Industry News – August 2008
EMS Satcom INTRODUCES PACKET DATA TERMINAL FOR FORCE TRACKING APPLICATIONS
EMS Satcom introduced an Iridium-based packet data terminal for use in force tracking systems.
The eNcompass PDT-300i terminal operates around the globe and is designed specifically to enable critical communications capabilities required for force tracking. The fully integrated, single-piece product offers a lower profile than the PDT-100 terminal and when combined with EMS Satcom’s Multi-network Gateway, provides AES 256 encryption.
Intelsat IRIS PAYLOAD PASSES CRITICAL DESIGN REVIEW
The Internet Routing in Space (IRIS) payload has passed its critical design review, and interfaces have been verified for initial assembly and integration with the spacecraft platform.
The payload will interconnect a C-band and two Ku-band coverage areas, providing an architecture and design that allows flexible IP packet routing. The payload will support network services for voice, video and data communications, enabling U.S. military units and allied forces to communicate with one another using IP and existing ground equipment.
Intelsat, teamed with Cisco Systems and SEAKR Engineering Inc., created the payload for IS-14, which is planned for launch in the second quarter of 2009. The satellite will be placed at 45° West and provide coverage of Europe, Africa and the Americas.
STM INTRODUCES DVB-RCS COMPLIANT MESH VSAT
STM Group has completed the development of a DVB-RCS (digital video broadcasting-return channel via satellite)-compatible mesh VSAT network system that serves as an extension of its SatLink product platform.
The SatLink 1910 Mesh VSAT is enabled via a plug-in card upgrade to the current SatLink 1910, which equips the VSAT to receive burst communications on four concurrent MF-TDMA carriers.
The SatLink product is optimized for IP-based telecom applications as well as private networks requiring concurrent single-hop connectivity among hundreds or thousands of sites. Mesh network capabilities will also be offered by STM’s teleports, allowing for rapid deployment of small mesh using DVB-RCS compliant MF-TDMA VSATs.
U.S. Air Force AEHF UNDERGOES TVAC TESTING IN ADVANCE OF APRIL 2009 LAUNCH
The first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite is undergoing thermal vacuum tests designed to gauge performance in space.
Following completion of spacecraft thermal vacuum testing in late July, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, the satellite’s prime contractor, and Northrop Grumman Space Technology, the payload supplier, will perform environmental test data analysis and remaining integration and test activities.
The spacecraft, which will provide secure communications for U.S. warfighters, is scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Air Force in early 2009 in preparation for launch.
Lockheed Martin is under contract to provide three Advanced EHF satellites to the Air Force and a fourth spacecraft is being planned.
CETel, Arabsat UNVEIL DVB-S2 SERVICE
CETel and strategic partner Arabsat are offering DVB-S2 (digital video broadcasting-satellite-second generation) services on Arabsat-2B in C-Band.
The service is designed to serve CETel’s growing customers demand in the Gulf region, Middle East and African markets.
Gilat TO DELIVER BROADBAND SATELLITE NETWORK TO KENYA
Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. will provide a broadband satellite network to Alldean Satellite Networks (Kenya) Ltd.
The SkyEdge 2 hub and IP VSATs initially will cover sites in various parts of Kenya, providing interactive data, broadband Internet access, Voice Over Internet Protocol and client-server banking applications to Kenyan enterprises and financial services firms.
Arqiva BOOSTS DTT IN FRANCE
Arqiva secured a five-year contract with France’s Multi7 to manage the broadcaster’s multiplex platform, delivering a digital terrestrial television (DTT) service.
Arqiva will manage encoding, multiplexing and signal switching for the DTT service, which was unveiled by French regulator CSA in March, from Arqiva’s Paris teleport. The DTT multiplex, the first authorized by the CSA, will include four commercial channels and three associated channels.
Avanti WINS SCOTTISH BROADBAND DEAL
Avanti Communications has won a key satellite broadband contract in Scotland.
Avanti will provide broadband services to premises throughout the country which have been identified as out of the reach of terrestrial alternatives. The contract, valued at 3.3 million British pounds ($6.3 million), will cover capital and project management costs to establish networks covering more than 3,500 homes and businesses.
Avanti will subcontract installation and management services to its wholesale customer and partner RDS.
BSkyB, BT HOOK UP TELEPHONE DEAL
BSkyB reached an agreement with BT regarding support for BSkyB’s Sky Talk telephony service.
BT will provide BSkyB with a wholesale voice service to support call services to its 1.1 million Sky Talk customers, and the three-year deal will support the further expansion of Sky Talk.
The new agreement will see Sky benefit from BT’s national reach and economies of scale. Throughout the next few months, Sky Talk customers and their calls will be migrated to the BT Wholesale platform.
Comtech Telecommunications RECEIVES ORDER FROM ARMY
Comtech Mobile Datacom Corp. will supply satellite network bandwidth, network operations management, program management and technical support services to the U.S. Army.
