathering operations. Newslink enables broadcast- quality video in a portable satellite terminal and supports MPEG-2/DVB-S encoding.
Panamsat To Distribute Artear Content
Panamsat said that Argentinean broadcaster Artear will use Panamsat’s PAS-3R satellite to distribute TV channels. Among the channels that will be distributed over the satellite are the broadcast TV channel Canal 13 as well as TodoNoticias, a 24-hour news network; Volver, which broadcasts Argentine films and soap operas; Magazine, a variety channel; and TyC Sports and TyC Max, which offer sports programming.
Sea Launch Wins Spaceway 3 Contract
Sea Launch received a firm contract award from Hughes Network Systems LLC to launch the Spaceway 3 satellite in early 2007 aboard a Zenit 3SL rocket.
The spacecraft, being built by Boeing, is intended to provide broadband Internet service, as well as multimedia applications.
Echostar Names New CTO
Michael Dugan has been named the chief technical officer of Echostar Communications Corp. Dugan, the chief architect of the technology upon which Echostar’s Dish Network direct-to-home satellite television service was founded, will be responsible for all technical development and operations within Echostar.
Dugan joined Echostar in 1990 and most recently served as a senior technical advisor to the executive management team. He also served as president and COO from April 2000 to April 2004.
Modulus Video Appoints Executive Vice President
Modulus Video, Inc. appointed Richard Stanfield executive vice president of global field operations. Stanfield will take responsibility for sales and marketing of Modulus Video’s MPEG-4 AVC encoding systems, which enables delivery of standard and high-definition video over satellite, cable, terrestrial and Internet protocol TV networks.
Stanfield previously served as vice president of global field operations from Turin Networks, a provider of optical switching technology to the telecommunications industry that he co-founded. Prior to that, Stanfield served as vice president of North American sales for Advanced Fibre Communications, a manufacturer of access products for the communications industry.
ND Satcom Names Managing Director Of ND Satcom Beijing
ND Satcom AG appointed Peng Ye vice president of ND Satcom and managing director of ND Satcom Beijing. Prior to joining ND Satcom, Peng Ye served as vice president of Motorola Asia Pacific Ltd. and general manager of China Netcom Operations.
Protostar Names New Board Of Directors Member
Protostar, which plans to provide direct-to-home satellite television services on a wholesale basis to the Asia-Pacific region, announced that Steven Dorfman joined the company’s board of directors. Dorfman has served as CEO of Hughes Space and Communications, Hughes Communications and Hughes Telecommunications and Space. While CEO of Hughes Communications, Dorfman was responsible for the development of the Galaxy System satellite service provider, which ultimately merged with Panamsat.