Tag Archive for: LEO

IAI is a renowned provider of high-end reconnaissance satellites that offer advanced capabilities in both Electro-Optic (EO) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imaging. These satellites are designed to enable comprehensive observation and intelligence gathering, providing valuable data for strategic purposes.

The OPTSAT 3000, as part of IAI’s third-generation EO Observation Satellites, is a compact mini-satellite that can be launched into orbit using smaller satellite launchers or as a ride-share payload on larger commercial missions. It builds upon IAI’s extensive experience and expertise in developing observation satellites.

The OPTSAT 3000 is a versatile system that can fulfill a range of applications and meet critical national requirements. Equipped with advanced optical sensors, it enables daytime reconnaissance and utilizes infrared imaging for night observation. Additionally, its SAR imaging capability allows for all-weather, day and night observation, overcoming limitations posed by adverse weather conditions or obscurants.

IAI also provides ground control stations that are specifically designed and built to work in conjunction with the OPTSAT 3000. These ground control stations ensure operational autonomy and full sovereignty for customers, enabling efficient management and control of the satellite system.

Key features of the OPTSAT 3000 include high geo-location accuracy, excellent image quality, agility in satellite maneuvering, and the ability to operate in different imaging modes. These capabilities contribute to the satellite’s effectiveness in fulfilling diverse mission objectives and providing valuable intelligence to its users.

IAI’s TecSAR satellite family serves as a valuable complement to the EO (Electro-Optic) satellites, expanding the observation capabilities in scenarios where EO observation may be limited. Despite its compact size, TecSAR offers enhanced performance and agility compared to equivalent satellites, making it a powerful tool for image intelligence.

TecSAR’s outstanding maneuverability and image resolution contribute to its ability to provide high-quality images. It excels in all weather conditions and at any time of day, thanks to the ELM-2070 lightweight Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) developed by IAI specifically for Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) Image Intelligence (IMINT) Satellites.

The ELM-2070 radar, leveraging the satellite’s maneuverability and multi-beam electronic antenna steering, enables the coverage of large areas and the production of high-resolution SAR images worldwide. It supports various SAR modes, including Scan, Strip, Spot, and Mosaic, which utilize electronic and mechanical steering techniques to obtain highly detailed images and achieve high-resolution coverage of extensive areas. Additional SAR modes further enhance imaging quality and target discrimination.

In addition to the space segment, IAI provides the Ground Imaging Exploitation Segment (IES), which plays a crucial role in the satellite’s operation. The IES allows users to receive raw data from the satellite, process it into SAR images, and distribute the results to relevant agencies. It facilitates automatic target, cluster, or change detections, report generation, and dissemination, enabling efficient and effective exploitation of the SAR imagery for intelligence purposes.

Overall, the TecSAR satellite family, combined with the IES, provides advanced SAR imaging capabilities, delivering high-quality images in various modes and enhancing the observation and intelligence-gathering capabilities of IAI’s satellite systems.

Slingshot Aerospace, a technology company focused on enhancing spaceflight safety and optimizing orbital operations, announced a significant expansion to its Slingshot Global Sensor Network’s low-Earth orbit (LEO) tracking capabilities. This expansion aims to establish the largest commercial optical sensor network in the world for observing LEO objects on a large scale.

By the end of 2023, Slingshot plans to deploy over 80 new optical sensors, including their proprietary telescopes and ultra-wide field-of-view sensors. This expansion will bring the total number of sensors in the network to more than 200, distributed across over 20 locations worldwide. As part of this expansion, two new sites will be added in the Southern Hemisphere, and additional sensors will be installed at existing sites globally.

The increased capacity of the network will enable Slingshot to conduct 100 times more LEO observations daily, resulting in over one million observations per day. This expansion will enhance the company’s ability to track and monitor LEO objects, contributing to improved spaceflight safety and more efficient orbital operations.

Slingshot Aerospace’s efforts aim to advance the field of space observation and facilitate a better understanding of the activities and dynamics in low-Earth orbit.

