В Роскосмосе собираются потратить 65 млн рублей на создание автоматизированной системы предупреждения об угрозах столкновения «космического мусора» со спутниками и пилотируемыми космическими кораблями, говорится в конкурсной заявке ведомства, размещенной на сайте госзакупок.
В 2012 году. Что значительно меньше предыдущих расходов на эту систему.
Главный информационно-аналитический центр, выступающий в документации под названием «Центральное ядро» планируется создать на базе Центра управления полетами (ЦУП, Королев, Московская область).
Как бы уже создан.
В интересах системы также планируется задействовать первый отечественный сверхширокоугольный телескоп АЗТ-33ВМ с главным зеркалом диаметром 1,5 м.
Объективно говоря, пользы от некоординатной информации с АЗТ-33ВМ в части предупреждения опасных сближений немного. Разве что постфактум. Но, в любом случае, выделяются дополнительные средства на постройку нужного инструмента - и это хорошо.
Electric propulsion could launch new commercial trend
WASHINGTON -- Boeing's announcement last week of a contract to build up to four communications spacecraft with all-electric propulsion for Asian and Mexican customers could shift the commercial satellite industry's trend for larger, heftier platforms requiring powerful rockets to launch them into orbit, officials said.
Each of the Boeing-built satellites will weigh less than 4,000 pounds -- less than 2 metric tons -- and still offer the power and communications throughput of heavier spacecraft.
The deal includes firm orders for two satellites, Satmex 7 and ABS-3A, for launch in late 2014 or early 2015 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Two other unidentified satellites for Satmex and Asia Broadcast Satellite would launch together in 2015 on another Falcon booster.
The satellites will not carry liquid propellant or conventional rocket jets, but they will feature tanks of xenon gas and ion thrusters.
Boeing satellites have used electric propulsion since 1997, but until now the ion thrusters were only used to hold a spacecraft's position in geostationary orbit, an arc 22,300 miles over the equator where satellites appear to hover above a fixed position on the planet.
Communications satellites are typically placed in geostationary orbit to maintain continuous coverage for their customers.
Despite the innovative, ultra-efficient ion thrusters, Boeing satellites continued using conventional liquid propellants for their orbit-raising engines. After launching from Earth on a large rocket, communications satellites are usually released in temporary oval-shaped, elliptical parking orbits because most launchers are not powerful enough to deploy a sizable craft in its operating position 22,300 miles up.
Controllers on the ground must use a satellite's own propulsion system to circularize its orbit and move it over the equator. The orbit-raising process takes a few weeks for most satellites with liquid propulsion, which uses combustion.
After 15 years of electric propulsion in its communications satellite program, Boeing says it is now ready to offer an all-electric version of its Boeing 702 spacecraft platform.
"About 15 years ago, we launched the first electric propulsion system," said Stephen O'Neill, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International Inc. "We've got systems up there that are commercial, government and classified, and we haven't lost one minute of operation in orbit yet. That led us two years ago to make a significant investment in electric propulsion."
The xenon ion propulsion system is 10 times more efficient than chemical thrusters. The system works by accelerating electrically-ionized xenon gas through a thrust chamber at more than 60,000 mph. The thrust of an ion engine is much lower than chemical propulsion, but they can fire for thousands of hours and consume less propellant.
Orbit-raising with only electric propulsion could take six months, delaying the start of service for new commercial communications satellites. It's a trade-off for private operators, which must give up quicker revenue from a new satellite for the reduced launch costs or extra communications payload of a lighter spacecraft.
Electric orbit-raising has been demonstrated before. A communications satellite for the U.S. Air Force used small electric thrusters in 2010 and 2011 to reach a high-altitude geostatioanry orbit after its conventional liquid-fueled engine failed.
The Air Force's first Advanced Extremely High Frequency, or AEHF, spacecraft was built by Lockheed Martin Corp. Lockheed Martin-built communications satellites also feature electric thrusters for small in-orbit adjustments, but they use liquid propulsion for major maneuvers to change their orbits.
Joseph Rickers, president of Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, said his company has not decided to produce an all-electric satellite yet, despite its success with the AEHF 1 satellite's orbit-raising.
"We certainly have electrical propulsion, but not at that price point," Rickers said. "The jury is still out as to whether we're going to go that way or not."
