Sabbagh Sets Out SES Vision

From Via Satellite

SES CEO Karim Michel Sabbagh A review of the applications of HTS services, the impact HTS systems are having on the market, and the financial performance against pre-launch projections.

The first time I saw SES CEO Karim Michel Sabbagh speak was at a CASBAA event in Hong Kong, which was one of the first times he addressed the satellite industry. He is a gifted public speaker — with an air about him very different from his predecessor, Romain Bausch — and spoke constantly of the satellite industry’s “right to play” in the global communications ecosystem. I was delighted this year that, after a highly successful opening general session at the SATELLITE 2016 Conference & Exhibition, I was able to catch up with Sabbagh and talk about his vision for SES. Having now been in the job well over a year, he talks candidly on many topics.

VIA SATELLITE: Could you tell us the significance of becoming the majority owner of O3b Networks?

Sabbagh: The acquisition of a controlling stake in O3b further strengthens our global network and capabilities. We expand our reach and portfolio, augment our capabilities and enhance the foundations for sustainable growth. SES and O3b are highly complementary, and expanding SES’ global GEO network with O3b’s unique MEO fleet is a game changer for us, since it leverages tremendous potential and adds significant value to our assets and our start-up investments. We also significantly augment our capabilities to offer data-centric applications and serve customers with scalable, flexible and very differentiated solutions in the enterprise, mobility and government verticals. Read More

iDirect Government Debuts New 3.4.1 Evolution Software which Powers 9-Series Defense Remotes and Line Cards and Delivers Advanced Features

Software Brings Enhanced TRANSEC, Performance and Efficiency to Company’s Next-Generation Satellite Communications Equipment

Herndon, Va., May 23, 2016 – iDirect Government (iDirectGov), a leading provider of satellite communications to the military and government, today unveils its Evolution 3.4.1 software, which powers the company’s next generation 9-Series portfolio of remotes and defense line cards. iDirectGov will showcase the new software release in the company’s booth, No. 1712, during the 2016 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC), which runs today through May 26 in Tampa.

Evolution 3.4.1 delivers enhanced features in security, performance and efficiency to the 9-Series product line in support of the company’s defense and government customers whenever and wherever they need effective satellite communications. The software supports the 950mp, 900 and 9350 remotes as well as the DLC-T and DLC-R defense line cards – all from a single platform.

Offering the latest transmission security (TRANSEC) enhancements in the air, on land and at sea, the Evolution platform is Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) Level 3 certifiable. The 9-series remotes and DLC line cards support dual-domain TRANSEC. One-Way TRANSEC is a new feature that secures broadcast traffic from the hub to a network of receive only remotes. Read More

One Box Solutions: iDirect’s EC Series of Satellite Remotes

Around the globe, throughput demands continue to surge. New applications are emerging across every market imaginable. For satellite service providers, being able to keep pace with demand for higher speeds and specialized market demands is paramount to success.

It starts with remote performance at the customer site. At iDirect, we continue to take performance levels to the next level with the introduction of remotes that are designed to deliver the very best in performance and specialized applications.

Take our Embedded Computing (EC) remotes, for example. By combining iDirect technology with “best in class” third-party solutions, we create a “one-box solution” that adds a computing platform to our remotes. This allows service providers to load custom applications that enhance the capabilities and deliver specialized services to meet specific market needs.

iDirect-EC-IPF

The EC series provides a complete solution through:

A reduction in hardware and energy footprint:

Consolidating solutions that would typically require use of a multi-box configuration into a 1U rack-mounted form factor saves valuable rack space and lowers power consumption 

Simplified installation and decreased points of failure:

By reducing the hardware footprint, we simplify installation and decrease points of failure. 

The delivery of specialized services to meet specific market needs:

This series of solution remotes offer enhanced functionality to iDirect remotes by adding extra processing power and memory to run approved software applications to deliver market specific solutions. Read More

Airbus Defense and Space’s Satellites Provide The Latest Hot Spots In Canada’s Fires

From Satnews

Canadian-FireUsing the latest technology to assist in such a tragedy as the Canadian fires is as amazing as it is awful.

