This company has been awarded an 18 Million euro contract by OHB System AG to deliver the ground station control and communications infrastructure for the German national satellite-communications mission.

SCISYS PLC (“SCISYS”), the supplier of custom software systems, IT-based solutions and support services to the space, media and broadcast, government, defense and commerce sectors, announces it has been awarded an 18 Million euro contract by OHB System AG to deliver the ground station control and communications infrastructure for the German national satellite-communications mission, Heinrich Hertz, as prime contractor. The project will commence in 2017 and the majority of project revenues will be delivered between 2018 and the scheduled completion date in 2021.

SCISYS Space will deliver the Heinrich Hertz ground station control and communications infrastructure incorporating our proprietary PLENITER® software suite for the planning, implementation, control and operation of complete satellite missions.

One key advantage of the solution is that it offers the potential, where needed, to provide reliable automation technology that complements the conventional, non-automated system elements. This may help make future operations more efficient.

Dr. Horst Wulf, Divisional Director of SCISYS Space, said that this great success reflects the outstanding work of SCISYS Space as a partner in the ground segment of many key national and international space missions. Consequently they are now taking a step-change from a subsystem supplier role to being the prime contractor for the full ground segment of an important national space mission. Their state-of-the-art software solution will combine both reliable automation technologies and non-automated software elements.

Klaus Heidrich, CEO of SCISYS, added that he is delighted to announce this exceptional win by their Space division.  It underscores that their growth strategy in this domain is bearing fruit not the least because of the proprietary PLENITER® product.  His congratulations go out to the entire management and team in their Space division who have been working on this opportunity to finally secure this great success.

Improvements to the quality and usability of Landsat satellite data have been made with the release of a new USGS product called Landsat Analysis Ready Data (ARD).

This product will help reduce the time needed to process and analyze data and imagery, a significant advantage to scientists studying landscape changes, including changes from wildfires, hurricanes, vegetation cover, drought and other events.

A fundamental goal for Landsat ARD is to significantly reduce the amount of data processing for scientists, who currently have to download and prepare large amounts of Landsat scene-based data for time-series investigative analysis. ARD provides users with notable flexibility in how they access customized Landsat data. For example, users will have the ability to tailor requests according to specific needs in terms of geospatial regions, spectral bands and collection dates. Landsat data are the world’s longest continuously acquired collection of space-based land remote sensing data. ARD products represent more than 30 years of Landsat data available at the highest scientific quality ever produced.

This initial ARD release includes Landsat 4-8 imagery of the conterminous United States, Alaska and Hawaii. In the future, the USGS plans to add the earlier Landsat 1-5 Multispectral Scanner era imagery to the ARD product suite and eventually expand ARD to include the full global Landsat archive. ARD will serve many purposes, such as the foundational dataset for the recent USGS Land Change Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection (LCMAP) initiative. The initiative aims to characterize historical and near-real time land-cover changes across the United States.

The ARD products are based on the recently released Landsat Level-1 Collection structure. Landsat Level-1 products refer to the most basic level of processing that has been applied to a scene for them to be used in applications. This collection management structure ensures access to Landsat Level-1 products as they are acquired and a consistent archive of known data quality. The USGS generates ARD products from data acquired by the Landsat 4-5 Thematic Mapper, Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager and Thermal Infrared Sensor instruments.

Landsat ARD is created after processing Landsat Level-1 Collection scenes into Albers Equal Area Conic projection. The USGS processes these products to create top of atmosphere reflectance, brightness temperature and atmospherically corrected surface reflectance.  The USGS assembles these products into “tiles” adapted from the Web Enabled Landsat Data tiling scheme. This tiling scheme ensures that each pixel in an ARD tile represents the same location on the Earth’s surface through the entire ARD time series record from 1982 to the present.

In addition to this higher-level spectral band processing of geophysical parameters, ARD includes several pixel-level quality assessment bands. These bands document the presence of sensor, solar, atmospheric and topographic conditions and traceability to the Landsat Level-1 input source scenes used in ARD.

USGS EarthExplorer Data Portal.

Each ARD tile product is accompanied by comprehensive metadata that ensures full traceability to the Level-1 input source scenes as well as the versions of the algorithms and processing software used to generate them.  The USGS has documented ARD product characteristics in the Landsat ARD Data Format Control Book.

ARD results from a USGS-NASA decision to make Landsat data more relevant for the next generation of information applications. Users can access Landsat ARD through the EarthExplorer data portal.