Space Systems/Loral, another leading commercial satellite builder based in Palo Alto, Calif., is developing an ion thruster system to shorten the orbit-raising period to as low as three months, according to John Celli, the company's president.
"We will [offer all-electric propulsion] in a few months when our development of an efficient propulsion engine is going to be available," Celli said. "Right now, it's in qualification."
"I don't know how sensitive the customers are to the time it takes to do electric orbit-raising," Celli said. "Right now, it looks like five to six months, so we're trying to reduce that substantially. If you reduce six months to three months, that's three months more revenue, so that has to be of some value."
According to Boeing, the new Boeing 702SP, which stands for small platform, satellite model will offer between 3 kilowatts and 8 kilowatts of power. Many other satellites with that power range are up to 2,000 pounds heavier at launch than the Boeing 702SP.
"Instead of having all the mass of a liquid propulsion system, and all the structure to support that mass, all of a sudden we can sell a customer a 3 kilowatt to 8 kilowatt solution that weighs less than 2 metric tons," said Stephen O'Neill, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International Inc. "Stack them together and you can put them on multiple launch vehicles. It just so happens our customer made a decision to put them on Falcon 9. You can also dual-launch them on almost anything else."
An upgraded version of the Falcon 9 rocket, which would be employed for communications satellite launches, can haul up to 10,000 pounds, or 4,500 kilograms, to geostationary transfer orbit. It lifts less mass than any of its major competitors, but it is also less expensive.
Arianespace's Ariane 5 rocket is tailored for tandem launches of satellites weighing about 6 metric tons and 3 metric tons. The Proton rocket and Breeze M upper stage, marketed by International Launch Services, can conduct single or dual launches with a total payload up more than 6 metric tons.
Sea Launch's Zenit rocket is available for missions with single payloads of more than 6 metric tons, and China's Long March 3C launcher has a lift capacity of 5,500 kilograms to geostationary transfer orbit.
The Sea Launch Zenit rocket blasts off from a mobile platform on the equator in the Pacific Ocean, and the Ariane 5 launch base in French Guiana is just north of the equator. Equatorial launches are beneficial for geostationary orbiting satellites because they require less powerful rockets and less liquid propellant to reach a spacecraft's final station.
But the advantage of low-inclination launch sites may be diminished by the use of ion propulsion because it requires less xenon gas propellant than the load of denser liquid fuel aboard other satellites.
There is a mass penalty for satellites launching from higher inclinations. The spacecraft must fly aboard a larger launcher or carry more fuel in its tanks to make up the difference and reach its ultimate destination in space.
"It gives a different cost equation message to our operators because now they're looking not just at the cost of the satellite, but on-orbit, what is the total cost of that system," O'Neill said.
"Do they want to have something that has liquid propulsion, or do they want to have something that is electrical propulsion that is between one-third and one-half the mass? And one-third to one-half the mass launched to orbit is a significant financial difference, and it changes the equation to its business model," O'Neill said.
On Thursday, March 22nd, Thales Alenia Space welcomed to its Cannes plant... ...Laurent Wauquiez, the French Minister for Higher Education and Research. He was accompanied on his visit to the plant by Bernard Brochand, Deputy Mayor of Cannes, Yannick d'Escatha, President of French space agency CNES and Reynald Seznec, President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space. Mr. Wauquiez was visiting the region to present French space strategy. Speaking at Cannes city hall, he emphasized the importance of challenges facing industry in today's economic environment. He first visited Thales Alenia Space's facilities. The company is a world leader in a wide range of space markets, including telecommunications, navigation, meteorology, environmental management, defense, Earth observation and science, and is also the leading private sector employer on the French Riviera.
