Constellations, a New Space and Satellite Innovation Podcast

By Kratos

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Constellations from Kratos is your connection to the innovators, business leaders, entrepreneurs and policy makers who are making ... and remaking ... today's satellite and space industries. The current explosion in innovation is revolutionizing communications, imagery, defense and research and has caused a culture shift within the traditional satellite and space industry landscapes. New Space versus Old Space, GEO versus LEO Satellites, Narrowband versus Wideband, High-Throughput Satellites (HTS) versus Fixed-Service Satellites (FSS). Who will be the winners and losers? Constellations is the bridge that connects you to new ideas and experts shaping the industry. Whether you’re in the industry or just have a desire to learn... then this podcast is for you. For more information and to subscribe go to: www.kratoscomms.com/constellations-podcast - Podcast use is subject to the terms located at http://www.kratoscomms.com/page/disclaimer

Episode Date
63 - The Space ISAC, Cybersecurity and Innovation
17:37

Erin Miller, Director of Business Development at The National Cybersecurity Center in Colorado Springs, explains what the Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) is and why we need it. As Erin explains, a 1998 presidential directive requires the development of ISACs to protect our critical infrastructures from threats and vulnerabilities. There are about 25 different ISACs to support major industry sectors such as  financial services, information technology, natural gas and others. As space transcends virtually all these sectors it was only natural that there be a Space ISAC. In this episode of Constellations, Erin will also discuss new developments and strategies to combat increasing cybersecurity and other threats to our space assets.

Nov 13, 2019
62 - Precision Attitude Control, Innovation in Small Companies and DARPA
21:56

Small companies may have more opportunity to be flexible in working out problems and addressing solutions.  They can bring a lot of innovation to the table, especially when there is a need for speed.  But it requires a staff to be more interdisciplinary and take on many roles.  Listen to Dan Hegel talk about the challenges of innovation in a small satellite business.  Learn about precision attitude control for CubeSats and how Blue Canyon’s capability has been leveraged to support NASA programs all the way to Mars.  Dan discusses technologies for improving weather forecasting, including the capability to peer through clouds to assess moisture.  He also talks about some of the communication techniques small satellites are applying, such as the sharing of information between crosslinking satellites.

Oct 30, 2019
61 - The Emerging Ground-Segment-as-a-Service, New Business Models and the Importance of the Southern Hemisphere
18:52

On this episode of the Constellations podcast, we will talk about the emergence of the ground segment-as-a-service.  We will also discuss how the space industry is shifting away from GEO satellites to LEO and MEO satellites and how that is affecting the ground segment. Find out the importance of having increased coverage in the southern hemisphere for the growing LEO and MEO satellites. Additionally, learn about the advantages of rapidly being able to have access to teleport capabilities on demand and the types of companies that benefit the most from this new business model.

 

Listen to Mark Thompson, CEO of Capricorn Space, talk about his company’s role in the emerging ground segment-as-a-service industry. We caught up with Mark at the Small Sat Conference where we also discussed the importance of Australia in the space industry, including the country’s role in tracking the Apollo missions. He also discusses the newly formed Australian Space Agency and its role in increasing the level of profile of space activities in Australia.

 

Oct 16, 2019
60 - New Space, the Rapidly Evolving Ground Segment and the Forecast for the Future
24:16

On the Constellations podcast we’ll talk about how the explosion in satellite capacity and new technology capabilities are dramatically impacting the ground segment. The space segment with High Throughput Satellites and new mega-constellations are often the focus of the industry, but the ground segment is critical to the success of this end-to-end system. The space and ground segment need to work in tandem to deliver on the promise of satcom and earth observation applications. In this episode find out how the ground segment is evolving and the forecast for the future.

Today, we have someone uniquely qualified to discuss how the ground segment is rapidly evolving to meet the new demands of the advanced satellites in space. Pacôme Révillon is the Chief Executive Officer of Euroconsult, a leading global consulting firm specializing in space markets. He has 15 years of experience working in the space sector and consults with high-level clients, particularly in satellite broadcasting, communications and finance. In this podcast, Pacôme will share some insights from Euroconsult’s executive report on the “Ground Segment Market Prospects – Forecasts for 2028”.