The rapid deployment of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations has created an urgent need for more frequent tracking and characterization of objects in LEO. Slingshot Aerospace is addressing this need through its global network of sensors, which will significantly improve observation frequency, accelerate revisit rates, and enable persistent optical tracking of the over 6,500 active satellites currently in LEO.

Melanie Stricklan, Co-founder and CEO of Slingshot Aerospace emphasized that the company’s enhanced space situational awareness data is already trusted by government organizations and satellite operators worldwide. With this expansion, Slingshot aims to become the leading commercial space surveillance and tracking provider for all orbital regimes. The increased capabilities of the Global Sensor Network will provide operators with critical insights and enable successful space operations.

The Slingshot Global Sensor Network generates precise angular and brightness data that goes beyond existing LEO radar tracking capabilities. Angular data allows for enhanced orbital state generation, providing information on how objects are moving. Brightness data enables object characterization and change detection. Leveraging proprietary sensors with daytime LEO tracking capabilities, the network offers five times more observation opportunities than night-only systems. This extended observation window allows customers to have more frequent observations of their satellites and objects of interest. Additionally, the expansion adds redundancy to the network, mitigating intermittent weather outages typically associated with smaller electro-optical observation networks.

Slingshot Aerospace’s Global Sensor Network is the foundation for its groundbreaking service, Slingshot Vantage. This service, the world’s first and only day and night optical satellite tracking and monitoring service from low-Earth orbit (LEO) to geostationary orbit (GEO), empowers government and commercial customers worldwide to enhance their space situational awareness. It offers high-quality observations, orbital analytics, and event detection, providing customers with best-in-class insights.

The data collected through the Global Sensor Network also fuels Slingshot Digital Space TwinTM, which serves as the intelligence core for Slingshot’s product portfolio. This includes Slingshot Beacon, an innovative two-sided coordination and data-sharing solution for satellite collision avoidance, which is the first of its kind in the industry.

Slingshot Aerospace has recently expanded its executive team with two key appointments. Leslie Hildebrand, a former executive at Lockheed Martin, has been appointed as the Senior Vice President of Government Business Development and Strategy. Hildebrand brings over 23 years of experience in strategic business development to her new role. Pieter Kreuk has been named Chief Financial Officer, leveraging his extensive financial leadership experience gained through senior positions at Ernst & Young and other companies.

By expanding its Global Sensor Network and strengthening its executive team, Slingshot Aerospace remains at the forefront of innovation in the space industry, driving progress and making space safer for all stakeholders.

Intellian and OneWeb have conducted a successful demonstration of Intellian’s flat panel user terminal operating on OneWeb’s commercial network. The demonstration showcased the terminal’s ability to achieve maximum download and upload speeds supported by the OneWeb system in full duplex mode, with seamless beam and satellite handovers.

The event took place at Intellian’s advanced development center in Maryland and utilized Intellian’s small form-factor electronically scanned array (ESA) user terminal. Following the successful demonstration, Intellian confirmed its plans to enter production of the terminal in the fourth quarter of this year.

Intellian’s President and CEO, Eric Sung, expressed satisfaction with the over-the-air demonstration, emphasizing the validation of their ESA technology and the progress towards launching integrated products that will benefit all of OneWeb’s commercial customers. Sung also highlighted Intellian’s new manufacturing campus in Korea, launched in 2022, which enables the delivery of products at an impressive scale while ensuring quality assurance for their partners.

OneWeb has been steadily deploying its Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network, including a recent launch conducted by SpaceX on January 10th. The company has successfully deployed over 80% of its initial constellation and is already providing commercial services in collaboration with distribution partners in regions such as Alaska, Canada, the U.K., Greenland, and the wider Arctic area. The company has plans to expand its services further across the United States, southern Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and other locations including Africa.

In a separate development, Intellian has made an announcement regarding the expansion of its XEO series of VSAT antennas. This expansion includes the introduction of the X100D model this month, and there are plans to release the X150D model in the third quarter of the year.