During their visit, the ministerial delegation could observe first-hand the specific qualities of this high-tech facility, which offers satellite test and integration facilities unrivaled in Europe – more than 13,500 square meters of Class 100,000 clean rooms, including a single space spanning 8,700 square meters for satellite assembly and testing. Cannes also produces the most powerful optical instruments in Europe, namely Pleiades and CSO for very-high resolution Earth observation, as well as the IASA (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer), renowned for its accuracy in analyzing the chemical composition of the atmosphere. The instruments are assembled in a 600 square meter clean room which is Class 100—an extreme level of cleanliness comparable to that used by the pharmaceutical industry. Laurent Wauquiez congratulated Thales Alenia Space for its position as the world leader in satellite constellations, as shown by contracts for O3B, Globalstar and Iridium NEXT. He was also able to visit the integration rooms where the W6A, W3D and Yamal 402 geostationary communications satellites were being integrated. During the visit, Thales Alenia Space was also able to spotlight its lead role on Meteosat. Counting on its 7,200 employees, Thales Alenia Space is the world leader in (geostationary) weather satellites such as Meteosat since 1977. After building the seven first-generation Meteosat satellites as prime contractor, the company was selected in the mid-1990s to deliver four Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellites. The third MSG is now slated for a June 19th launch from Kourou, French Guiana. Most recently Thales Alenia Space was also selected to supply the Meteosat Third Generation comprising six satellites: four imaging models and two atmospheric sounders.
The second Continuous Development and Operations Phase (CDOP-2) for EUMETSAT’s Satellite Application Facility (SAF) network... ...which began this month will improve and expand the portfolio of SAF products and services over the next five years. CDOP-2 follows the successful CDOP-1 over the last five years, during which the eight SAFs developed high-quality products and distributed them to users, benefitting EUMETSAT Member and Cooperating States and a worldwide user community.
Among the achievements of the entire SAF network, the following examples can be highlighted: the SAF on Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP SAF) and SAF on Radio-Occultation Meteorology (ROM SAF) have developed software for users and NWP centers, allowing the assimilation of satellite data products to support improvements in forecasts. The SAF on Climate Monitoring (CM SAF), as well as the SAF on Ocean and Sea Ice (OSI SAF) and the SAF on Ozone and Atmospheric Chemistry Monitoring (O3M SAF) have generated long-term homogeneous time series to support the analysis of climate variability over the past decades. The SAF on Support to Nowcasting and Very Short Range Forecasting (NWC SAF) and the SAF on Support to Operational Hydrology and Water Management (H SAF) have developed software packages and data products with high relevance for forecasting weather and its impact on the hydrological system, which are helpful in particular in severe meteorological situations. Finally, the SAF on Land Surface Analysis (LSA SAF) has developed products and services related to vegetation and land surface parameters, not only for users in Europe, but also in Africa and South America.
During CDOP-2, the eight SAFs will continue the operation and data products developed during CDOP-1 and will also conduct the necessary improvements. In addition, new products will respond to the evolving needs of the European Meteorological Services and other users. As the SAFs are an integral component of the overall EUMETSAT application ground segment, during CDOP-2, they will prepare for the exploitation of the potential of the next generation of EUMETSAT satellites, Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) and the EUMETSAT Polar System Second Generation (EPS-SG), taking advantage of enhanced and completely new sensors. They will begin the scientific definition and development of MTG and EPS-SG products, work which will be finalized during CDOP-3 between 2017 and 2022, when these satellites become operational. CDOP-2 activities and the expansion of product portfolios will contribute to relevant international initiatives. This includes Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) and the World Meteorological Organization’s Sustained, Coordinated Processing of Environmental Satellite Data for Climate Monitoring (SCOPE-CM) initiative.
Китайский спутник прямого вещания используется для доведения сигналов до "каждой крестьянской семьи"
Иньчуань, 29 марта /Синьхуа/ -- В Китае один искусственный спутник используется для решения трудной проблемы мирового значения: в стране, где проживает одна пятая часть населения мира, для сотен миллионов сельских жителей пока еще не доступно радио- и телевещание.
В Китае общее число пользователей интернета достигло 450 млн человек, более 200 млн жителей подключены к сети кабельного телевидения. Но в сельских районах страны еще много людей максимум могут смотреть шесть телепрограмм путем приема традиционных беспроволочных аналоговых сигналов. Огромная разница в области приема информации между городом и деревней стала большой проблемой Китая.
В 2008 году в Китае был запущен первый и пока единственный спутник прямого вещания "Чжунсин-9", который используется прежде всего для решения проблемы приема сигналов радиовещания и телевидения в отдаленных и горных районах страны.
