Lori Garver, former Deputy Administrator at NASA gave an interview to The Commercial Space Blog on November 23, 2017. During this, Ms Garver advocated several positions related to how best the US Government could leverage technological developments that commercial industries are bringing ever faster to market. I think several of the approaches she highlighted are applicable to the commercial satellite market that has successfully supported DoD actions across the world for the past two decades. [Read more…]
Anyone old enough to read this remembers that it used to be impossible to make a cell phone call while in an elevator. One would either stand in the lobby until the call ended, or warn the person on the other end that the call would soon drop. [Read more…]
Think about all the truly mediocre products that have made it to market. Your list might differ from mine, but I would include McDonald’s hamburgers, Wonder Bread and those exploding hoverboards.
Now for all of those disappointing products that somehow made it, think about the high quality products out there that haven’t gotten the notice they deserve. [Read more…]
Part II: Is there a disconnect between words and deeds in DoD Innovation and Procurement Practices?
The pitfalls seem to lie in the environment and the execution.
The DoD has sought the engagement of the commercial space industry to develop innovative solutions that will allow COMSATCOM and MILSATCOM architectures to be interoperable, particularly as it looks to the next gen MILSATCOM. There have been incremental successes with Space & Missile Command and JFCC. Maybe the way the DoD does things in this arena will work out well, although past and present experience casts doubt on this. [Read more…]
Part I: DoD looks to Industry for options; How is that working out so far?
When it comes to commercial space use by DoD, their leadership often talks about the need to innovate, and the need to collaborate with their industry partners. With over $1BN being spent annually at the height of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, commercial satellite operators were a de facto part of the military SATCOM architecture. Roll on the establishment and now we have 10 WGS satellites that are going to serve the vast majority of DoD needs – no more need to spend so much money on commercial! [Read more…]
X-Band outperforms newcomers, including HTS Ku on SWaP-limited antennas
Yesterday’s announcement by Gilat and Intelsat General of tests on Gilat’s BR 71 antenna is great news! Really. Why would an X-band satellite operator say this? Because every technical advancement forces all players to aim at a higher performance threshold, so with this small terminal, one more barrier is being removed. [Read more…]
NATO is the most significant vehicle for trans-Atlantic and intra-European military-to-military cooperation ever established. With today’s ever-more-unstable geopolitics, NATO’s strategy and actions heavily preoccupy every military mind in Eastern Europe. Leaders wonder if these nations can continue as independent entities without the protection of NATO and maintain the balance of the EU in the face of strong Russian antagonism. [Read more…]
The satellite menu is a smorgasbord of options, particularly with the introduction in recent years of Ka-band. The search for effective Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) solutions for governments, particularly in this new world of ever-changing threats is fraught with misinformation and misperceptions. An effective solution is at your fingertips. You may not know about it just yet.
70 years ago, in October 1945, on the heels of World War II, Arthur C. Clarke published his now famous article in Wireless World, “EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL RELAYS, Can Rocket Stations Give World-wide Radio Coverage?” It would be 12 more years before the Russians would launch Sputnik, followed closely by the U.S. with Explorer 1 on a Jupiter C rocket. And the well-known space race ensued.
Last week, satellite manufacturers and operators met with the Air Force in El Segundo for a frank exchange about the role of commercial satellites in Pathfinder 2. Pathfinder is an initiative within the Air Force looking to build bridges with the commercial satellite industry in an effort to buy smarter SATCOM. [Read more…]