In this Issue...
"LEO on the Leading Edge: Telesat's Revolutionary New Constellation"
An Interview with Telesat CEO, Dan Goldberg
"Cyber Security at Sea - entegra's Unique Solution for VSAT
An interview with entegra technologies CEO Nancy Shemwell
"Riding the Wave to a Small Satellite Future"
A Word with Abel Avellan, CEO of Avellan Space Technologies
Volume III, No 1 January 2018
Independent Analysis and Commentary on Maritime, Aero and Land-based Satellite Technologies
Satellite mobility World
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Welcome to 2018 and the 23rd issue of Gottlieb's Satellite Mobility World. Our magazine is now two years old and in just 22 issues, we've opened a whole new chapter in Satellite Industry publications. We're now read in 43 countries around the world.
We're continuing to follow the satellite and mobility sector with a series of candid interviews with the Industry's leading CEOs. We're posing tough questions and addressing controversial issues, and we are never afraid to critique questionable strategies or deflate marketing puffery.
This month's big story is an interview with Dan Goldberg, Telesat CEO and features a look at Telesat's plans for a revolutionary, new LEO constellation, one that represents a significant advancement in satellite network design. We're also covering Abel Avellan's new venture, Avellan Space Technology and his plans to manufacture small, LEO satellites. In addition, you'll find a look at entegra technologies, a Cyber Security company with a unique solution for VSAT data security. Welcome to the third year of Satellite Mobility World.
Gottlieb's Satellite and Mobility World is published monthly (except August) by Gottlieb International Group., Inc. Suite 100, 1209 South Frederick Street, Arlington, VA USA 22204
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SATELLITE MOBILITY WORLD
In this Issue:
Industry Trends and Analysis: (pg. 3)
"LEO on the Leading Edge: Telesat's Revolutionary New Constellation"
An Interview with Telesat CEO, Dan Goldberg
"Cyber Security at Sea - entegra's Unique Solution for VSAT"
An interview with entegra technologies CEO Nancy Shemwell
"Riding the Wave to a Small Satellite Future"
A Word with Abel Avellan, CEO of Avellan Space Technologies"
"Recommended Upcoming Mobility Related Satellite Industry Events"
Industry Trends and Analysis
Iridium® NEXT Launch Campaign Reaches its Halfway Point with a Fourth Successful Launch
Iridium closes out 2017 with more than half of the Iridium NEXT constellation now in orbit
MCLEAN, Va., Dec. 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM) announced today that at 5:27pm PST (1:27 am UTC on Dec. 23), SpaceX successfully launched the fourth set of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Today's launch marks the midway point of the Iridium NEXT launch program, and was the first Iridium launch to use a SpaceX flight-proven rocket. The first stage booster for Iridium-4 was previously used for Iridium-2, making Iridium the first company to reuse the same rocket booster.
Each launch strategically delivers new satellites to specific orbital planes, so that the complete Iridium NEXT constellation will be operational as soon as possible after all launches are complete. The Iridium network is comprised of six polar orbiting planes, each containing 11 operational crosslinked satellites, for a total of 66 satellites in the active constellation. Of the 10 Iridium NEXT satellites launched today, nine were delivered to their operational orbital plane, and the tenth is set to drift to an adjacent orbital plane. Once fully deployed, Iridium NEXT will blanket the earth with satellite connectivity, enabling broadband connectivity from even the most remote parts of the planet.
"Today's launch is an incredible milestone — we have officially reached the halfway point," said Matt Desch, chief executive officer, Iridium. "It was an amazing sight to see the Iridium-2 booster back in flight today, carrying Iridium-4 into space. We are excited to be taking part in SpaceX's rocket reusability initiative and make history as the first company to reuse the same booster." Desch continued, "With over half of the new constellation now in orbit, momentum around the testing of our new broadband service, Iridium CertusSM, will continue to progress quickly. I know our customers are very excited about our expanding capabilities."
Iridium NEXT is not only delivering faster data speeds and other new capabilities with Iridium Certus, but also enabling revolutionary technologies from the hosted payloads onboard each satellite. Among these are the AireonSM real-time aircraft surveillance payload and the maritime Automatic Identification System (AIS) payload, co-operated by Harris Corporation and exactEarth. That payload, known as exactViewTM Real Time (RT) Powered by Harris, provides global real-time ship and vessel tracking across all the earth's oceans. Through the Aireon and exactView RT hosted payloads, both built by Harris Corporation, the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation is the only system capable of providing global, real-time surveillance and tracking of aircraft and ships.
"With each successful Iridium NEXT launch, Harris gets one step closer to bringing our service to market," said Bill Gattle, president, Harris Space and Intelligence Systems. "The Satellite Automatic Identification System is vital for the maritime market, and Harris is excited to help bring services, like exactView RT, global— providing the industry with access to the most accurate vessel information available. For the first time, the entire planet will have real-time AIS coverage from one network, and with the expected growth of maritime shipping and increasing access to polar sea routes, this service is needed more than ever." Gattle continued, "We can't think of a better way to end 2017 than with today's launch, and we are looking forward to what is coming in 2018."
All Iridium NEXT launches take place out of SpaceX's west coast launch facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Four additional launches are planned for the first half of 2018, including a unique rideshare that will carry five Iridium NEXT satellites, and the twin satellites for the NASA/German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ) Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On mission.
Iridium NEXT is the company's $3 billion, next-generation, mobile, global satellite network scheduled for completion in 2018. Iridium NEXT will replace the company's existing global constellation in one of the largest technology upgrades ever completed in space. It represents the evolution of critical communications infrastructure that governments and organizations worldwide rely on to drive business, enable connectivity, empower disaster relief efforts and more.