Как сообщил заместитель директора центра прямого спутникового вещания Главного государственного управления радиовещания, кинематографии и телевидения /ГГУРКТ/ Хуан Цифань, в отдаленных сельских районах, где разбросанно проживают крестьянские семьи, установить кабельное телевидение гораздо дороже, чем в городах. И спутник прямого вещания "Чжунсин-9", способный охватывать любой район страны, здесь служит самым экономичным и самым удобным способом для приема сигналов радиовещания и телевидения в крестьянских семьях, и даже единственным способом в скотоводческих районах и на воде.
Ввод в эксплуатацию спутника прямого вещания "Чжунсин-9" ускорил шаги реализации проекта доведения сигналов радиовещания и телевидения до "каждой деревни". При этом ГГУРКТ поставило новую задачу доведения сигналов до "каждой крестьянской семьи".
Проект доведения прямого спутникового вещания до "каждой крестьянской семьи" начал осуществляться в 2011 году и будет полностью выполнен до конца 2015 года. К настоящему времени данный проект уже в основном реализован в Нинся-Хуэйском автономном районе, расположенном в северо-западной части страны.
Например, в семье крестьянина Линь Чжихуна, проживающего в деревне Сингуан уезда Хэлань, уже демонтирована приемная антенна, которая использовалась почти десять лет, и установлен новый аппарат, позволяющий сразу принимать 65 телепрограмм и центрального и местных телевидений.
Используя новый аппарат для приема спутниковых сигналов, крестьяне могут не только смотреть больше телепрограмм, но и подключиться к интернету и сети мобильной телефонной связи, сообщил начальник управления науки и техники ГГУРКТ Ван Сяоцзе.
Кроме того, данный аппарат сейчас может принимать и такие информационные данные, как метеорологические, научно-технические, сельскохозяйственные, торговые и др. Более важно, что в аппарате помещено программное обеспечение, предназначенное для приема экстренного вещания в случае внезапного возникновения стихийных бедствий, далее сообщил Ван Сяоцзе.
NOAA Sees No Clear Alternative To Polar-orbiting Weather Satellites
SAN FRANCISCO — Commercial satellites, ground-based monitoring stations and airborne sensors can help the U.S. National Weather Service produce more timely and accurate forecasts. But those tools cannot offer the kind of advance notice of severe weather that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) obtains from polar-orbiting satellites, witnesses said March 28 during a hearing of the House Science energy and environment subcommittee.
The White House’s 2013 budget plan delivered to Congress in February requests $2.04 billion for NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service out of a total budget for the agency of $5.06 billion. Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), chairman of the subcommittee, questioned whether NOAA should place “nearly all of its eggs in a single basket: satellite programs fraught with a long history of major problems.” Lawmakers asked whether some combination of existing and new technology might offer NOAA the same type of data at a lower cost.
Mary Kicza, NOAA assistant administrator for satellite and information services, said satellites are essential because they provide approximately 94 percent of the data NOAA uses in its weather forecasting models. Polar-orbiting spacecraft provide about 84 percent of the data used in those models and geostationary satellites contribute the other 10 percent, she said.
The key contribution of the polar-orbiting spacecraft is their ability to help the National Weather Service forecast severe weather two to five days before it occurs, said John Murphy, National Weather Service chief for plans and programs. That warning gives local officials and emergency response teams time to prepare. When a storm is imminent, the National Weather Service relies on Doppler radar to pinpoint its movement and location, he said.
A panel of witnesses described existing and new technology that NOAA could use to augment its weather forecasting capability. GeoMetWatch Corp. of Las Vegas is eager to sell NOAA data from a commercial, space-based hyperspectral sounder. A hyperspectral sounder was one of two instruments originally slated to fly on geostationary GOES-R satellites but the sensor development program was canceled due to budget concerns. By turning to the private sector, NOAA could acquire highly accurate information on atmospheric water vapor, temperature and pressure “at minimal cost and risk,” David Crain, GeoMetWatch chief executive, said.
Similarly, Bruce Lev, vice chairman of Airdat LLC of Morrisville, N.C., said NOAA weather forecasts would improve dramatically if they included data on the lower atmosphere that his company acquires from hundreds of sensors flying on commercial aircraft. “Despite numerous data-collection systems employed by NOAA, our country is extremely under-sampled,” Lev said.
Berrien Moore, director of NOAA’s National Weather Center and dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of Atmospheric and Geographical Sciences, said the United States should expand its use of data acquired by disparate networks of ground-based sensors, including 120 stations in Oklahoma.