Intellian Technologies unveiled the latest details of their electronically scanned array (ESA) technology at SATELLITE 2023 on Monday, March 13. The company’s full-duplex ESA user terminal, named OW11FL, is specifically designed to operate on the OneWeb satellite network. Production of this terminal is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2023.

The OW11FL user terminal boasts a low-profile and weatherized antenna, catering to the connectivity needs of enterprise customers. Intellian’s ESA product aims to facilitate connectivity in remote communities with limited infrastructure, enabling cellular backhaul solutions and installations on critical first responder vehicles.

In addition to the OW11FL, Intellian also introduced two customer user terminals tailored exclusively for SES’s O3b mPOWER communication system. The mP85 and mP240 terminals, expected to be delivered this year, are designed to serve SES’s telecommunications, enterprise, and cloud customers.

Eric Sung, President and CEO of Intellian Technologies, emphasized the significance of this milestone, highlighting their position as a leading technological innovator in the satcoms industry. Sung also underlined Intellian’s commitment to maintaining production in their state-of-the-art facilities, enabling them to deliver high-quality products with meticulous control over their supply chain.

According to Dave Limp, Amazon’s senior vice president for devices and services, the initial two prototype satellites of Project Kuiper are currently being transported to Cape Canaveral. He discussed this development during a keynote address at the Satellite 2023 show.

Limp expressed his anticipation for the upcoming satellite launch in May, stating that it will provide valuable insights and knowledge for the Kuiper team. He also highlighted the larger size of Project Kuiper’s satellites compared to others in the industry, which is attributed to their symmetric K-band architecture.

Furthermore, Limp revealed Amazon’s ambitious plan of manufacturing three to five satellites daily, aiming to swiftly expand and complete the constellation. He mentioned that satellite production will ramp up significantly in 2024, and by mid-2026, more than half of the constellation will be deployed.

Limp also emphasized that the Project Kuiper team is facing pressure from potential customers to expedite their progress. He asserted that Amazon possesses unique advantages that position it as a formidable competitor to existing Low Earth Orbit (LEO) players like SpaceX and OneWeb.

One of these advantages lies in Amazon’s extensive fiber infrastructure and its role in handling a significant amount of internet traffic. Limp explained that many of the workloads that Project Kuiper will handle are already situated within the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. As more workloads migrate to the cloud, they will be located in a data center, further leveraging Amazon’s capabilities.

Additionally, Limp highlighted the value of Amazon’s customer service organization, emphasizing its potential contribution to the emerging internet business associated with Project Kuiper.

Furthermore, Limp noted that Amazon’s renowned ability to control costs is another asset for Project Kuiper. He explained that they aim to apply the cost-control strategies employed in consumer electronics to the aerospace sector, rather than the other way around. Lowering the cost of customer-premise equipment is crucial for the viability of the business model, and Amazon has innovated to ensure that the cost of such equipment is significantly reduced.

Limp also unveiled a prototype of a compact Kuiper terminal, which he compared to the size of an LP record. This smaller model measures approximately 7 square inches and is expected to provide a throughput of up to 100 Mbps.

In addition, he presented a physical prototype of an enterprise-grade terminal specifically designed for enterprise, government, and telecommunications applications. This larger device measures 19 inches by 30 inches and is projected to offer speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second.

Limp highlighted the significance of Amazon’s proprietary Prometheus baseband chip within the Kuiper architecture, emphasizing its role as a key element in their business model. The Prometheus chip is an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) that combines the functionalities of a 5G base station, a 5G smartphone modem, and a microwave backhaul antenna. Limp stated that leveraging this chip has allowed Amazon to develop equipment that costs only a fraction of what it would have if they had purchased it off the shelf.

Furthermore, Limp predicted that Amazon’s satellite-based internet service will cater to the needs of enterprises, government entities, and residential customers who currently lack access to reliable internet connectivity.