SES-14 Arrives at Kourou for January Launch
SES-14 will capture growth opportunities in thriving video, maritime and aeronautical markets across the Americas and the North Atlantic region.
LUXEMBOURG - 22 December 2017 -- SES-14 has arrived safely at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana, in preparation for launch by an Ariane 5 vehicle in January 2018.
SES-14, which will be positioned at 47.5 degrees West, will serve Latin America, the Caribbean, North America and the North Atlantic region with C- and Ku-band wide beam coverage and Ku-band high throughput spot beam coverage. SES received a license to operate at this Brazilian orbital location as a result of a spectrum auction in 2014.
SES-14's C-band wide beams are designed to expand the reach of SES’s second cable neighbourhood in Latin America, while its Ku-band high throughput spot beams will serve the dynamic aeronautical market and other traffic-intensive applications such as maritime, cellular backhaul and broadband services. The Ku-band wide beams will also serve growing direct-to-home and VSAT services in the Americas and the North Atlantic. SES-14 will replace and augment services currently provided on NSS-806.
The spacecraft also carries a NASA-funded hosted payload. The payload's Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission is designed to deepen scientists' understanding of the nearest reaches of space. The hosted payload will provide unprecedented imaging of the Earth’s upper atmosphere from geostationary orbit, and will be the first mission with a cadence fast enough to study the daily weather of the thermosphere-ionosphere rather than its long-term climate.
SES-14 was built by Airbus Defence and Space and is an electric satellite. It will rely fully on electric propulsion and will be equipped with an electric plasma propulsion system for orbit raising and in-orbit manoeuvres. The new spacecraft also features a Digital Transparent Processor (DTP), which increases payload flexibility and will provide customised bandwidth solutions to SES's customers.
Martin Halliwell, Chief Technology Officer at SES, said, “We are extremely excited about launching SES-14. It’s an all-electric satellite comprising wide beams and high throughput beams and featuring a DTP -- the first of its kind in our fleet -- all of which will provide our customers with enhanced flexibility and fully customisable solutions. Not only will SES-14 be meeting the needs of the growing video markets in Latin America, its high throughput capabilities will empower maritime and aeronautical service providers to deliver high-performance connectivity in the Americas. We are also proud to be the first commercial partner to host a NASA scientific mission of this kind.”
Space Industry Pioneer, Entrepreneur and Inventor Announces Ultra-Small Satellite Enterprise
Abel Avellan Is Founder and CEO of AST&Science – Company will Manufacture Ultra-Small Satellites for Government and Commercial Applications
MIAMI – Dec. 14, 2017 – Abel Avellan, who built Emerging Markets Communications (EMC) from a start-up to a global leader in the satellite communications space, has launched a venture to manufacture a new generation of ultra-small satellites.
The manufacturing plan for AST&Science is to build a new kind of ultra-small satellite which is designed to be placed into low-earth orbit (LEO). The satellites, called Microns, by the company, weigh approximately seven ounces and are designed to work in concert with larger nano and micro satellites.
AST&Science has already completed the system design of its proprietary technology and has filed patents for key elements of its intellectual property in the United States, Europe, Japan and other countries. The company is preparing to commence manufacturing in mid-2018, and is actively investing in related technologies of ultra-small satellites. It is currently bidding for the first launch partner both in the U.S. and internationally.
“The satellite industry has been slow to adopt miniaturization technologies,” said Avellan. “What happened to mainframe computers will happen to current and future satellite architectures based on today’s technology. AST&Science, with its proprietary technologies, will be at the forefront of this miniaturization revolution in space, enabling us to create a totally new business model that will dramatically change the way satellites are designed, manufactured and launched.”
Seraphim Capital Appoints Matt O’Connell as New Partner
LONDON - December 18, 2017: Seraphim Capital, a London, UK-based venture capital firm, has appointed former GeoEye CEO Matt O’Connell as a new partner.
O’Connell is recognized as an authority on the commercialization of geospatial data, having led GeoEye, Inc., a global provider of geospatial intelligence solutions, as CEO for 12 years.
During that time, he worked to increase the enterprise value of the company from $30m to $1.3bn creating a global leader in high-resolution earth imagery and geospatial analysis which he subsequently sold to Digital Globe.
In 2015/16, O’Connell also served as CEO of OneWeb, a startup developing a 650 satellite constellation aiming to provide low-cost internet connectivity to people around the world.
He also currently serves as a member of the Board of Spaceflight Industries, Inc.
Led by Mark Boggett, CEO, Seraphim Capital is a London-based venture capital fund manager which typically invests at Series A stage into IP-led businesses that have the potential to redefine large existing markets or create entirely new ones.
Over the last decade, this has included artificial intelligence (computer vision, neural networks, machine learning), the Internet of Things (software, sensors) and advanced materials (polymers, semiconductors).
The firm is thematically focused on the space technology ecosystem through its $90m venture capital vehicle, the Seraphim Space Fund. and through its soon to be launched Seraphim Space Camp Accelerator.
SES partners with VT iDirect to deploy iDirect Velocity® platform for GEO High Throughput Satellites
LUXEMBOURG, 5 December 2017 – Customers of SES’s geostationary (GEO) High Throughput Satellite (HTS) services will have greater flexibility and control of their capacity following the deployment of the iDirect Velocity® ground infrastructure, developed by VT iDirect, a global leader in IP based satellite communications, SES announced today.