Nevertheless, all these additional observations would not reduce the need for satellite data, Moore said. “Weather is global; the interests of the United States — including its businesses and its citizens — are global, and hence the U.S. weather observing system must be global. The weather observing system must be a network of networks — satellites, aircraft, balloons and ground-based mesonets,” Moore said.
In addition to employing advanced technology, NOAA and NASA “must find ways to reduce the overall system costs as the current programs are likely unsustainable,” said Eric Webster, vice president and director for weather systems at ITT Exelis of Roanoke, Va., the firm responsible for building sounding instruments for the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership and the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) as well as imagers and sounders for NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, or GOES, program. Over the life of the program, NOAA will spend $8 billion on two satellites, sensors, ground systems and operations for GOES-R and $13 billion for JPSS.
“These costs are having a tremendous effect on NOAA’s missions today and probably assuring that no new space-based systems can be acquired,” Webster said.
To save money, NOAA should examine different procurement models, such as acquiring sensors under fixed-price contracts or modifying existing instruments to meet its requirements, Webster said.
Lawmakers also questioned Kicza about the projected gap in NOAA’s polar satellite observation between the conclusion of the Suomi mission and the start of the JPSS observation program. The Suomi satellite launched in October 2011 was designed to operate for five years. The satellite intended to replace it, JPSS-1, is scheduled to launch in early 2017. If JPSS-1 launches on time and Suomi does not operate any longer than anticipated, there will only be a short time when NOAA will not have one of the two spacecraft on-orbit.
However, the agency will need additional time to calibrate the instruments on JPSS with the instruments on Suomi. “Depending on the complexity of the instruments, it takes a different amount of time to fully calibrate them,” Kicza said. “Some instruments can be calibrated within six months, other instruments may take 12 months or longer to calibrate.”
While NOAA officials are concerned that they may experience a gap in their ability to monitor climate and weather conditions, the agency will continue to obtain data from the U.S. Defense Department and Europe’s Meteorological Satellite Organization, Eumetsat. Traditionally, the Defense Department’s polar orbiting satellites cross the equator in the early morning. Eumetsat spacecraft cross in midmorning and NOAA satellites traverse the equator in the afternoon.
U.S. Consultancy To Manage Bangladesh’s Acquisition of Telecom Satellite
PARIS — The government of Bangladesh on March 29 signed a three-year, $10 million contract with a U.S. consulting company to manage the nation’s acquisition of its first telecommunications satellite, with a scheduled launch in 2015, the consulting company announced.
The company, Space Partnership International of Bethesda, Md., will advise the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on the acquisition of Bangabandhu-1.
Bangladesh has been talking about having its own telecommunications satellite for several years. The nation in 2008 reserved a slot at 102 degrees east, and under international regulatory rules must place a satellite there.
It was not immediately clear whether the frequency coordination necessary to permit Bangabandhu-1 to operate had been secured.
“The Bangabandhu satellite system represents an opportunity to provide advanced communications and broadcasting access … to the citizens of Bangladesh, and the region, in a cost-effective manner,” BTRC Chairman retired Maj. Gen. Zia Ahmed said in a March 29 statement. “The satellite will be a revenue source for Bangladesh, from use by other nations in the region.”
РФ намерена увеличить долю на космическом рынке развивающихся стран
МОСКВА, 6 апр - РИА Новости. Доля России на космическом рынке развивающихся стран должна увеличиться с нынешних 3% до 20% к 2030 году, говорится в проекте стратегии развития космической отрасли РФ до 2030 года.
При этом на мировом космическом рынке Россия намерена увеличить свою долю с нынешних 0,5% (в 2011 году) до 10% к 2030 году. За счет каких космических программ это будет сделано, не указано.
Материалы, относящиеся к проекту стратегии, были представлены на заседании клуба друзей кластера космических технологий и телекоммуникаций фонда "Сколково" и опубликованы в официальном микроблоге фонда в Twitter.
Ранее ряд СМИ сообщил, что Роскосмос внес на рассмотрение в правительство проект стратегии развития космической деятельности РФ до 2030 года.
U.S. Senate Panel Votes to Transfer NOAA Satellite Programs to NASA
SAN FRANCISCO — A U.S. Senate panel has proposed eliminating the role the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) currently plays in purchasing civilian weather satellites and turning that responsibility over to NASA.
