Satellite Industry Association and Global VSAT Forum Collaborate On Joint Cyber Security Initiative

Core Principles Are Confirmed for Industry and Government Efforts to Promote Cyber Security 

GVF and SIAWASHINGTON, D.C. – The Satellite Industry Association (SIA) and Global VSAT Forum (GVF) – leading trade associations representing the satellite communications industry – have released a joint statement on the satellite industry’s commitment to cybersecurity, articulating core principles for cybersecurity and encouraging all segments of the satellite industry to continue efforts to address the dynamic challenge of cybersecurity.

The statement emphasizes the criticality of cybersecurity to the satellite industry’s core goal of providing mission critical, highly reliable, and secure connectivity.  “The satellite industry has a long history of providing secure solutions to diverse global customers,” the associations said, “including military and government users, corporations of every size and type, the non-profit and scientific communities, and individual consumers.”

Drawing upon the industry’s experience, SIA and GVF have identified three principles that—although not intended to be a comprehensive roadmap or exhaustive list—should be at the center of private and government efforts to promote national and global cybersecurity:

  • Voluntary, industry-led efforts and public-private partnerships are the optimal way to address cybersecurity at the national or international levels.
  • Robust cybersecurity is aided by voluntary information sharing, free from fear of adverse consequences.
  • Satellite industry organizations should actively address cybersecurity using industry best practices for risk management.

The associations expand upon these principles in the statement, offering further details of how they might be implemented by companies throughout the satellite industry and through government efforts.  In addition to articulating these core principles, the joint statement also details numerous initiatives within national governments, intergovernmental organizations, and international standards bodies evidencing the satellite industry’s foundational and long-standing commitment to cybersecurity. Read More

AfricaCom 2016: Visit iDirect and Discover Two Steps Forward to Higher Performance

Fire up high-speed DVB-S2X networks while dialing up the speed of your S2 networks

In a price-sensitive market like Africa, every saving counts. Every opportunity a service provider has to lower bandwidth costs for customers should be seized. Every chance to reduce internal operating costs should be pursued. And in a traditionally capex-heavy industry, any transformation in how networks infrastructure is purchased and deployed is graciously welcome.

africacom-2016

Fortunately, the prospect for better business economics is improving as satellite capacity comes online in greater abundance, at lower price points and at higher frequencies. The availability of stronger multi-spot beams and higher-powered transponders gives service providers the opportunity to substantially improve efficiencies and deliver more throughput over their given bandwidth.

In order to maximize efficiency and performance on the satellite, many service providers are looking to the new DVB-S2X standard. Compared to DVB-S2, the DVB-S2X standard features higher MODCODs (64APSK to 256APSK), finer granularity and better SNR values for better transponder saturation and to maximize the efficient use of the massive new amounts of HTS bandwidth.

To truly gain the benefits of DVB-S2X, service providers need a system-wide approach. At iDirect, we’ve done just that with a groundbreaking DVB-S2X product suite that enables fast and comprehensive adoption of the new standard. Read More

Aero Service Levels are Measured in More than Megabytes

Denis SutherlandIn-flight connectivity is becoming a standard expectation of modern air travel. From passengers watching live television and pilots checking weather patterns to crewmembers swiping credit cards and monitoring fuel levels, VSAT networks are driving loyalty, revenue and productivity.

Recently I presented at the GVF AERO Connect 2016 conference it was not a surprise that everyone wants more. And that more is going to come from HTS capacity translated into networks that can run at hundreds of Mbps. NSR reports that 18,000 aircraft will be powered by capacity from High Throughput Satellites by 2025, accounting for $2.8 billion in revenue.

But here’s the catch. High-quality airline connectivity cannot be boiled down simply to the speed of a satellite router. At iDirect, we believe that the ultimate guarantee of service performance depends a complete solution that will meet the demanding expectations of in-flight connectivity.

We heard from leading satellite operator that the key challenge is managing complex SLAs across a large coverage area that spans multiple spot beams. Think of hundreds of airlines all needing different bandwidth levels as they soar across spot beams and dish out bandwidth to diverse users onboard running dynamic applications. That’s incredibly difficult. And if not done well, it doesn’t matter how many megabytes a router can handle. Read More

High Throughput Solutions for High-Priority Defense Applications

As satellites with higher throughput capabilities come online, they bring tremendous promise to military networks – faster speeds for bandwidth-hungry applications like aerial surveillance, and greater bandwidth efficiency for increasingly cost-sensitive communications budgets.

iDirect's High Performance 9-Series Satellite Remotes

Bringing that capacity to market is the focus of iDirect’s latest product lineup, which it’s showcasing at the Global MilSatCom conference in London this week.

Stop by our booth at stand #17 to check out our latest products and hear first-hand how iDirect is advancing satellite connectivity for defense organizations worldwide.

iDirect 980The all-new lineup includes high-performance defense remotes. The 9-series remotes features the 9350 Satellite Router, the fastest iDirect TDMA remote to date, the 950mp Integrated Satellite Router Board for portable communications-on-the-move (COTM) solutions, the 980 Airborne Integrated Satellite Router Board, and the 9800AE and 9800AR Airborne Satellite Routers.