Oct 02, 2019
59 - New Launch and Propulsion Technologies, Intersatellite Links and Market Consolidation to Redefine SmallSats
18:34

Joining the Constellations Podcast at the recent Small Sat Conference, Leena Pivovarova, NSR Analyst,  covered a range of topics that will have significant impact on the persona of the small sat industry. With respect to the role of governments, Leena states that in addition to their regulatory oversight, they are also participants, customers, enablers, facilitators. Because of this, there really must be alignment and government support, which includes having supporting regulations that enable, instead of kind of stifle innovation.

 

On the little discussed topic of sea launches, Leena points out their many advantages including a broader range of orbits one can launch to, lack of geographic confinement, and for governments, the ability to launch more stealthily than before.

 

Once launched, new propulsion technology will unlock a lot of new capabilities for smallsats, including easier and more flexible maneuverability, faster reaction times and better utilization of payload space.

Leena sees an exciting future with the emergence of software defined capabilities, intersatellite links, more efficient use of spectrum and so much more.

Sep 18, 2019
58 – Data, Geospatial Monitoring and Quality Standards Based on Time
16:13

People have always needed timely access to information and the ability to understand what's going on around them, but now they have to contend with the added domain of space.  Listen to Nick Merski from Black Sky Global talk about how his company delivers unique space based data insights to their customers by utilizing the cloud.  In addition, learn how their cloud based ground architecture allows them to leverage commercial ground station providers to spin up antenna assets on demand.  Black Sky’s user platform, C2 systems and image processing pipeline are all in the cloud and have been from the start, giving access to space based data with exceptionally fast delivery. Nick discusses the different ways that people consume data and suggests a standard or common language to communicate the attributes of data, especially as it relates to time.

Sep 04, 2019
57 - Smallsats, Sensors and Real-Time Decision-Making Data
20:40

Today on the Constellations podcast we will discuss how smallsat technology is being used in innovative ways to solve technical challenges faced by the military, science community, and industry. Find out how custom sensor, software, hardware, and thermal management solutions are making significant contributions to national defense and scientific discoveries. Hear about the programs where this technology is being applied to better understand global temperature changes in the thermosphere, identify the population of potentially hazardous near-Earth objects (NEOs) and mitigate the adverse effects of space weather. Our guest today is Jim Marshall, Director of the Space Dynamics Laboratory. Jim provides oversight and integration of business development operations for both the Space Dynamics Laboratory and Energy Dynamics Laboratory. He has broad government and industry expertise and is on the frontlines of helping to solve complex issues in space, in air, on ground, and at sea for the government.

Aug 21, 2019
56 - Interplanetary Internet, “Cloudlets” and the “Inner Cloud”
25:01

With us today is Vint Cerf, considered to be one of the founding fathers of the internet, today he is Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist.  Vint is still promoting the internet…only this time it’s an interplanetary internet. On Constellations, he discusses the potential impact an interplanetary internet capable of communicating with space stations and satellites, and open the internet to the millions of currently underserved users, would have on privacy, security and the need for an entirely new set of regulations. Vint also discusses cloud computing, specifically the emergence of multiple clouds and the ability to move the data easily from one to another. Listen to this podcast to learn about the inner cloud and cloudlets.

Aug 07, 2019
Special Episode: Apollo 11 Revisited, 50 Years Later
15:51

“One small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” In July 1969, millions of people in the world were in front of their TV screen or stuck to their radio to witness the first step of mankind on the moon. Today we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing by learning more about it and the men and women who made it possible. Our guest is Hugh Blair-Smith, who was one of the “Apollonauts”, those engineers who worked on the Apollo missions. What challenges did he face then, how did he experience the Space Race, what does he think of today’s objectives of returning to the moon and colonizing Mars? Join us for this special episode as we relive this memorable event through the eyes of an engineer who participated in making it all happen.