The iDirect Velocity infrastructure will be deployed across three HTS systems -- SES-12, SES-14 and SES-15 -- enabling SES Networks to host and provide modular and scalable solutions for its partners and customers, initially for SES Maritime+ services, and then as a multi-application service platform for the fixed and mobility markets.
SES is deploying the iDirect Velocity infrastructure across HTS gateway locations around the globe, allowing SES Networks to offer fully managed end-to-end services, or to delegate control of capacity and other key parameters to customers who, in turn, can do the same for their own customers. The SES Networks Global Services teams across numerous Network Operations Centres (NOCs) and our partners will have unprecedented insight into global bandwidth resources and maximum flexibility for resource allocation.
SES HTS satellites will first leverage iDirect Velocity-based services with leading maritime customers and others using traffic-intensive data applications in the Americas region. Upcoming HTS systems will expand SES Networks’ mobility and other data connectivity services in the Asia-Pacific region, including rapidly growing markets such as India and Indonesia, and will support existing VSAT services in the Americas and the North Atlantic Region.
The iDirect Velocity platform was designed to address the unique infrastructure needs of HTS networks, and optimised to enable the delivery of tiered managed services that are needed for customers over such a data-heavy network. This will enable SES to provide high bandwidth allocation and increased flexibility to its customers with variable pricing options. Customers will be able to utilise assets across the entire SES fleet and use contracted capacity no matter where their needs may be around the world.
“The technology partnership with VT iDirect allows SES Networks to provide the best possible experience and service flexibility for our partners and customers,” said John-Paul Hemingway, Executive Vice President of Product, Marketing and Strategy for SES Networks. “A mobility customer that has 500Mbps over our fleet now has the ability to seamlessly use that capacity anywhere around the world. It is a great step forward in providing the best experience possible for our customers.”
“iDirect Velocity is the leading HTS platform in the market today and provides a seamless high-throughput, high-quality experience over a spot-beam satellite architecture,” said David Harrower, Senior Vice President Global Sales, VT iDirect. “SES Networks’ customers can support multiple types of business models and markets from a single platform, increasing their revenue potential and profitability.”
Globecomm to Explore Expansion of Worldwide Network with LeoSat
WASHINGTON -- LeoSat Enterprises, which is launching a constellation of up to 108 low-earth orbit (LEO) communications satellites, has entered into a memorandum of understanding to explore a potential service agreement with Globecomm Systems Inc., a leading global connectivity provider serving enterprise, oil & gas, maritime and government markets around the world.
LeoSat’s earth encompassing satellite constellation, in effect, an optical backbone in space, can provide instant infrastructure from anywhere to everywhere which is fast, secure and reliable, opening up a wide range of new opportunities for companies such as Globecomm looking to expand their existing network capabilities.
The increasing demand to move large quantities of data quickly and securely around the world is fast outpacing the infrastructure in place to carry it. In 2015, global networks for the first time carried more than 1 Zeta Byte of traffic globally and this is forecast to grow exponentially. LeoSat’s unique new network delivering fiber-like symmetry at gigabit per second speeds has been designed to solve essential communications and connectivity issues and provide service without compromise to the harshest environments and the most remote areas for customers in sectors such as multi-national enterprise, oil & gas, maritime and government services.
LeoSat’s Chief Commercial Officer, Ronald van der Breggen, said: “We are delighted that Globecomm, a trusted provider of robust connectivity for mission-critical communications, is considering LeoSat to expand and future-proof its infrastructure. Clearly we’re very excited about this sign of confidence: By combining high speed and high throughput with low latency, high security and global availability, LeoSat’s constellation is well on its way to becoming a game-changer for business connectivity”.
Chief Commercial Officer Bryan McGuirk of Globecomm said, “We strongly believe in offering the smartest connectivity solutions to our customers, and with capabilities beyond satellite and fiber, LeoSat represents the next generation of high-performance communications networks”.
LeoSat is currently working with Thales Alenia Space, a company with unmatched expertise in designing and manufacturing LEO satellites, to finalize the manufacturing plan, paving the way for the production and deployment of the entire constellation.
Intelsat Appoints Satellite Executive Samer Halawi Chief Commercial Officer
Luxembourg, 20 December 2017 – Intelsat S.A. (NYSE:I), operator of the world’s first Globalized Network and leader in integrated satellite communications, announced the appointment of satellite industry executive Samer Halawi to Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). Assuming the role effective January 9, 2018, Mr. Halawi will lead an organization spanning the Company’s global commercial operations, including the broadband, mobility, media, and government businesses, as well as the sales and marketing teams.
Intelsat created the new role to accelerate the commercialization of its Intelsat EpicNG high throughput fleet and build additional focus on the introduction of new managed services, unlocking new applications to drive company growth. Mr. Halawi will also be responsible for leading the Company’s engagement with key business partners such as OneWeb and Kymeta as well as with leading distributors and VARs across sectors.
“Samer is a dynamic leader with a proven track record of delivering results,” said Intelsat Chief Executive Officer Stephen Spengler. “As we seek to expand our share of the growing global telecommunications sector, Samer’s extensive background and expertise in mobility services and in bringing new products and services to market will be instrumental in guiding our commercial operations to capitalize on new, fast growing applications. Intelsat will benefit greatly by the addition of an executive of his stature, and we welcome him to our team. I look forward to working closely with him to deliver a compelling value proposition for our customers in each sector.”