You can read more about the 9-series here.

The new defense remotes bring even greater performance and efficiency when they’re coupled with our next-generation Defense Line Cards, which are critical for operation in an environment of higher throughput satellite capacity coming online. The line cards feature FIPS 140-2 Level 3 security, an onboard TRANSEC module, and conformal coating. In addition, they deliver higher MODCODs and additional FEC rates to improve spectral efficiency in DVB-S2. Read More

High-Performance Defence Remotes Ready for Action

The world’s defence organizations are expanding their reliance on satellite communications. And satellite technology in turn is being significantly enhanced to serve the mission.

Next week at Global MilSatCom 2016 in London, iDirect will showcase its latest lineup of defence remotes – the 9-series. From new man-pack terminals to next-gen aero remotes, the 9-series delivers new levels of performance, efficiency and security. Here’s a quick preview.

  • The 9-series lineup includes the iDirect 900/9350 Series Satellite Routers that provide unprecedented performance, dual demodulators and greater bandwidth efficiency. The rack-mounted 9350 is the fastest iDirect TDMA remote to date, with over 150 Mbps of aggregate throughput with DVB-S2 and Adaptive TDMA and a path to well over 200 Mbps via support of 29 Msps with Adaptive SCPC. The 9350 also features a multi-core processor, embedded 8-port Gigabit Ethernet switch, dual demodulators, and an LCD display. The 900 is a board-level remote and features the same capabilities as the 9350, with the added ability for custom terminal integration.
  • The iDirect 950mp Integrated Satellite Router Board is designed for portable communications-on-the-move (COTM) solutions. The 950mp features an overall 30% reduction in size, weight and power (SWaP) and iDirect Transmit Key Line to further reduce power consumption. It also features embedded FIPS 140-2 Level 3 encryption and is designed to operate within all Ku-, C-, Ka- and X-bands including Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) frequency ranges, providing flexibility in secure network deployments.
  • The 980 Airborne Integrated Satellite Router Board is a board-level router, designed for ultra-high speed airborne applications (up to 1,000 mph). Its improved performance, dual demodulators for seamless beam-switching, spread spectrum returns and skew angle compensation support aeronautical operations, enabling the use of ultra-small and phased-array antennas on military aircraft.
  • The iDirect 9800 AE and 9800 AR Airborne Satellite Routers incorporate the powerful 980 board-level router. Available in two form factors, ARINC 600 Enclosure (AE) and 1RU Rack Mount (AR), they are designed to meet the stringent certifications required for installation on aircraft. With its upgraded performance, security and efficiency features, this series is primed to protect military-grade communications.

The 9-series is designed to coexist with the e8000 series remotes, enabling a smooth transition path to upgrade fielded remotes. Read More

An Internet of Things World: Where does Satellite fit in?

iotFrom Satellite Today

We live in the era where organizations and people want 24/7 always-on connectivity. The Internet of Things (IoT) will aim to make this a reality, and readily transform companies along with the way they do business. It is the next generation of internet connectivity, and it could have far reaching consequences for just about everything.

ne of the big buzz terms at recent satellite events has been the Internet of Things (IoT), where we live in an uber-connected world full of connected devices which can pretty much track everything man and machine do as billions of devices talk to each other. While IoT is great news for the wireless industry, it could also offer some interesting new growth opportunities for satellite companies as they look to secure a role in this hyper-connected state of affairs.

Organizations such as the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) have already started work on IoT strategies in Europe and Singapore, respectively. Beh Kian Teik, executive director of the Office for Space Technology and Industry (OSTIn) at the Singapore Economic Development Board (SEDB), says OSTIn is focused on building up satellite technology capabilities in both its public research institutions and for industry players, particularly through encouraging public-private collaborations. OSTIn also supports companies interested in leveraging Singapore to develop new satellite-based applications and services for the region and beyond. The EDB recently signed a deal with SES as it looks to get its IoT strategy in gear. Continue>

New L2oS Solution Lands iDirect a Finalist Spot for MEF 2016 Excellence Award

Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) recently announced the finalists for the MEF 2016 Excellence Awards, and among the 36 companies named, was iDirect.

The MEF is a global industry association composed of the world’s leading telecommunications service providers, focused on the implementation of Carrier Ethernet services. In support of promoting interoperability and deployment of Carrier Ethernet worldwide, iDirect recently launched a major innovation, one that is also a significant step toward MEF’s vision: Layer 2 over Satellite (L2oS).

MEF’s expert panel of judges honored our L2oS technology as a finalist for the category of Third Network Technology Solutions Awards. As the only satellite communications-related vendor in the list, iDirect appreciates the recognition for how L2oS will enable service providers to use Ethernet Virtual Connections to create more agile satellite networks.