Jul 25, 2019
55 - Smallsats, Laser Links and Optical Comsats
16:36

How about a network with more speed, bandwidth and security than terrestrial fiber? That is the promise of laser communications from space. This is the path that Bridgecomm is trailblazing – enabling future space missions using optical communications solutions through a global network of ground stations and complimentary satellite terminals. The company is building up a global network of optical ground terminals with stations in Alaska, Hawaii, the Southwest United States, South America, South Africa, Western Australia, Qatar and Sweden. Hear from Barry Matsumori, CEO of Bridgecomm, on how they plan to revolutionize communications while complementing existing RF communication systems. Barry has an extensive background in the mobile wireless and Space 2.0 sectors. His leadership roles include Senior VP of business development and advanced concepts at Virgin Orbit, Senior VP of sales and business development at SpaceX, and nearly two decades at Qualcomm, where he was VP of Wireless Connectivity.

Jul 24, 2019
54 - Flat Panel technology, Electronically Steerable Antennas (ESAs) and Transforming Mobile Connectivity
21:33

Everyone wants broadband connectivity on the move where ever they are – whether that is on a plane, train or automobile. Find out how flat panel and Electronically Steerable Antennas (ESAs) are bringing digital innovation to previously analog antenna technology to make mobile broadband connectivity a reality.  This unique antenna technology is well suited for land-mobile, aeronautical and maritime satellite communication applications. Hear from Dave Helfgott, Chief Executive Officer of Phasor, a leading developer of high throughput, enterprise-grade, modular phased array antennas. Dave is a 20 year industry veteran with extensive experience in satellite broadband, mobile telecommunications as well as commercial and government SATCOM networking services. He will discuss how this advanced technology is ready to transform mobile connectivity.

Jul 10, 2019
53 - Space Debris, Mega Constellations and the Orbital Highway
22:08

When it comes to space debris, regulations may help with prevention but not the cure.  Yet, how do you attempt to regulate something that nobody really owns?  Listen to Chris Blackerby discuss how Astroscale has been leading the conversation in terms of policy, technology and who should pay for prevention.  Chris talks about regulations that would give the ability to go up and de-orbit debris that has been rotating for years. He describes building capabilities into satellite design that would enable easy removal out of orbit. Although the probability is low, an exploration of how services throughout the world might be affected by a high impact collision is also discussed.

Jul 03, 2019
52 - Integrated Satcom Architecture, Innovative Acquisition Strategies and War in Space
22:24

Much in the news of late about a proposed U.S. Space Force and the fits and starts of commercial and military cooperation in space. With us today to put it all in perspective is Brigadier General Pete F. Hoene, United States Air Force Retired, President and CEO of SES Government Solutions. Listen as he discusses the challenges and opportunities of commercial and military satellite cooperation including hosted payloads, the innovative acquisition processes to streamline the acquisition of commercial bandwidth and the role for commercial satellites in the defense of space.

Jun 26, 2019
51 - New Space, Changing Face of the Teleport and Space Hubs
22:21

The innovations in space…. increased satellite capacity and enhanced capabilities are driving teleport operations on the ground to become much more dynamic and agile. Teleport operators are adopting new technologies from cloud to Software Defined Networking (SDN) and exploring a range of business models to meet the changing requirements of a new space world. Ian Jones, the founder, Chief Executive and owner of Goonhilly Earth Station is a highly experienced entrepreneur and innovator in the field of satellite communication systems engineering. He will discuss how he helped transform the world’s most famous teleport on the verge of demolition into a modern operation with a vision of becoming a multi-faceted space hub. Goonhilly today is a highly innovative teleport operation addressing today’s new space environment by forging ahead in a number of commercial and scientific endeavors.

Jun 12, 2019
50 - Digitized Payloads, Shapeable Beams and Flexible Gateways
19:19

Listen to Stewart Sanders discuss a satellite constellation debuting in MEO based on a fully digitized payload that can give lots of flexibility, especially for manipulating beam-forming phased arrays. Stewart talks about why operating in MEO versus GEO makes sense (hint, for data services where low latency is a major factor, MEO is a better choice.)   Stewart also discusses the nature of phased array technology to generate anywhere from one to a very large number of individual beams, as well as a description of how each beam can be weighted, or shaped to any configuration. Satellite networks are becoming more sophisticated with inherent intelligence allowing them to orchestrate solutions based on data needs and the use of flexible gateways. With the added assistance of a system dynamic resource manager (SDRM), the next generation of satellite networking capabilities is on their way to a market near you.