Mr. Halawi joins Intelsat with more than 20 years’ experience in business development, telecommunications and global satellite communications. Most recently serving as CCO of LEO start-up OneWeb, Mr. Halawi also served for six years as the Chief Executive Officer for Thuraya Telecommunications Company, a leader in mobile satellite services. Other career experience includes positions at Inmarsat, Flag Telecom and ICO Global Communications.
Mr. Halawi holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in the United States.
An Interview With Telesat CEO, Dan Goldberg
ith the increasing number of new LEO constellations being planned, the announcement of another entrant would hardly seem remarkable. Yet, as we spoke with integrators around the world, we found an unusual amount of enthusiasm and interest in Telesat's planned LEO offering, so much so, that we decided to investigate further.
What we found is a uniquely clever design that stands out from the crowd, a constellation that features a smaller number of satellites than has ever been proposed for a broadband LEO constellation, a dual low latency configuration combining Polar and elliptical orbits, interlinked satellites, and unique onboard processing enabling the delivery of localized capacity on demand - a capability far beyond the first generation of High Throughput Satellites (HTS).
To find out more, we approached Dan Goldberg, Telesat CEO, who was kind enough to grant "Satellite Mobility World" the opportunity for this exclusive interview.
SMW: Given the unique features of your planned LEO constellation, if it performs as expected, wouldn’t it effectively cannibalize your own HTS GEO satellite market and would the capacity of your hybrid LEO constellation be enough to threaten other existing GEO networks?
Dan Goldberg: First, I’d like to start by highlighting some of the key advantages of Telesat LEO, namely our superior system design, global spectrum rights, strong backing from our investors and great interest from customers and potential partners, both in and outside the satellite industry.
Telesat has a long record of industry firsts that have brought major satellite innovations to market and our LEO constellation will be another breakthrough that transforms global communications.
We’re on track to deploy global service starting in 2021 and expect to make some big announcements early this year regarding industrial and other strategic partners.
Telesat’s focus is to provide our customers with the best performing space-based systems to meet their ever more demanding communications requirements.
The overall service quality, reliability and cost of Telesat’s LEO system will be unmatched by any GEO, MEO or other LEO system and will allow us to fill a key gap in the global data connectivity market. That’s why we’re developing our LEO constellation. All other considerations are really secondary.
SMW: Your model incorporates the use of 117 optically linked satellites, thereby eliminating the need for numerous gateways. How is the development coming on that aspect of the constellation? I understand it’s quite challenging.
Dan Goldberg: We’re building an integrated space and ground system consisting of a space segment, a ground segment and a user terminal segment. Unlike GEO, a LEO satellite architecture must be an integrated, tightly coupled system to deliver our core value proposition of high capacity and low latency at low cost. That’s why we’ve engaged teams consisting of satellite, gateway and user terminal manufacturers.
Telesat LEO will provide global coverage by 2021 with a constellation of approximately 120 satellites and we’re evaluating options to expand the system beyond this initial configuration. The space segment will be supported with a worldwide network of 30 to 50 gateways. Additional gateways will be added in selected areas as demand for services increases.
Our system will have high capacity inter-satellite links (ISLs) to provide the data routing flexibility that many of our global customers are demanding for security or regulatory reasons as well as to meet their connectivity requirements.
The ISLs will enable a user terminal to connect directly to a Telesat LEO gateway anywhere in the world without traversing terrestrial networks. In addition, since data travels faster in space than over terrestrial fiber, for long intercontinental routes, our LEO ISLs will have lower latency than terrestrial fiber.
A satellite with no gateway in view (e.g. over an ocean) will connect through other satellites via ISLs to reach the desired gateway. This capability allows any user terminal on earth to connect and utilize the full features of the Telesat LEO system, regardless of location. The ISLs also support fault-tolerant routing, thereby improving constellation resiliency.
SMW: Can you give us an idea of how the costs of the satellites compared to the non-interlinked variety employed in the OneWeb model?
Dan Goldberg: We’re presently in a competitive procurement process and aren’t yet ready to provide details on system costs, but building and launching hundreds of satellites and associated ground infrastructure is certainly a big undertaking.
We’re reviewing multiple designs from leading manufacturers that will allow us to meet our performance and cost targets with the scale and capacity to establish a disruptive, low latency, ultra high capacity, flexible and global communications infrastructure. But while the capital costs are significant, keep in mind that Telesat has considerable financial resources and strong backing from our investors.
SMW: My understanding is that the ITU has granted you global “priority rights” to 4 GHz of Ka-Band spectrum, and you have secured approval from the FCC to operate the LEO constellation over the U.S. Given that Leosat is developing somewhat similar Ka-Band constellation with similar market objectives, how can they still operate globally and compete with you? Please explain.
Dan Goldberg: I won’t comment on the prospects of other players, but I will note that Telesat has a Ka-band NGSO filing of higher priority at the ITU than any other commercial LEO aspirant and that puts us in the strongest position in terms of our spectrum rights.
In many satellite frequency bands, including the Ka-band used by Telesat’s LEO constellation, a first-come, first-service approach to applications applies. In the case of two applications for the same frequency band, the later filed application must coordinate with the earlier filed application. The earlier filed application is considered to have “priority.” There will have to be coordination among LEO operators seeking to use Ka-band, and Telesat’s ITU priority puts us in a strong position to ensure we can operate our constellation as planned.
As for the performance advantages of Telesat LEO, our system will provide Gbps links to individual customers while offering multiple Tbps of total system capacity.