Thuraya Telecommunications Company and the company’s service partner, Xtra-Link, are exhibiting at Europort, the international exhibition for maritime technology.

At the event, the satellite operator is showcasing their latest maritime terminal, Thuraya Atlas IP+, as well as a range of its SATCOM equipment ideal for on-sea and vessel connectivity. Held from November 7th to 10th in the port city of Rotterdam, this year’s edition is anticipating up to 30,000 attendees and 1,100 exhibitors from more than 40 countries.

Thuraya Atlas IP+ is a maritime-specific broadband terminal specifically designed to deliver added value to end-users seeking enhanced connectivity and operational efficiency onboard ships. It supports simultaneous voice and broadband IP data connectivity at speeds of up to 444Kbps and features improved power efficiency, a smaller form factor, and greater versatility than rival products. The voice calls are via the Thuraya Talk VoIP service allowing for cost effective communication. Other functionality includes port forwarding, which automatically transfers data from shipboard equipment and devices in support of M2M reporting routines; an English/Chinese web interface; a built-in firewall; and the ability to use the terminal for vessel tracking increasing the effectiveness of fleet management.

As an established provider of maritime communications services, Thuraya is committed to delivering superior, competitively priced voice and data solutions that run over a robust and steady satellite network. At Europort, the company is stationed at booth 6404 where representatives will meet with maritime officials from around the world and display best-in-class satellite communications offerings. Apart from the new Thuraya Atlas IP+ terminal, the company’s product exhibit also includes maritime terminals like the Thuraya Atlas IP, Thuraya Orion IP, and the Thuraya SeaStar.

Keith Murray, Thuraya’s Senior Product Manager for Maritime, said that Europort is an ideal platform to meet with senior maritime decision makers. As a leading international forum for maritime markets and technology, it is also the best setting for us to showcase Thuraya Atlas IP+, the company’s new maritime broadband terminal — among customers and experts who understand the product’s relevance and have a specific need for it. Thuraya monitors the maritime market closely and listens to our customer’s needs. This gives us a keen perception of the market expectations, from developing products and services that integrate seamlessly with different vessel types to assist in delivering communication systems for crew welfare and cargo management that are best placed to reduce operating cost, improve efficiency and maintain crew morale.

Mustang 6A Rocket Launch, November 4, 2017, Spaceport America (Photo: J. Perry, Launch Crew, White Sands Research and Developers, LLC)

The Rocket Team built and launched a rocket, and recovered the payload section. All went well with one exception.

Spaceport America announced the launch today of the first Mustang 6A rocket which was built by The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMT) Rocket Team in collaboration with White Sands Research and Developers, LLC (WSRDs).

The launch of the Mustang 6A, designed to reach an apogee of 24,000 feet, took place Saturday morning from Spaceport America’s north Lunar Launch Pad.

The mission was an operational success and accomplished most of the mission objectives, which involved testing of several newly designed and innovative subsystems. These custom-designed subsystems performed according to design and the payload section was recovered fully intact. The rocket, however, did not attain its intended apogee.
The mission patch was designed by Chip Wyly and Lenora Jaramillo-Wyly. It utilizes symbols from the logos of WSRDs (Zia-enclosed Mach cone) and NMT (M-Mountain), and depicts the Mustang rocket heading towards Polaris, the North Star, which is used to verify alignment of the launch rail and meteorological equipment. Photo by Dr. C. Lohn, WSRDs’ President and Launch Crew Member

Dan Hicks, CEO of Spaceport America, summed it up, “We are proud of the New Mexico Tech team and its student members for their recent launch effort on November 4th at Spaceport America. We are pleased to work with these fine examples of the next generation of space industry engineers and scientists.”

The launch took place at 07:35 AM (MDT), only four minutes after the planned launch time of 7:31AM MDT (sunrise). The mission window actually would have allowed launch until nearly 11:00 AM MDT. Dr. Christina Lohn, WSRDs’ CEO remarked, “This mission took enormous preparation by WSRDs’ launch crew and the NMT rocket team, but it really paid off with a smooth operation under changing weather conditions.”

The current mission was the third NMT rocket launch hosted at Spaceport America, and each group of students has been welcomed and supported by the spaceport crew. This team reached the highest operational level yet in terms of safety, proficiency, adherence to schedule, and professionalism. Dr. Lohn, added, “We want to thank the Spaceport America staff and its Protective Services contractor, who were very helpful throughout the preparations, up to and including active participation in our Mission Readiness Review and Mission Dress Rehearsal.”