“We have said time and time and time again to NOAA, ‘Get your act together,’” Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who chairs the Senate Appropriations commerce, justice, science subcommittee, said April 17 during a short legislative session to markup the 2013 spending bill that funds NASA and NOAA, among other agencies. “We’ve been very concerned that NOAA and the Department of Commerce have shown little will to rein in satellite costs.”
By moving responsibility for purchasing weather satellites from NOAA to NASA, the government can save more than $100 million a year, Mikulski said. In the 2013 budget, the move would save $117 million, according to a press release issued April 17 by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Mikulski pointed to that proposed cost saving, when Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) criticized the subcommittee’s spending plan, saying it did not go far enough to halt excessive government spending. Johnson was the only senator to vote against the panel’s 2013 budget plan, which the full Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to take up April 19.
As a result of the subcommittee’s plan to move weather satellite acquisition funding from NOAA to NASA, the panel is recommending that NASA receive $19.4 billion in 2013, approximately $1.6 billion more than the budget Congress approved for the space agency in 2012. When the weather satellite procurement funding is taken out of the equation, the new budget would be $41.5 million below the 2012 budget, according to the committee’s press release.
The Senate panel also recommends:
* holding 2013 funding for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle at the 2012 level of $1.2 billion; * providing $1.48 billion for development of the Space Launch System (SLS); * giving NASA $244 million for construction needed to build, test, and operate Orion and SLS; * and setting aside $525 million for NASA’s effort to develop commercial crew taxis.
That funding for the commercial crew program falls far short of the $830 million the White House is requesting in 2013. There was some disagreement within the subcommittee on whether setting commercial crew funding at $525 million would force NASA to narrow the field of companies vying for the job of ferrying astronauts to and from the international space station.
“Our priority for NASA is to be able to select two competitors for the commercial crew vehicle so there can be a robust competition but one that saves the taxpayers from funding more than two different private companies and therefore wasting more money,” said the subcommittee’s ranking Republican, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas.
Mikulski said, however, that it would be up to NASA to decide how to structure the commercial crew competition. “We have funded [the commercial crew program] and I don’t know if it will be two companies or four,” she said. “That is more of an internal management thing.”
Honeywell To Outfit Airplanes for Inmarsat’s Satellite Broadband Service
PARIS — Honeywell will build terminal and antenna hardware for commercial and business jets using Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka-band satellite broadband service under an exclusive agreement that both companies announced April 18.
The agreement fills a big missing piece to Inmarsat’s Global Xpress project, a $1.2 billion investment featuring three large Boeing-built Ka-band satellites to serve commercial and military markets. The Global Xpress satellites are scheduled for launch in 2013 and 2014.
Phoenix-based Honeywell said the agreement will generate some $2.8 billion in revenue for Honeywell over 20 years. In addition to providing the antennas mounted on the aircraft skin and the related hardware, Honeywell as the exclusive Inmarsat-certified supplier will also be in charge of maintaining the gear.
Honeywell will have nonexclusive rights to sell the Global Xpress hardware to government and military customers, according to Leo Mondale, the managing director for London-based Inmarsat’s Global Xpress program.
Inmarsat in August 2011 had announced it was negotiating with Rockwell Collins of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as lead Global Xpress hardware provider for the aviation market. But negotiations ended when the two sides could not agree on what the terminals would end up costing the aircraft customers.
“Technology was never the issue,” Mondale said in an April 18 interview. “Rockwell certainly has all the capabilities there. But we want to make sure that this service is affordable to the passengers at the back of the planes, and for that we had fairly strict criteria for terminal prices. In the end, we could not come together on those price points.”
Mondale said the prices Inmarsat has demanded have not changed, but that Honeywell was able to agree to them, especially since Honeywell’s capabilities in aeronautical communications rose sharply following its August purchase of EMS Technologies of Atlanta, for $491 million.
Honeywell officials did not immediately respond to requests for details of how they arrived at the figure of $2.8 billion in terminal manufacturing and maintenance revenue over 20 years.
Global Xpress’ three satellites will ring the globe with Ka-band connectivity and, when it enters service in 2014, will compete with an increasing number of fixed satellite-service providers that are now preparing their next generation of Ku-band satellites to focus on the maritime and aeronautical mobile markets.