Advanced technology on the Telesat LEO satellites allow spectrum and spacecraft resources to be dynamically allocated to best meet customer demand, providing high capacity around busy airports, for military operations in remote regions or a carrier battle group, a fleet of ships in major ports, and into other areas of concentrated demand.
We expect to transform the economics of space-based communication systems with cost per Mbps at, or lower than, the lowest cost systems announced or in the market today.
SMW: Your patent application mentions as target markets community broadband and hotspots, large enterprises, ships and planes, software updates and Internet of things, cellular backhaul, but not homes as initial markets. What are your differentiators in each of these markets?
Dan Goldberg: Telesat LEO will deliver a broadband experience comparable to what users receive on high performing fiber networks in their home or office. Not only will this be the most capable satellite constellation, but the cost per Mbps will be dramatically lower than current pricing.
There are a lot of commonalities in services across markets but Telesat LEO will also have some unique differentiators in each of the main verticals we’re targeting. For example:
The cellular backhaul market will be provided with high capacity to enable 3G/4G and future 5G expansion. With our lower cost of service, we’ll be competitive against both terrestrial microwave and legacy copper. Low latency will enable use of cloud-based Radio Access Network (RAN) technology and avoid the need for TCP/HTTP acceleration. Our network will have high resiliency allowing cellular operators to maintain a continuous, high quality service.
For aviation, Telesat LEO will concentrate high capacity around major airports to ensure peak demand is met during the busiest periods of the day. Our global coverage will support a seamless user experience across every flight no matter its route, and low latency will provide superior in-flight connectivity for passengers. Our low cost capacity will enable new business models for airlines as well as allowing connectivity-led inflight automation for more efficient airline operations and improved profitability.
The maritime market, such as cruise and yachts, will also benefit from our constellation’s ability to focus capacity to meet seasonal demand when multiple ships are in the same port.
As cruise operators compete against land-based resorts, they will benefit from economical capacity to profitably deliver a user experience on par with advanced terrestrial networks, including low latency. The high resilience of Telesat LEO will ensure a continuous service, as ships will have multiple satellites in their field of view.
The oil and gas market will be transformed with a low latency service allowing for real-time data transfer between automated platforms and on-shore control centers. The Telesat LEO constellation will provide high capacity in any exploration and production area, even at high latitudes. Availability of lower data rates will enable new business models and increase operational automation.
For military users, the high bandwidth, low latency and high security of Telesat LEO will unlock new, and boost existing, use cases such as enabling control and navigation of unmanned aerial vehicles. Global continuous coverage is provided over hostile territories without ground gateway requirements. The high bandwidth available will fully support requirements for MWR (morale, welfare, recreation) on land and in maritime units.
Initially we expect to provide Internet access into remote areas using a community aggregator model where Telesat LEO will connect villages with high speed Internet and then distribute broadband connectivity through a local terrestrial network using fixed wireless, WiFi or 3G/4G.
We believe there needs to be further development of low cost, electronically steerable antennas (ESAs) to be more cost competitive for direct-to-home services. We are following the development of ESAs closely and are encouraged by the progress being made by a number of companies. We are confident we’ll be able to provide market leading Internet connectivity direct-to-home as soon as the required user antenna products are commercially available.
SMW: Could you please clarify what you mean by “Internet hotspots?” Does that mean placing an antenna on a centrally located structure and allowing residential access via Wi-Fi or LTE – like the OneWeb concept?
Dan Goldberg: Yes. To boost digital inclusion in remote and rural communities, the acceleration and growth of mobile broadband (MBB) is needed over cellular devices as well as fixed broadband (FBB) to households and institutional premises (schools, hospitals, offices, etc.). Telesat LEO will provide competitive backhaul solutions to enable both MBB and FBB growth.
Our backhaul solution will enable mobile network operators (MNOs) to economically expand coverage to remote communities and drive MBB growth.
Imagine a small village with 20 homes in a very remote location. While a 3G/4G network is not economical for such a small population, an Internet hotspot connected via satellite could be a perfect solution. We currently offer backhaul services to such service providers today using our GEO satellites and will improve on them with the high throughput and low latency of our LEO system.
SMW: With Ka-Band, rain fade has always been a problem, especially in the tropics, Southeast Asia and in maritime markets. How will you deal with this issue?
Dan Goldberg: Unlike GEO satellites that often experience extended rain outages, LEO satellites move across the sky so that a user’s line of sight doesn’t intersect a heavy rain cell for more than a couple of minutes. In addition, our LEO network will have transmit/receive power control and adaptive coding and modulation to mitigate fading due to rain. In the forward direction, when a satellite senses that a user antenna isn’t receiving a strong enough signal, it will increase the power transmitted down to that antenna and make adjustments to coding and modulation to maintain performance.
Similarly, in the return direction, when a satellite senses that the power received from a user antenna has decreased, the satellite will direct the user terminal to adjust its power, modulation and coding to compensate. While brief rain outages may occur, these adaptive features will ensure that the space-ground links are maintained under the most demanding conditions.
SMW: If you use an ESA terminal and, as you state in the patents, that you intercept the satellite at 20-degree elevation, doesn’t that severely limit the throughput and make a case for more satellites that can intercept the satellite at a higher look angles? Essentially, how do you get high throughput at a low look angle with a phased array?
Dan Goldberg: Telesat LEO customers will always have multiple LEO satellites in view and our Network Control System will handoff customers to the satellite that offers the best performance. Minimum user elevation angles will be above 20 degrees with typical elevation angles much better than that.
In addition, advanced features such as power control combined with adaptive coding and modulation will dynamically allocate satellite resources to ensure that users receive a robust signal from the satellites at all times. As additional satellites are added to the constellation, both total capacity and minimum elevation angles will continue to improve.
