Satellite Update – Dec. 2, 2011

Due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, the FCC did not release its weekly report on satellite applications and actions. Here are some of satellite industry news items from last week.

  • •The FCC released a Public Notice listing requests for coordination of Canadian Earth stations with U.S. terrestrial fixed stations. These involve satellite uplinks and downlinks operating in the 3700-4200 MHz and 5925-6425 MHz bands. The Public Notice state that if no adverse comments are received by December 27, 2011, the Earth stations listed will be considered to be satisfactorily coordinated with the USA and Canada. See the Public Notice for details on the facilities and procedures for filing comments.
  • •ViaSat UK announced it was launching a full array of low cost satellite communication products for military, government and enterprise. The announcement was made on November 23, 2011, coinciding with the launch of ViaSat-1. Chris McIntosh, CEO of ViaSat UK, said, "Effective, low-cost communications are essential for almost any operation. From military and Government operations in far-flung theatres, to news gatherers reporting the latest developments live; to emergency services looking to reach those stranded far from home; to those searching for and extracting valuable natural resources; being able to maintain contact reliably and efficiently is vital. With ViaSat's long pedigree of satellite communications, recently capped by the launch of ViaSat-1, we can offer communications at the quality and cost required. When combined with the assurance that data can be shared and stored without the risk of compromise, we have everything needed to ensure that nobody is left in the dark."
  • •The U.S. Air Force Materiel Command said recent flight tests conducted by a combined team from the Electronic Systems Center, the Space and Missile Systems Center, MIT Lincoln Laboratory and MITRE Corp. have shown that the low-profile Advanced Multi-band Communications Antenna (AMCAS), installed on a wide-body aircraft, can effectively support high speed Ka-band and EHF communications. The article, Antenna can help speed communications, quotes David Madden, MILSATCOM Systems Directorate director at Space and Missile Systems Center, saying "This antenna could represent a major breakthrough in supporting multi-megabit-per-second-class airborne communications using the WGS [Wideband Global SATCOM] and AEHF [Advanced Extremely High Frequency] satellites."

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.