May 29, 2019
49 - People, Geography & Business Apps: The Satellite Industry is Changing
18:12

The satellite industry is becoming more software defined, getting a lot closer to the typical software company one would expect to see in Silicon Valley. Jeff Hill, Conference Chair of Satellite 2019 discusses how the industry is going through significant change, integrating software technologies to improve efficiencies in our industry like machine learning, making satellites cheaper, faster and creating multiple launch options. The satellite industry is becoming as quick and agile as the software industry. Hill discusses how the changes are being driven by people, the inquisitive, millennials, the changing geographic contribution to the industry with the rise of strong satellite industries in Europe and Asia.  Last, but not least is the explosion in satellite based applications where, in terms of verticals we're also seeing a lot more diverse end users. Smart agriculture, mining, exploration and insurance are just a few of the industries that are recognizing how important satellite based applications are their growth and success.

May 15, 2019
48 - Explosion in VC Funding, The Year of Commercial Space Travel and Earth Observation for Everyone
28:38

Investment in the satellite and space industry has evolved from traditional government sources to backing by a couple of billionaire Unicorn investors, and now to an explosion in venture capital and angel investors driving the industry. This new wave of funding has taken the industry from a dozen or so privately funded space companies globally in 2009 to 435 today, that have received over $20 billion in investment. Chad Anderson, CEO of Space Angels discusses many of the exciting trends occurring in the space industry including where investment funding is going, and more importantly why. He talks about his prediction that 2018 would be the year of Small Launch and that 2019 will be the year of Commercial Space Travel.  Chad also discusses the potential for earth observation to follow the path of GPS and become tightly intertwined in our everyday lives.  

Apr 24, 2019
47 - Automation, Service Orchestration and the Future of the Teleport
23:06

In this podcast, Robert Bell the Executive Director of the World Teleport Association (WTA) talks about how the explosion in satellite capacity is dramatically changing the dynamics on the ground. The teleport which sits in between the terrestrial and space segment is being driven to become more automated and operationally efficient to meet these new bandwidth demands. In this episode find out how automation is playing a critical role in transforming the teleport from traditional antenna farms that provide satellite access to data centers with dishes that layer on value-added capabilities and services.

Apr 10, 2019
46 - Innovation, Speeding up Acquisition and Space Enterprise Architecture
23:13

Listen to Jeff Rowlison discuss the effort to leverage innovations coming out of the commercial satellite communications industry to support the Warfighter. Hear him discuss the Air Force envisioning the Warfighter roaming from MILSATCOM to COMSATCOM seamlessly, taking advantage of commercial options to accomplish Warfighter missions. Influencing the pace of innovation, the pace of contracting and acquisition are leaders such as General Hyten, the Commander of U.S. Strategic Command and General Raymond, the Commander of U.S. Air Force Space Command. Jeff believes that going forward, companies with the capability to adapt their innovative services to fielded technology will be very important, however nothing happens quickly without funding.

Mar 20, 2019
45 - Plasma Satellite Propulsion, Extended Satellite Life, and the Fourth State of Matter
22:54

Satellite propulsion has been receiving much deserved attention. Not to be confused with chemical launch propulsion, satellite propulsion is primarily electrical propulsion that optimizes the satellite’s orbit once launched, maintains that orbit despite gravitational pulls and, finally, helps to assure a safe de-orbit. Electric propulsion uses an electric or a magnetic reaction or magnetic fields to heat or electrify a gas and turn that into a plasma, which, when forced out of the satellite, creates thrust.   

Beau Jarvis, CEO at Phase Four (plasma is the 4th state of matter) explains that while electric systems today typically use aerospace grade xenon because of its efficiency, it is also very expensive. With the anticipated growth in small satellites the cost of xenon will only increase. Phase Four, Jarvis explains, can use actually any neutral gas as fuel. The implication? Rather than transporting propulsion fuel from Earth, something as simple as water vapor, atmospheric nitrogen or methane, all available in space, could work as a propellant for Phase Four propulsion systems, thereby extending the satellite’s useful life.