The orders, valued at $5.6 million, were made under Comtech’s Movement Tracking System (MTS) contract with the service.
Total orders received to date against the potential $605.1 million MTS contract stand at $126 million.
Crawford WINS MILITARY DVIDS CONTRACT
Crawford Communications Inc. received a contract to support the U.S. military’s Digital Video and Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS), a network of 106 portable Ku-band transmitters located with deployed military units and a central distribution hub located at Crawford’s teleport.
Under the long-term agreement, Crawford will provide content aggregation, media relations, Internet and satellite services for the military. Crawford also offers training classes, staffing, analysis, Web support and video and print editing services.
Rocketdyne RECEIVED DARPA EXTENSION FOR SOLAR THERMAL PROPULSION ROCKET ENGINE
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne a contract for the fabrication and ground test of a solar thermal propulsion rocket engine. This $2.2 million contract extends the High Delta-V Experiment Program six months and follows a critical design review conducted in March.
The Solar Thermal Propulsion engine encompasses technology that allows it to use less fuel by harnessing the sun’s energy. This gives the satellite greater ability to maneuver in space and conduct longer missions by extending the use of its fuel.
iDirect TO SUPPORT COLUMBIAN GOVERNMENT PROGRAM
BT Latam Colombia has chosen VT iDirect Inc. to support a high-speed IP satellite network that will enable the Colombian government to improve the collection and management of real estate property records.
BT Latam, a division of BT Group PLC, will manage a network of more than 60 iDirect routers installed throughout Colombia.
The network will provide broadband connectivity to local government bureaus located beyond the reach of terrestrial lines. The Colombian government plans to expand the use of the network to support Voice Over Internet Protocol and Web access applications for remote offices.
SES New Skies WINS NEW INDIA BUSINESS
SES New Skies signed a multi-year, multi-transponder agreement with India’s Essel Group for C-band satellite capacity to support the digitalization of India’s cable infrastructure.
The Essel Group is one of India’s largest media companies with interests in broadcasting (Zee TV), direct to home (Dish TV) and cable networking (WWIL). The satellite capacity will be used to support a new digital headend-in-the-sky platform to distribute pay-TV signals to cable headends serving millions of Indian homes.
The agreement initially covers capacity on NSS-703 at 57° East and transitioning to NSS-12 in 2009. The capacity required for the project will ramp up to six transponders throughout a five-year period.
TCS TO PROVIDE PRIVATE SATELLITE NETWORK TO AFGHANISTAN
TeleCommunication Systems Inc. (TCS) has been awarded a contract to build and implement an IP-based private satellite network to support U.S. Department of Defense personnel in Afghanistan.
The network, scheduled to be fully operational by mid-July, will provide voice, video, and data services in remote areas of Afghanistan that lack terrestrial service. TCS will provide network management and monitoring.
The three-year contract is valued at $2.4 million.
Thuraya EXPANDS MARITIME PRODUCT DISTRIBUTION
Thuraya has signed 10 distribution deals for its ThurayaMarine solution as the operator looks to boost its revenues in the maritime arena with the Thuraya-3 satellite begining operation.
The agreements were signed with Fort Info Technology, GPTC, IEC, Intermatica, Moodotel, Nera Telecommunications, Satcom, Satlink, WorldCom Japan Traders and Xtralink.
Thuraya-3, placed into orbit in January by Sea Launch, enables the operator to double its current commercial coverage to parts of Asia that include markets in China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia and Australia.
Gilat APPOINTS CFO
Gilat Satellite Networks appointed Ari Krashin CFO.
Krashin replaces Tal Payne, who has become CFO of Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.
RSCC APPOINTS DIRECTOR GENERAL AND DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL
The Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) appointed Alexey Ostapchuk as its new director general.
Previously, Ostapchuk worked as commercial manager and then as director general of CJSC GlobalTel, the exclusive operator of the Globalstar satellite system in the Russian Federation.
RSSC also appointed Ksenia Drozdova deputy director general.
Drozdova has been with the company since 1998, worked initially in the corporate financing department. Since 2000 she has served as deputy director of business development.
EMS Satcom RECEIVES ERICSSON MOCO AWARD
EMS Satcom received the Ericsson Innovation Award for Outstanding Product Achievement in the Content and Application Mobility Industry from the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance for the company’s eNfusion product.
The award recognizes mobility technology that has been developed into a world-class product or family of products.
The eNfusion satellite-based airborne communications products provide passengers and crew of commercial and military aircraft access to high-speed Internet, voice and videoconferencing capabilities as well as safety-related services.
ViaSat CEO RECEIVES AIAA AEROSPACE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS AWARD
ViaSat Inc. CEO and Chairman Mark Dankberg has been named the recipient of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Aerospace International Communications Award for 2008. The award recognizes contributions in aerospace communications and honored Dankberg "for shepherding ViaSat into a leading satellite communications company through outstanding leadership and technical expertise."