Pléiades and SPOT 7 satellites, operated by Airbus Defence and Space, have captured images of the devastating fires around Fort Mac Murray city in Alberta, Canada, covering more than 1,600 km² and which led to the evacuation of more than 100,000 residents.

The Pleiades-1A satellite is capable of providing orthorectified color data at 0.5-meter resolution (roughly comparable to GeoEye-1) and revisiting any point on Earth as it covers a total of 1 million square kilometers (approximately 386,102 square miles) daily. Perhaps most importantly, Pleiades-1A is capable of acquiring high-resolution stereo imagery in just one pass, and can accommodate large areas (up to 1,000 km x 1,000 km).

The Pleiades-1A satellite features four spectral bands (blue, green, red, and IR), as well as image location accuracy of 3 meters (CE90) without ground control points. Image location accuracy can be improved even further — up to an exceptional 1 meter — by the use of GCPs. Because the satellite has been designed with urgent tasking in mind, images can be requested from Pleiades-1A less than six hours before they are acquired. This functionality is invaluable in situations where the expedited collection of new image data is crucial, such as crisis monitoring. Continue>

RigNet’s Express Service Brings Global Xpress to the Energy Market

From Satnews

RigNetThe oil and gas industry has been waiting for this solution—to deliver more capacity and added resiliency in a seamless global platform.

RigNet, provider of digital technology solutions focusing on serving energy facilities, maritime vessels and other global remote locations, announces its launch of Global Xpress (GX) services based on Inmarsat’s globally available, Ka-band, high-throughput satellite (HTS) network.

In 2013, RigNet was selected as Inmarsat’s preferred partner to launch Global Xpress into the oil and gas industry. Global Xpress is the first Ka-Band satellite network from a single operator to deliver a global footprint that supports increased data rates and global mobility, at affordable price points. Whether onshore or offshore, the network architecture allows the use of small footprint antennas that save deck space at a remote location. The GX design simplifies the remote installation process and decreases the time for deployment, while providing consistency in the hardware for ease of sparing and maintenance.

This unique service allows companies to utilize a single satellite platform with global standards across their geographically dispersed organizations. GX delivers a reliable high-speed, seamless connection that gives a better end-user experience than those found in traditional satellite services to the oil and gas industry. The network’s high-throughput and “comms on the move” (COTM) capability makes it a perfect fit for essential applications and crew welfare communications in the oil and gas industry. Whether your application is in drilling, production, energy maritime, or support services, GX has a solution that improves the efficiency of your operations. The service can also boost crew morale through high-speed crew internet, video conferencing and onboard Wi-Fi solutions. Continue>

Telenor’s THOR 7 Ka Band Mobility Service Ready for Commercial Operation

From Telenor

TelenorTelenor Satellite announced the commercial readiness of its THOR 7 Ka-band mobility service. The Ka-band payload offers regional coverage with a favourable look angle over the main European shipping lanes and utilises high-powered spot beams, providing unprecedented performance for maritime applications.

Since the commercial handover of the THOR 7 satellite in June 2015, Telenor Satellite has been carrying out a Ka-band testing programme prior to its commercial launch. The final testing phase involved more than 15 customers running sea trials on approx. 30 vessels, with up to 50 remote terminals testing the service across THOR 7’s footprint. Thanks to the valuable contributions of our pilot customers involved in the final testing phase, we can now launch our mobility Ka-band service with confidence.

Telenor Satellite’s THOR 7 HTS Ka-band service offer 6-9 Gbps throughput with up to 25 simultaneously active spot beams. Supported by the iDirect next-generation iDirect Velocity™ platform, Telenor Satellite is able to offer automatic and seamless spot-beam handover, assuring continuous connectivity across the entire satellite footprint.

“Today is a day that we have been very much looking forward to”, said Morten Tengs, CEO of Telenor Satellite. “Telenor Satellite’s THOR 7 Ka-band mobility service has been designed specifically for the maritime market, providing the reliability and availability our customers expect at sea.” Continue>

A Secure 4G/LTE Backhaul Experience Shouldn’t Compromise Throughput

Richard DeasingtonBy Richard Deasington, Director of Market Development at iDirect

Global demand for 4G/LTE services has hit a new threshold. No matter the location—urban, rural or remote—user expectations remain the same: high speed and high quality, no compromise. This means that mobile operators are tasked with building-out networks that meet end-user expectations, yet still ensure privacy of the data being transmitted across the network.