Mar 06, 2019
44 - Space Telcos, the Spectrum Crunch and Flying Dragons
23:01

Satellite operators are facing a real problem concerning how they establish and maintain real-time connectivity for commercial spacecraft. As more and more commercial satellites are set to launch this problem is becoming increasingly important. Ralph Ewig, CEO of Audacy Space shares his expertise about how real-time connectivity, addressing the spectrum crunch and building a communications backbone are all critical elements needed to support the new space economy.

Feb 20, 2019
43 -User Experience Design, Space System Standards and Enterprise Ground Services
25:53

Listen to Michal Anne Rogondino discuss user experience design for the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC). Michal Anne explains design thinking and how it is being utilized to create a user experience for DoD space applications.  The CEO of Rocket Communications talks about the workarounds of designing for a secret environment without having a secret clearance (it is possible) and working for the government in general.  The stakes are high as there cannot be any ambiguity around an icon or a simple alarm.  Bringing the user experience to the space domain is different and there are challenges with automation and autonomy that demand the creation of new rules and guidelines. In parallel is a need for creating baseline and guidelines that are common which allows everything to be designed in a common way.  Space systems are complex and there will be an advantage to giving airmen or operators the tools and time to focus on what is important, their mission.

Feb 06, 2019
42 – Revolution on the Ground, Paradigm Shifts and the Convergence of Satellite and Terrestrial Networking
24:06

The space industry is evolving at a rapid pace as seen by the flurry of new technologies being announced on almost a weekly basis. These new technologies include the emergence of high throughput satellites (HTS) and the launch of LEO mega-constellations which have brought unprecedented flexibility and bandwidth to the marketplace. However these new capabilities require innovation on the ground to ease management and minimize the explosion in costs. Lluc Palerm Serra, Senior Analyst at NSR explains how a paradigm shift is needed in the satellite ground segment and how this shift towards new advanced networking capabilities has the potential to facilitate convergence between satellite and terrestrial networks.  

Jan 30, 2019
SPECIAL EPISODE - Big Data for Satellites, Deep Learning and Growing Security Threats
36:32

The Big Data Panel Roundtable discussion completes our special series recorded at the 2018 Kratos Users Conference. This episode brings together technology experts to discuss the role of big data in the satellite industry, the implications of deep learning and the impact of security threats. Bob Potter, VP of Technology, Signal and Ground Systems moderated the panel. He was joined by Anthony Semiao, Chief Solutions Architect, Jay Finnigan, Director of Network Products and Loic Coulet, Technology and Products Manager. Key discussions included the growth of big data and how data creates new data in a never ending cycle, the opportunities to leverage big data in the satellite industry, the critical importance of security in satellites and the value of deep learning and artificial intelligence.

Dec 26, 2018
41 - Always-On Connectivity, Flat Panel Antennas and End-to-End Mobile Communications
24:45

From connected cars, planes and boats there is an ever increasing need for “always-on” seamless broadband connectivity while on the move. There are still obstacles to overcome in order to reach uninhibited, global connectivity. Bill Marks, Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President of Kymeta explains how flat-panel satellite antenna systems address these challenges and is making the vision of always-on mobile and global broadband connectivity a reality. He shares insights into flat-panel antenna trials and evaluations on yachts, buses and SUVs and the feedback from customers that has helped advance the technology. Bill also talks about the challenges in making the technology work and deploying it on a mass scale and what makes their offering unique in the market. The application of the technology for mission critical efforts such as disaster recovery and military communications-on-the move is also discussed. Finally, find how Bill thinks the mobile communications market will evolve and change in the next five years as flat panel technology becomes even more mature and widely deployed.

