DoD’s Space Development Agency is leading the way as it prepares to put up a communications transport layer and a surveillance and tracking layer for hypersonic missile defense.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission remains unconvinced that low Earth orbit satellite internet constellations are worth subsidizing through its $16 billion rural broadband program despite tweaking the rules for that program to give LEO constellations a better chance to qualify for funding.
SES proposed a low Earth orbit constellation to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission that, if built, would make the company an operator of satellites in low, medium and geostationary orbits.
Viasat says it is open to building a constellation of nearly 300 satellites in low Earth orbit if it can qualify for some of the $20.4 billion in broadband subsidies the U.S. Federal Communications Commission intends to dole out under the Rural Digital Opportunities Fund.
AST & Science’s immediate focus is starting revenue generation in the next few years with low Earth orbit satellites numbering in the “low twenties” in an equatorial orbit.
The Army is not ready to sign contracts with any LEO broadband providers quite yet, but it’s scoping the market.
Viasat says that co-building its ViaSat-3 satellites with Boeing has given the company experience it can leverage to multiply the capacity achievable with a next-generation ViaSat-4 system.
The FCC, on SpaceX’s behalf, submitted 20 filings to the ITU for 1,500 satellites apiece in various low Earth orbits, an ITU official confirmed Oct. 15 to SpaceNews.
French startup UnseenLabs intends to launch up to six more ship-tracking cubesats next year to build on the success of its first satellite.
Iridium and OneWeb, two companies pursuing different types of telecommunications businesses from low Earth orbit, said Sept. 17 that they would work together on a combined service offering.
Telesat plans to use an 85 million Canadian dollar ($64.7 million) investment by the government of Canada on the first dozen satellites of its low Earth orbit broadband constellation.
The Army is pondering broader use of low-cost satellites for tactical applications.
The Canadian government is investing 85 million Canadian dollars ($64.7 million) into research and development for Telesat’s broadband satellite constellation, and has agreed to spend up to 600 million Canadian dollars ($456.6 million) more on capacity.
The buzzword in military space these days is “proliferated LEO,” which is Pentagon-speak for large numbers of small satellites in low Earth orbit.