York Space Systems has learned a lot from operating its first production-model spacecraft in orbit for two years. The biggest takeaway, though, has been the need to automate satellite handling on the ground.
The Space Force wants an open platform to process and distribute data from missile-warning satellites so it's less dependent on the current prime contractor Lockheed Martin.
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions announced the release Oct. 20 of OpenSpace, a software platform and family of virtual products designed to help satellite ground systems adapt rapidly to changing conditions.
Japanese ground station startup Infostellar announced $3.5 million in new funds April 29 from Airbus Ventures and other investors, but is seeking $1.2 million more by June as a bulwark against challenges stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
Dutch conglomerate Celestia Technologies Group hopes to provide more satellite gateway stations following its December acquisition of Antwerp Space’s ground systems division in Belgium.
Senior VP Chris Bogdan: “We don’t build satellites, rockets or rovers. We are investing in open architectures."
RBC Signals, a startup creating a global network of satellite ground stations, aggressively pursuing and beginning to win government business, Ron Faith, RBC Signals president and chief operating officer, told SpaceNews.
Ground stations in Ohio and Oregon mark the first two of a planned 12 stations spread out globally to enable communication with satellites, allowing operators to downlink data such as imagery and weather. The stations also enable operators to control their satellites.
Italian startup Leaf Space wants to triple the number of ground station locations it has by late next year, citing customer demand for providing communications services to small satellites.
The roaming test was part of an Air Force pilot project that is looking at ways to use commercial satellite services to lower the cost and increase the resiliency of military communications.
The Air Force announced it awarded Engility Corp. — now owned by SAIC — a $655 million contract for satellite ground systems’ engineering, development, integration and sustainment.
With the SpaceX rideshare launch, Atlas Space Operations welcomed its first Defense Department customer into its cloud-based ground station network.
Building and launching spacecraft sometimes gets so much attention that the ground segment — user terminals, command and control systems and network operations —isn’t always ready even after a satellite is in space.