Dec 11, 2018
40 - Software Defined Capabilities, MILSATCOM Capacity and Commercial Opportunity
22:57

Anything software defined is really a hot topic, and for a lot of reasons, as it brings flexibility into the equation.  There are now entirely flexible satellite architectures and infrastructures powered by software that can redefine networks on the fly.  Listen to Brad Grady discuss the MILSATCOM market, its growth potential and the technology (like software defined) supporting it.  Brad talks about the U.S. government being a significant purchaser of satellite capacity and services and looking to take advantage of software defined capabilities.  Brad also discusses LEO mega constellations, why the addition of more MILSATCOM capacity probably won’t affect the commercial market and the possibility of creating a flexible ground infrastructure that doesn’t really care what data transport path is being offered.

Nov 28, 2018
39 - Spectral Fingerprints, Laser Communications and the emerging Space Economy
25:25

There are tremendous advances occurring in the satellite industry including the launch of shoe-box sized satellites and the development of hyperspectral sensors that provide spectral footprints of both visible and non-visible occurrences. These advances have led to new developments and strategies in the earth observation market and are contributing to the emergence of a new Space Economy. Justin Oliveira, CEO of Analytical Space explains how Small Sats, hyperspectral imaging and the use of optical networks are revolutionizing many aspects of the traditional satellite industry. Justin provides his insights on public – private partnerships and how decreases in cost of entry are changing current business models and driving innovation and growth.

Nov 21, 2018
SPECIAL EPISODE - The New HTS Business Model, Importance of Automation and Leveraging Digital Payloads
40:10

This is part two of a special three part panel discussion series. “HTS is Great, but How Does it Impact your Operations Environment?” at the 2018 Kratos Users Conference brought industry leaders together to discuss High Throughput Satellites (HTS) and how this exciting technology is having a significant impact on the satellite operator’s operations environment. Stuart Daughtridge, Vice President of Advanced Technology at Kratos moderated the panel which was comprised of Tobias Nassif, General Manager, Satellite Control Center at Viasat, Tom Leisgang, Technical Director, Ground Systems Mission Engineering and Operations at SSL, John Loke, VP of Network Engineering and Operations at MEASAT, Bob Potter, VP, Technology Signal and Ground Systems at Kratos and Steve Cooper, VP of Product Line Management, Connect Services at SES Networks. Highlights of the discussion included how HTS has caused the business model for satellite operators to change, the importance of automation to reduce rising operations expenses and strategies for fully leveraging the digital payloads.  

Nov 16, 2018
SPECIAL EPISODE - Future Applications, New Business Models and the Holy Grail of Standardization
56:20

This is part one of a special three part panel discussion series. This panel discussion “HTS is Great, but How does it Impact your Operations Environment?” recorded at the 2018 Kratos Users Conference brought industry leaders together to discuss where the satellite and space industry has been and where it’s likely to go in the future. Thierry Guillemin, President of New Space Directions moderated the panel which was comprised of Dan Sullivan, CTO at Kratos Federal; Eric Watko, EVP, Product, Marketing, & Strategy at SES Networks; Pedro L. Molinero, Managing Director and Satellite Fleet Operations Head at Hispasat and Ken Betaharon, EVP and CTO at ABS. Highlights of the discussion included predictions about new applications on the horizon, how the industry will consume the projected vast increase in capacity - and if it will even be enough and finally if the holy grail of standardization within the satellite industry is just a pipe-dream, or might actually happen.

 

Nov 07, 2018
38 - Open Source, Smallsat Software and Eating Space
20:37

The smallsat market continues to grow rapidly spurred by venture capital investments and by technological innovation. Over 300 small satellites were launched in 2017 and 679 could be launched by 2022 according to SpaceWorks Engineering. With us today is a person at the heart of this industry transformation that is helping to make this vision a reality. Marshall Culpepper is the CEO and CTO of Kubos, a venture backed start-up that is building the first comprehensive software platform for the satellite industry. He discusses how critical software is to space and smallsat operations and the value of the open source community. Marshall discusses how their software is different from the GEO operating systems and how it takes advantage of the cloud to not only store data, but to virtualize execution of the operations of a satellite. He sees a very important role for software in the years to come in its ability to virtually allocate capacity on both sensors and communications capacity on the satellite.