SMW: How will you distribute the service? Will you sell through integrators only, or will you go direct to end users in any markets?
Dan Goldberg: Telesat has always believed strongly in the value of service providers and will continue to work with them to jointly bring new LEO services to market. Telesat LEO will be a perfect complement for service providers with deep sector knowledge, customer relationships and vertical-specific solutions. For such service providers, we see it as a winning situation for Telesat, our partners and their end customers.
SMW: As we both know, a flat panel electronically steered antenna (ESA) is vital component of LEO service, the only alternative being expensive installations with multiple, mechanically steered antennas on land or multiple stabilized and steered antennas on vessels. Where do you stand on development of an ESA for the planned constellation?
Dan Goldberg: We agree that our industry needs advances in ground terminals to fully take advantage of the capabilities of NGSO systems, including Telesat’s LEO constellation. Telesat is addressing this in two ways.
First, our LEO constellation will support both electronically steered and mechanically tracked antennas for serving fixed sites, air, maritime, ground vehicles and other platforms, both military and commercial. So our success is not dependent on a big leap in ground terminal performance and capabilities. We expect our initial service will use existing technology. In addition, flat panel antennas are being developed by various companies, both well-established suppliers and new entrants.
We’re following their developments and working directly with a number of these suppliers with the expectation that they will have high performance, cost-effective products on the market in a few years. Telesat is confident that at least one, and more likely several, satellite antenna suppliers will achieve the improvements in cost and performance that the LEO satellite market requires.
SMW: What about modem technology? Does your hybrid LEO constellation pose any challenges to the modem manufacturers, especially given the more complex beam switching environment in a LEO or hybrid LEO constellation?
Dan Goldberg: The modems needed for our constellation will not be any more complicated than satellite modems available today. They will simply need to be adapted for compatibility with our LEO network.
SMW: Does the recent launch failure threaten your ability to retain your license for the polar constellation? What date restrictions are you under in both cases for the initiation of service?
Dan Goldberg: No, the recent launch failure doesn’t threaten our licenses or our regulatory position more broadly. Our authorizations with Canada and the U.S. aren’t tied to specific launches. Although we were certainly disappointed with the launch failure we experienced in late November, we have a second Phase-1 satellite scheduled for launch in early January 2018.
SMW: Thanks very much for your comprehensive responses to our questions. In our view, what you are proposing is a significant advancement in satellite technology and constellation design. We look forward to seeing design finalized and the constellation launched and put in service. A.G.
LEO on the Leading Edge: Telesat's Revolutionary New Constellation
"The overall service quality, reliability and cost of Telesat’s LEO system will be unmatched by any GEO, MEO or other LEO system and will allow us to fill a key gap in the global data connectivity market."
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"We expect to transform the economics of space-based communication systems with cost per Mbps at, or lower than, the lowest cost systems announced or in the market today."
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About Dan Goldberg
Dan Goldberg became President and Chief Executive Officer of Telesat in 2006.
Prior to joining Telesat, Mr. Goldberg served as Chief Executive Officer of SES New Skies, a position he held following the purchase of New Skies by SES. During that time, Mr. Goldberg also served as a member of the SES Executive Committee.
Prior to becoming Chief Executive Officer, he served as Chief Operating Officer of New Skies and prior to that as New Skies General Counsel.
Before joining New Skies, Mr. Goldberg served as Associate General Counsel and Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs at PanAmSat. He began his career as an associate at Covington & Burling and then Goldberg, Godles, Wiener & Wright, law firms in Washington D.C.
Mr. Goldberg obtained an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, graduating with the highest honors and earned a law degree from Harvard Law School, where he graduated cum laude.
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ith over 18,000 vessels connected via VSAT and the number growing significantly every day, interchange of data via the Internet of Things is increasing. With the advantages and convenience of this technology comes the increased risk of cyber intrusion, raising the possibility that hackers can steal valuable data, shut down engines and at some point, even alter the course of vessels.
To combat these threats, there are various software solutions, and one that we found of special interest is a solution developed by entegra technologies of Dallas, Texas. Known as EntegraBLU, the solution is a commercial evolution of software developed by U.S. security agencies that has been in use for over twenty years and, to date, has never been "broken." To find out just how it works, we met with Entegra CEO, Nancy Shemwell.
SMW: Nancy, as you know, there is a huge increase in the numbers of vessels connected via VSAT, crew members are logging onto the Net and IOT data exchange is increasing every day. Where in the network to you see the greatest vulnerabilities?
Nancy Shemwell: In a perfect world, all elements of the network would be connected point to point by fiber, and the only elements that could communicate across the network would be those physically connected to the network. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world.
In today’s Internet world, during the interval in which a user requests access to a VPN and the connection is made, the network can be hacked.
Today, hackers can use commonly available tools to automate and deliver a thousand hacks per second, significantly increasing their chances of intercepting all or part of the VPN encryption key thereby allowing them to compromise the network, wander around and do whatever they want, even intermediate themselves into the communication. So, the VPN connection point is a prime point of vulnerability. There are other numerous ways a hacker can gain access.
For example, with a VPN, because a VPN is always alert and available, it is possible to use sophisticated tools to detect its presence and gain entry. In this regard, there is a tool that was released inadvertently by NSA that can “spoof” or mimic the target VPN allowing the hacker to gain access. Another point of entry would be to directly target the operating system.