However, this presents a difficult challenge for those that must leverage satellite for remote and rural locations or for emergency response networks. For satellite, achieving this level of security often comes at the cost of speed and efficiency.

Here’s the difficulty: Previous generations of networking technology encryption were provided from the handset to the RNC – within the core network. LTE has changed this configuration, moving the RNC functionality out to the edge of the network. This has been done in order to improve efficiency and reduce the latency. The resulting effect is that now the LTE base station processes the clear text of all traffic.

When it comes to backhauling this traffic to the network, the recommendation by the 3GPP is to carry all traffic from the base station inside an IPsec tunnel back to the security gateway in the core network. This, according to 3GPP specifications, ensures security.

Breaking the Norm

A standard LTE implementation uses IPsec to secure all communications by authenticating and encrypting the data from the LTE eNodeB through the network to the Security Gateway in the EPC. In the past, optimizing this encrypted traffic over a satellite link was not possible as the encryption process scrambled all the information being carried. Read More

Intelsat Announces Five-Year In-Orbit Servicing Agreement with Orbital ATK

From Via Satellite

Orbital-ATKIntelsat and Orbital ATK have announced a new satellite life extension service agreement where Orbital ATK will extend the life of an Intelsat satellite by five years using the company’s Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV).

Orbital ATK will manufacture, test and launch the first Mission Extension Vehicle, MEV 1, based on the GEOStar platform, and will conduct in-orbit testing to validate the spacecraft. Launch is currently slated for 2018, with mission extension service for Intelsat beginning in 2019.

“Given the size of our satellite fleet, any technology that enhances our in-orbit flexibility allows us to be more responsive to our customers, such as extending the life of a healthy satellite so that it can be deployed for a late-breaking opportunity at another orbital location or maintaining service continuity before the arrival of new technology. We have actively supported in-orbit servicing from its inception, and are proud to pioneer with Orbital ATK on this game-changing innovation,” said Stephen Spengler, CEO of Intelsat. Continue>

Globecomm Brings Satellite Connectivity To AT&T IoT Services

From Satnews

AT&TThrough AT&T’s new satellite connectivity services, companies can better manage their Internet of Things (IoT) deployments, as they will be able to track their assets, even in the most remote locations.

Businesses and government customers often have assets spread across the globe, which can be challenging to pull data from devices in remote areas with limited connectivity. Think of a tractor on a farm, a generator in the desert or oil pipelines in remote regions—with satellite connectivity and AT&T’s existing cellular services, businesses can ensure that even their most isolated assets are working properly.

AT&T has teamed with Globecomm to launch a new service that allows satellite connectivity to work seamlessly with their cellular network. That means businesses no longer need to purchase their cellular and satellite services separately, as this service now provides one integrated solution for managing IoT devices, networks and applications. Continue>

DataPath Launches New GATE-5000 Self-Contained Remote Networking System

From PR Newswire

DataPathDataPath announced the launch of a series of Gateway Access Transportable Equipment (GATE) networking kits. Using a DataPath GATE-5000 ruggedized kit with either satellite or cellular connectivity provides users with one consolidated access point to the Internet, public switched telephone network and secure virtual private networks (VPNs). The kit’s transportability and simplified user panel make the solution ideal for remote operations such as newsgathering, government and military, disaster recovery, and oil and gas applications.

The kits complement DataPath’s popular line of modular and easy to deploy portable satellite communications terminals, but are also compatible with any Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT). Each GATE-5000 system is completely self-contained in one, airline-checkable transit case that can be transported by one person.

Designed to be fully customizable both in the components and user interface, the GATE-5000 product line is available in configurations for broadcast, military and industrial users. The broadcast variant, GATE-5100, for example, can be outfitted with the broadcaster’s choice of modem and the broadcaster’s choice of video encoding device.  While tailored to the user’s specific requirements, a typical kit can consolidate a modem, Cisco router, 10-port Ethernet switch, simultaneous 2.4 and 5 GHz wireless LAN, multimode 3G and 4G LTE wireless WAN, and Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) for voice and fax all into a simple, easy to deploy system. Continue>