Oct 30, 2018
37 - New Space Collaboration, Creating Standards and Sharing Assets
24:19

Companies in the New Space segment have a tendency to collaborate, allowing them to avoid reinventing the wheel. There is a current ecosystem in place that supports interchange of thought on a day-to-day, minute-to-minute basis, giving them opportunity to quickly move forward on ideas. What else does the New Space segment need to do in order to be successful? Katherine Monson starts the conversation by suggesting that standards should be introduced, allowing for the creation of product offerings that are more cost efficient without non-recurring engineering.  She also describes taking advantage of economies of scale; the more New Space shares infrastructure amongst each other, the better for everyone.

Oct 17, 2018
36 - Sputnik, Constellations and the Evolution of the Small Sat Industry
24:11

The growth of small satellites has been fueled by the promise of shorter development cycles, lower cost, new technology, and more frequent access to space. Who better to take us through the evolution of small satellites than Dr. Pat Patterson, Director of Advanced Concepts at Utah State University Space Dynamics Laboratory and Chairman of the annual AIAA/USU Conference, or the Small Sat Conference.

After referring to the 84 kg Sputnik, launched in 1957 as a “small satellite,”  Dr. Patterson discusses the three keys to the growth of the small sat industry: affordability, responsiveness and shorter development cycles.  And because the barrier to entry is so much lower for small satellites, more and more small companies begin to come online bringing a lot more competition, which brings  a lot more good ideas to the table.

Oct 03, 2018
35 - China’s Long March Rocket Family, its Belt and Road Space Initiative and the “Elon Musk” Factor
32:29

China has been in the news a lot lately, mostly about trade tariffs and their expansion in the South China Sea. But in addition to the country's growing economic power and international influence, it has also made some very impressive strides in terms of its space program. With us today is Blaine Curcio, the founder of Orbital Gateway Consulting. He discusses China’s development of the Long March rocket family, the deployment of the first space station, the Chinese lunar exploration program and the

Belt and Road Spatial Information Corridor, a significant space initiative that, among other things, plans to have a global GPS available by 2020. He explains the difference between the meritocratic nature of the U.S. space industry versus China’s incumbent advantage, as well as the “Elon Musk” factor in China’s space industry.

Sep 26, 2018
34 - Concierge Satellite Services, Resilient Launches and the Cosmic Girl
21:55

Having a flexible platform to launch satellites is a capability not yet common to the small satellite community. However, it is coming under the wings of a 747 Virgin Orbit has colloquially named Cosmic Girl.  The doors of opportunity are opening for any small satellite that wants to launch anywhere Cosmic Girl flies.  Are there advantages to launching satellites from 35,000 feet?  How do you keep costs down when you are building your own rockets? Is there a market for this kind of business?  Listen to Dan Hart discuss the challenges of rocket launches from 747s, keeping things simple and bigger opportunities that may play out in the vast area we call Space.

Sep 19, 2018
33 - SAR, Any Hour...Any Where Availability and Grabbing a Beer on the Moon
25:43

The technology powering most satellites is remarkably limited. They're unable to image the surface of Earth in areas where it's cloudy or dark--which is about three-quarters of the planet at any given time. Payam Banazadeh, Founder and CEO of Capella Space discusses how this problem is being solved with tiny satellites that use synthetic aperture radar (SAR), a technology that can capture images in any light or weather condition. Payam provides his insights about how small satellites using SAR are opening the door to many new applications, from tracking soil moisture to assess the health of crops to more-accurate mapping for self-driving cars.

Sep 12, 2018
32 - Satellite Cloud Services, Hop on Board or Get Left Behind?
27:20

Cloud services are growing and on the verge of becoming an important part of the satellite industry.  Therefore a cloud strategy is needed to define what cloud capabilities are important to customers and where the greatest growth opportunities are. Robert Bell, the Executive Director of the World Teleport Association (WTA) explains why the industry is moving to the cloud including the technical, operational, cost factors and skills needed to be successful in this new world.  Robert provides his insights on how satellite and teleport operators can preserve and strengthen their competitive advantages when going head-to-head with the cloud for specific services, or when integrating the cloud into their operations is the preferred approach.