Traditionally, satellite does not transport full Ethernet frames over the air because of the additional burden on scare bandwidth, thus isolating satellite networks from the rest of the terrestrial infrastructure. Instead, propriety techniques economize packets by stripping the Ethernet headers and retaining the payload for transmission. This loss of information breaks the Layer 2 adjacency, isolating satellite networks from the rest of the terrestrial infrastructure. Read More

The Three [New] A’s in Global MilSatcom

Dave DavisBy Dave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, iDirect Europe

The nights are drawing in, the mornings are becoming crisp and there’s a definite autumnal feel to the weather as I walk through the London streets. To me, this always means that Global MilSatcom is once upon us. Global MilSatcom is the premier event in the global MilSatcom community, with updates from around the world, some great speakers, new technologies, and doubtless some technological and commercial announcements from the VSAT industry.

In previous blogs, I’ve talked about the core ARC requirements for MilSatcom: Affordability, Resilience and Capability and these are just as relevant now. The crises management will be a combination of ad hoc and longer-term measures. In many part of the world, governments, NGOs and MoDs will continue to fight to solve the humanitarian problems, and stop terrorism at its root in the conflict areas and in-country. That’s where capability and resiliency come in and become an integral part of the solutions for MoDs. For these operations, government agencies need assets on land, sea and in the air. Longer-term solutions are problem resolution in problematic regions and nations stabilizing again at political, social and economic levels such as education, elections, health care, human rights and economic development. These will go hand-in-hand with installing border security networks and training police and defense agencies to maintain security.

This is where Affordability comes in and I also predict three new A’s as well; Antennas, Aviation and Autonomy – the three subjects which I think will provide some noteworthy advances in the coming year.

Antennas are becoming smaller, more efficient and much more discreet. I expect to see a revolution in the coming years, especially in mobile and aeronautical antenna systems. Aviation is a hot topic and it is still proving to be the next big market for expansion. The recent GX Aviation global tour was a groundbreaking demonstration of the art of the possible. Autonomy is another hot topic and the world of autonomous vehicles is very much in the defence world to stay with the MAST project and the Unmanned Warrior Exercise. Read More

From HQ to My Hometown (#DCtoUK)

By Dave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, iDirect Europe

American Football. I’ll hereafter refer to it as “football”. The other kind of football, I call soccer. Let’s not get hung up on the name; if you want a real debate on this, I’m a Rugby fan, so that’s the “Real Football” in my eyes. And then there’s a debate on which code of Rugby…

Dave Davis RedskinsLet’s just leave it there…

I’ve been a Washington Redskins fan since I was a young lad. In the 1980s, football was first aired on Channel 4. It was at the time a new channel, added to the other 3 we had available. Oh how things have changed. It was then that the Redskins caught my eye. The skill and grace of Joe Theismann, the speed and agility of Art Monk, the raw power of “The Diesel”, John Riggins and the metronomic reliability of Mark Moseley’s kicking. All under the watchful eye and the management of the Legend Joe Gibbs. *sigh* Those were goooood days. Since then, it’s been pretty slim pickings to be honest, but I’ve stuck with them through thick and thin. At this point, if I’ve lost any soccer fans, think of supporting Liverpool in the 80’s and then sticking with them ever since. Or Moseley if you’re a Rugby fan…

Wind forward *cough* years and here I am working for a company based just a short metro ride from the FedEx Field, home of the Redskins. I’ve been lucky enough to be over in my HQ when a home game’s scheduled and I’ve been able to get to the FedEx to see them up close and personal. It was an amazing experience and I was fortunate enough to be there when they came back to win from the biggest deficit they’d ever fought back from.

On Sunday 30 October 2016, The Redskins are coming to the UK, Wembley (home of soccer) to play the Cincinnati Bengals. Read More

In The Oil And Gas Recovery, Satellite Will Rise

From Via Satellite

Despite slumps in technology spending, there is light on the horizon. New satellites, fit-for-purpose HTS, and increasing data-intensive trends could see satellite break away from the oil and gas market weakness in the future.

It’s no overstatement: there is seemingly always something going on in the Middle East. oil-rigAnd now, with nuclear-related sanctions lifted from Iran, the region has, perhaps, even more eyes on it. The geopolitical implications of Iran are significant; the country has the potential to redefine the Middle Eastern landscape. Oil rich and with numerous other valuable resources virtually untapped, Iran will likely resuscitate its economy, and the world will feel the wake of this large nation kicking off from the sin-bin pond into the global economy’s flowing river. The first evidence is the shaky price of oil. Iran stepping back from production cuts earlier this year left other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the oil and gas (O&G) market as a whole in even greater turbulence.

While it’s interesting to see what comes out of Iran’s shackles being removed, the satellite industry is left to fretfully question the result of a turbulent O&G market. It’s highly probable that slumping revenues for O&G companies will squash technology investments. What does this mean for satellite growth? And for what duration? According to Judson Jacobs, senior director of upstream exploration and production at IHS energy consulting, many oil companies currently still see satellite as too expensive. This sentiment sours further when considering the pressure that O&G operations are under to cut back spending. Continue >