Luxembourg- and Washington-based Intelsat is working with Panasonic Avionics Corp. of Hamburg, Germany, to provide a similar service to Global Express, with several Intelsat satellites fitted with beams trained over the aeronautical and maritime commercial routes.
Backers of Ku-band and Ka-band have competing arguments concerning which is better suited to provide broadband connectivity.
U.S. Report Backs Sweeping Reform of Satellite Export Rules
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Most communications satellites and some low-performing remote sensing satellites could, for export purposes, be treated as nonmilitary technology without any harm to national security, a long-awaited and overdue report from the U.S. government concluded.
The report from the U.S. State and Defense departments, released April 18, said that many satellites and satellite components could be transferred to the Commerce Department’s Commerce Control List. Currently these items fall on the U.S. Munitions List, which is administered by the Department of State.
Gregory Schulte, deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy, said that “literally hundreds of thousands of items” could be transferred.
The report, mandated by the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010, recommends giving the U.S. president the authority to determine export jurisdiction for satellite components, which were transferred to the Munitions List by an act of Congress. The report also recommends retaining and even strengthening a de facto ban on shipping U.S. satellite technology to China for launch on Chinese rockets.
Shifting some items to Commerce control would strengthen national security by “allowing us to focus our controls and our enforcement on those technologies, those capabilities that are truly the most sensitive,” Schulte said during a press conference here at the 28th National Space Symposium. In addition, softening export controls for select satellites and components would allow “our industry to compete on the global markets for satellites and technology and subsystems that are readily available,” he said, adding that this is especially important given the decline in U.S. defense spending.
Satellites and satellite components are currently grouped under Category 15 of the U.S. Munitions List. That makes exporting U.S.-built satellites and components a complex endeavor for industry, manufacturers have said. Getting satellite technology off the Munitions List requires an act of Congress to reverse a provision in the Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization Act for 1999 that transferred export licensing jurisdiction for space-related technology to State.
Such a bill already has been introduced in the House by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The proposed legislation would give the president the authority to set export jurisdiction for satellites and related components, but its prospects for passage are far from certain in an election year.
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) announced April 18 he plans to introduce similar legislation in the Senate.
In an April 18 statement, Berman said the report “makes clear that restricting exports of all commercial satellites and components as if they were lethal weapons, regardless of whether they’re going to friend or foe, has gravely harmed U.S. space manufacturers. U.S. national security depends upon these manufacturers for our own defense needs.”
Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, gave the report a cooler reception.
“I am glad that the Administration has finally submitted this long overdue report,” Turner said in a statement April 18. “I look forward to looking at how the report takes into account the vital mission of protecting U.S. space technology from diversion to the space, counter-space and ballistic missile programs of other nations. However, the administration’s request for blanket authority to relax our export control regime over thousands of space technologies would not make this country safer, or further our goals.”
Aerospace industry groups, who for years have lobbied hard for export reform, welcomed the report.
Patricia Cooper, president of the Washington-based Satellite Industry Association, said the group “and our members are gratified that, after thorough and careful assessment, the nation’s national security and export control communities supported reform of the current outmoded approach to regulating exports of satellites and related items.”
Cooper said her organization is delighted that Bennet is introducing a companion bill to Berman’s legislation.
Likewise, the Arlington, Va.-based Aerospace Industries Association said the “report signals a major milestone toward improving American competitiveness and restoring our global leadership in space.”
“Overseas, some foreign competitors started marketing things they called ITAR-free satellites,” said Schulte, referring to satellites free of U.S. components governed by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. These are the rules by which State licenses exports of Munitions List items.
ITAR-free satellites contain no U.S.-made components and thus can be exported to China for launch on Chinese rockets. U.S. component makers say ITAR-free satellites, marketed by the Franco-Italian manufacturer Thales Alenia Space, have hurt their business.
“We would hope that with this type of legislation, the ITAR-free label would become irrelevant,” Schulte said.
The April 18 report included a five-page appendix about China, which has advanced its space capabilities rapidly and last year had the highest tally of space launches of any nation. The report recommends maintaining and even toughening export restrictions for China and other embargoed nations such as Iran, Syria and North Korea.
TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel’s Spacecom, owners and operators of the Amos communications satellite fleet, is likely to select Space Systems/Loral over state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) to build its newest Amos-6 satellite, industry sources here say.
The Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm and IAI, Israel’s sole satellite producer, are in final negotiations with Tel Aviv-based Spacecom after beating out bids from European Astrium and Russia’s Reshetnev Information Satellite Services (ISS), producers of the Amos-5.
A decision by Spacecom’s board of directors is expected within a month on the 4.5-ton satellite tentatively planned for launch aboard a Space Exploration Technologies Falcon 9 rocket by 2015.
Israeli government and industry sources conceded during interviews the week of April 16 that there would be grave consequences for Israel’s communications satellite industrial base if IAI, producers of the first four Amos satellites, fails to win back rights to build Amos-6. IAI lost its monopoly over the Amos line in 2008, when Spacecom could not refuse ISS Reshetnev’s much cheaper package offer to build, launch and insure Amos-5 in a prearranged orbital slot at 17 degrees east over a brand new African market.
Spacecom’s Russian-built Amos-5 was launched in December 2011 aboard a Proton Breeze-M rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Spacecom declined comment on what spokesman Joshua Shuman described as a very sensitive phase of the competition. “As a publicly traded company, they are not in a position to comment on your questions,” he said.
Loral spokeswoman Wendy Lewis declined to comment on the Amos-6 competition.
IAI and government space officials also refused to speak for the record about what many here characterized as a make-or-break deal for Israel’s future comsat production capabilities. Privately, however, they noted that since IAI’s Amos-5 loss, the firm has instituted sweeping efficiency measures to drive down costs of the nearly completed Amos-4 scheduled for launch later this year.
But despite draconian cost-cutting measures and production reforms, industry sources here estimated that Loral beat IAI’s best and final bid by a significant amount. Barring last-minute government subsidies or other incentives to narrow the gap, sources here said Spacecom has an obligation to its shareholders to pick Loral over IAI.
Ironically, IAI was a founding investor in Spacecom as a commercial vehicle for promoting the firm’s Amos satellite line and hand-picked David Pollack, a former IAI employee, as Spacecom chief executive. In May 2010, IAI sold its nearly 15 percent equity in Spacecom to Tel Aviv-based Eurocom Communications, a majority shareholder, thus relinquishing its corporate representation on the Spacecom board.
Aside from Amos-4, IAI has no other communications satellites in its backlog. Loss of a follow-on Amos-6 order could force the company to close down its comsat portfolio and consolidate research, development and production resources solely in the remote sensing sector.
At the same time, Israeli sources warned that a non-Israeli Amos-6 in Spacecom’s planned geostationary orbital slot of 4 degrees west — which includes the entire Middle East — could impact on national security.
“We believe Amos-6 should be and will be an Israeli satellite for a lot of good reasons, but at the end of the day, it all narrows down to a business case,” a prominent Israeli business executive told Space News April 18. He said IAI is prepared with alternative strategies for growth if it does not win against Loral.
“The fact that IAI made it to the short list against Loral, the world’s leading communication satellite, speaks for itself,” he added.
In an interview last year, a senior Israeli Ministry of Defense official said the Israeli government had traditionally supported IAI’s Amos program through direct production funding — as was the case with Amos-1 — or by long-term commitments to purchase satellite services. Under a July 2007 deal for the $365 million Amos-4, Spacecom agreed to pay IAI $100 million while the Israeli government committed to the remaining amount through prepurchases of satellite services for the projected 12-year life of the satellite.
The Israeli government assumed a hands-off approach to Spacecom’s Amos-5, primarily because its geostationary orbit over Africa did not materially service local needs. “Spacecom is a publicly traded company. The Russian-built Amos-5 was a pure business decision. But Amos-6 is a different story. There’s a national interest in preserving this capability within IAI,” the official said at the time.
Israel’s Ministry of Defense declined to address what commitments it has made to Spacecom’s Amos-6 or whether it is willing to underwrite additional incentives to bolster IAI’s competitiveness vis a vis Loral.
20.04.2012 / 00:05 Администрация США обратилась к Конгрессу с призывом снизить ограничения на экспорт спутниковой техники
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Армения и Россия обсудили вопрос запуска в космос армянского коммерческого спутника
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