So, in sum, hackers can gain access through theft of credentials, intermediating themselves into the connection, spoofing the VPN and attacking the operating system. While there are other ways to gain access, these are the principal threats. The bottom line is there is no “silver bullet” for complete cyber security. You need a layer of defense in depth.
Once a hacker has gained access to your network, they typically wander around for about three months in order to figure what they want to do – essentially looking for information that is of value to them i.e. credit card, proprietary financial data, etc, etc.
SMW: So what is the entegra solution and how is it different and why is to unique and effective?
First of all, let me say that our solution is designed to be deployed to protect the most critical elements of your network. For example, you may want to allow crew members easy access to the Internet, but you want to guard against intrusion into the "back end" of your network.
How We Protect the Network:
What we do is create a series protected enclaves, groups of trusted users, and only those users can talk to each other. So, even if an authorized user were to accidentally introduce a virus into the network, it would be contained within the individual enclave and could not spread to other enclaves in the network.
We protect each enclave through our own proprietary encrypted key exchange. Essentially, we pre-configure the encryption keys into the central server and remote devices so users entering the network with encryption keys are instantaneously recognized thereby eliminating the time interval typically required to complete a VPN connection and the potential for "spoofing." So, the moment the connection is made, the VPN is engaged. The connection is never “in the clear.” Once the VPN s established, it is "bullet proof."
SMW: How easy is it to deploy EntegraBlu? Will it work on all networks?
Nancy Shemwell: One of the unique features of the solution is that it can be deployed on legacy and next generation networks. So, no hardware upgrades are required. We can install it in a virtual mode on existing equipment, or using small devices at network access in networks requiring a legacy solution. Our technology is also transport independent. It works on satellite, cellular, microwave or fiber.
SMW: So how is EntegraBlu sold? Does the customer buy the hardware and license the software?
Nancy Shemwell: What we sell is a managed service. So we can install whatever is required whether it is hardware or software. Of course, this is a significant advantage for our customers because it is a "turn key service," and can be classified as an operating vs. a capital expense.
SMW: So, in essence, what I understand is that you have taken a proven, hardened, cyber security solution developed by the U.S. security agencies and modified it for commercial use, lowering its cost and easy of implementation . Is that correct?
Nancy Shemwell: Absolutely. As the solution has never been "broken," it is a formidable defense against intrusion and especially suitable for the VSAT mobility environment. Given the fact that eventually most commercial vessels and aircraft will eventually enjoy the advantages of "always on" connectivity and IOT, securing the connection will become ever more important.
SMW: Thank you very much, Nancy. Given the growing concern for cyber security in mobility environments served by VSAT, our readers should find EntegraBLU of special interest.
An interview with entegra technologies CEO, Nancy Shemwell...
Cyber Security at Sea - entegra's Unique VSAT Solution
for more information
Essentially, we pre-configure the encryption keys into the central server and remote devices so users entering the network with encryption keys are instantaneously recognized thereby eliminating the time interval typically required to complete a VPN connection and the potential for "spoofing."
Ms. Shemwell, Chief Executive Officer of entegra technologies, inc.,
With a 20 year track record of driving high performance transformational global organizations, Ms. Shemwell has been Ranked #93 in ExecRank’s Top CSO Rankings” from 15,000 Chief Sales Officers and C-Level executives in the United States, she has also been recognized as a Finalist for 2015 D CEO M&A of the Year Award.
Ms. Shemwell has previously held a variety of senior positions with global business responsibilities including assignments in Europe and North America. Her experience covers a broad spectrum of general management, sales and marketing roles in rapidly developing markets.
Previous positions include that of Chief Operating Officer and owner of DataSpan, President and CEO of Multi-Link, President and CEO Jovial Test Equipment, EVP Extreme Networks, EVP at Symmetricom and a 16 year career with Nortel Networks where she held titles of President.
Ms. Shemwell holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baylor University and a Master of Science in Business Administration from Texas A&M.
For additional information
ne of the satellite industry's best know entrepreneurs, former CEO and founder of EMC, Abel Avellan, is on the move again. After selling EMC to Global Eagle Entertainment, Abel is embarking in a new and promising direction, taking advantage of what is expected to be a boom in the use of small satellites by manufacturing micro satellites, each weighing less than .25 kilograms.
As technology advances in terms of miniaturization, enhanced processing power and low cost manufacturing techniques, Avellan believes the satellite industry will change dramatically, especially in the deployment of government satellites - the primary target of Avellan Space technology. For military and related government applications, these miniature satellites offer significant advantages:
For military use, large swarms of small satellites in LEO orbit are much harder to target than than the massive military satellites now is use;
Technological advancements can be instituted much more rapidly than with large satellite technology. Due to the extended planning, design and building times associated with large satellite manufacture, satellites can be 5 years or more behind current technology the day they are launched.
Manufacturing costs are low and micro satellites can be mass produced. Rapid production capability allows for new technologies to be tested - a significant benefit for national security.
To find out more about Avellan's new venture, we arranged an interview.
SMW: Can you give our readers an idea of what attracted you to the small satellite market?
Abel Avellan: I am truly excited about this new venture because I believe the future of the satellite industry is in very small satellites deployed in a LEO configuration. I am a big believer in NewSpace, and I am a big believer that the conventional approach to the way satellites are manufactured, built and launched is going to change and that small satellites, deployed in LEO orbits will be the primary providers of global data communication in 5-10 years.
SMW: I understand that you have some patents in this area and plan to actually manufacture micro satellites. Can you tell us more?
