FIRST UP Satcom | Telesat tests Newtec modem with LEO satellite; Satellite IRG changes name; Maxar in home stretch on US domestication
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Satellite fleet operator Telesat says the desired size of its future low Earth orbit broadband constellation is more than twice the number of satellites authorized by U.S. regulators, and could ultimately scale to 512 spacecraft.
Telesat awarded a second constellation design contract Aug. 1, choosing Airbus Defence and Space to begin studies on the company’s proposed system of 117 low Earth orbit communications satellites.
Canadian fleet operator Telesat on July 30 selected Thales Alenia Space and Maxar Technologies’ Space Systems Loral division to collaborate on the design of its low Earth orbit broadband satellite constellation.
Telesat and MDA will be requesting money from the Canadian government’s new special fund to finance low-Earth-orbit satellite systems, officials from both companies say.
Wyler said OneWeb’s network will use more than 40 gateways around the world, each capable of “seeing” satellites up to 4,000 kilometers away. OneWeb may add more gateways to appease regulators, he said, but the current architecture provides global coverage.
SES says its constellation of medium Earth orbit O3b satellites now has the ability to expand from an equatorial system to a global system thanks to new approvals from U.S. telecom regulators.
Inflight connectivity provider Global Eagle will help Telesat in design and test the operator’s low Earth orbit satellite constellation, the companies announced May 15.
Fleet operator Telesat, originally undecided about a joint-use spectrum plan put forward by Intelsat, Intel and SES, is turning against the plan because of how participants would be compensated.
Loral Space and Communications wants to move ahead with a “strategic transaction” involving fleet operator Telesat that may spark a legal fight with Telesat’s other major shareholder, a Canadian pension fund.
In a surprise shift, Eutelsat Communications, a staunch defender of geostationary satellites as the way forward, on March 8 said it is buying a low Earth orbit (LEO) demonstration nanosatellite.
Telesat CEO Dan Goldberg said his company has refrained from running headlong with other fleet operators in adding new telecom satellites over areas now burdened by an oversupply of capacity.
The successful launch of an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Jan. 11 marked not just the return to flight of the rocket but also major achievements for several of the companies with payloads on board the vehicle.