To take advantage of this change, we have a patented technologies that, among other things, can lower the cost of manufacture, which, we believe, will give us significant advantage. While we plan to manufacture for both commercial and government entities, our plan our initial approach is to focus on the government sector - the sector which has displayed a very significant interest.
SMW: What specific applications do you envision for this new generation of small satellites.
Abel Avellan: I see these satellites not only used for communication, but for scientific applications, tracking, earth observation, IoT etc. There are numerous applications for small satellites in LEO orbit.
SMW: Can you use micro satellites for all of these applications, or does their size pose barriers to any applications?
Abel Avellan: Micro satellites are multi-purpose. They can be used for any of the applications I mentioned. In terms of size, they typically weight less than nine ounces and can be launched in volume. They can also be used in combination with larger satellites weighing in the hundreds of kilograms, and we are also investing in that technology. You can do very good things when the two types are deployed together.
This new approach is very disruptive to the standard approach of building and launching satellites. I believe that ultimately, many of the very large satellites that weigh a ton or half a ton, will be displaced by small, powerful, mini satellites in much the same way as a significant amount of data processing has moved to small, powerful computers. I think that every satellite operator will have a play in NGSOs and small satellites.
SMW: Will there still be a market for the large monolithic satellites?
Abel Avellan: I believe so. However, what I do believe is that the migration of satellite data traffic from GEO to LEO is inevitable. That's why I am investing heavily in that area.
SMW: What is your time frame for initiating manufacturing?
Abel Avellan: While I am not willing to commit on exact timing, I can say that in terms of satellite development and manufacture, we re talking about the short term.
SMW: Can you give us an idea of how phased array, flat panel antennas fit into your vision?
Abel Avellan: I see flat panel, phased array antennas as another tool. I see them as significant especially when you have satellites that move - especially with LEOs, that move very fast. Phased arrays definitely play a role in these types of satellite deployments.
SMW: Thank you very much. I look forward to covering your projects as it develops, and wish you the best of luck in turning your vision into a reality.
An Interview with Abel Avellan, CEO and Founder Avellan Space Technology
Riding the Wave to a Small Satellite Future
"I am a big believer in NewSpace, and I am a big believer that the conventional approach to the way satellites are manufactured, built and launched is going to change and that small satellites, deployed in LEO orbits will be the primary providers of global data communication in 5-10 years."
About Abel Avellan
Abel Avellan is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of AST&Science. He is a 25-year veteran in the global satellite communications sector.
Avellan created and built EMC into the world’s fastest-growing satellite service provider several years in a row. EMC was sold for $550 million in 2016.
Avellan was named Satellite Teleport Executive of the Year in 2017 and was the recipient of the Satellite Transaction of the Year award by Euroconsult in 2015. Avellan is also co-inventor of 17 U.S. patented technologies.
There are many mobility related satellite industry events and unless you have an unlimited budget, here are the "must attends" and others that may be of interest. Note that the "hot" sectors are Cruise, Aero and Yachts.
*****Seatrade Cruise Global, 5-8 March 2018, Fort Lauderdale, Florida: In terms of bandwidth demand, this mobility segment tops all but the commercial airline sector. In 2017, Gottlieb International Group presented a special seminar along with Global Eagle Entertainment, and we will be doing a repeat in 2018 - highly recommended and inexpensive.
*****Satellite 2018, Washington, D.C. March 12-15, 2018: This is the most widely attended satellite show in the world and includes an excellent conference. However, attendees need to plan their agendas very carefully to avoid conflicts between meetings, sessions you want to attend and visits to selected booths on the show floor. It's definitely a jam packed four days.
***Posidonia, Athens Greece, June 4-8th, 2018: This is a key show due to the Greek shipping industry's leading position in the Tanker industry - the leading cargo maritime sector in terms of VSAT purchases.
*****Global Connected Aircraft Summit, San Diego, CA June 4-6, 2018: In our opinion, this is the best event dealing with aircraft connectivity. As the commercial airlines struggle to upgrade and install Wi-Fi aboard their aircraft, the demand for bandwidth and associated Internet applications for both passenger entertainment and monitoring of aircraft systems is the prime focus. As the industry is also a leader in the use of IoT and M2M applications, what can be learned at this conference has applicability in other mobility sectors as well.
***CommunicAsia: June 26-28 2018: This is probably the best Asian satellite industry event. While not heavily focused on mobility, we recommend it for the excellent industry networking opportunities - expensive but well worth it.
***** World Satellite Business Week : September 2018: Notably the best conference for networking among top industry executives. A "must attend" with an excellent program. The 2017 conference was excellent. We attended the "Smart Plane" session and found it especially interesting.
tent - if you have the budget and the time.
***PTC Honolulu January 21-24, 2018: This one's a favorite if you are selling to the South Pacific Islands or some Asian customers. Held in a nice casual atmosphere, it's a good networking opportunity. It's also noted for the best business expense "right off" around (a fact that few attendees want to admit) - glad it's held in Hawaii in January.
Other Conferences/Shows of Interest:
***Digital Ship CIO Forum/Cyber Resilience Forum: Held in numerous locations around the world, these events are notable for their focus mainly on IT related issues including cyber security, IoT and M2M. Sponsored globally by Marlink, they are held nearly everywhere.
As the maritime cargo sector is in a major slump, the shipping people who attend these events are not in a buying mood. These events are probably worth attending at least once for their IOT, M2M and Cyber Security content - if you have the budget and the time. If you are interested in finding buyers, focus on the Tanker sector and attend Posidonia.
Upcoming and Recommended Satellite Mobility Related Events
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