Sep 05, 2018
31 - Open Systems Architecture, Henry Ford, and Standards Enabling Growth in New Space
26:12

Smallsats have evolved from a novelty to the norm in the satellite industry.  Key to this transition has been a change in mentality and practice from custom space craft design to a Henry Ford mentality of standards to meet a much larger volume of rocket builds. Find out how open systems architectures, plug and play capabilities and interoperability standards are enabling growth from a spacecraft perspective. In this episode hear about the cutting-edge techniques and approaches to space systems architectures and spacecraft/satellite design and development.  Also, hear Stan’s lessons learned for new companies entering the new space industry and find out what he thinks the future holds for smallsats.

Sep 05, 2018
30 - Satellite Refueling, Life Extension and the Future of Small Sats
22:30

As we learned from our podcasts at the Small Satellite Conference in Utah this August, the small sat industry is simultaneously growing in so many directions…from new streamlined manufacturing techniques, to more launch options, a plethora of emerging applications and, of course the economic outlook for the industry Who better to discuss these issues than Carolyn Belle, Senior Analyst at NSR, who built their Small Satellite practice. Listen as Carolyn discusses the potential impact of SpaceX, One Web and other planned mega constellations on the GEO operators; the impact of new small sat propulsion systems and the emergence of in-orbit services including satellite refueling, life extension and salvage. Carolyn also addresses the hype that has surrounded the industry but believes that we're only starting to scratch the surface of the value they might deliver moving forward.

Aug 29, 2018
29 - Viable Spectrum Ecosystem, Secure Cloud Computing and Managed Network Services
22:32

Access to RF spectrum is the lifeblood of satellite communications customers, so it is critical to discover ways to use bandwidth more efficiently while co-existing with emerging terrestrial uses. How can satellites and 5G work to create a viable ecosystem for all?  The number of variables and the amount of data required to assure a successful satellite mission is staggering.  Machine learning and AI have become prerequisites for mission success, but what about the human factor?  Does it still matter? Listen to Dr. Bruce Chesley discuss the challenges of 5G, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and the future of commercial satellite services.

Aug 22, 2018
28 - Cyber Threats, Zero Trust and The Bane of Security
24:35

Our essential services and applications, be they commercial or military, are increasingly dependent on integrated satellite and terrestrial networks. Until recently, satellite networks have been, by and large, stand-alone in design.  Increasingly, however, satellite networks are integrated with terrestrial networks, creating an expanded communications network…and an expanded threat surface. Brigadier General Gregory J. Touhill,  President of Cyxtera Technologies' Cyxtera Federal Group (CFG), explains that satellite networks have become systems of systems…including design, manufacture, launch, payload management and terrestrial integration.  Each step has to be “secured by design.”  He discusses some of the pitfalls to cyber security such as longer satellite supply chains along with approaches to minimizing cyber threats, including software defined perimeters, ID-centric security measures, the Zero Trust model.

Aug 15, 2018
27 - Big Data, Heavy Data and Location Data is the New Database
25:53

The Earth Observation business is growing and changing fast. Technological trends such as cloud computing and machine learning capabilities and improved software driven automation are streamlining the image to insights process. In addition business trends such as the increase in volume based imagery subscriptions and the rise of analytics are expanding opportunities in the value chain. The key question is how to take advantage of those opportunities?  Dr. Shay Har-Noy, Vice President and General Manager, Platforms at DigitalGlobe discusses how location data is the new database and boldly states that the location map is the new operating system. Dr. Har-Noy also shares his views on the new space economy and how it’s becoming more and more accessible to everyone.

Aug 01, 2018
26 - Latency, Link Optimization and the Need for Speed
21:47

Unlike the terrestrial connectivity world, maintaining network connectivity and quality of service in the satellite world is extremely challenging. To manage these highly stressed networks, minimize latency and maximize the efficient delivery of bandwidth, unique approaches are required. Luckily, there’s an answer to this challenge, in the form of acceleration hardware and software solutions. Jack Waters, CEO of XipLink discusses how accelerators provide the throughput that government and commercial customers require – and can increase link efficiency from 35 percent to 95 percent. Jack also shares his views on where the satellite industry is headed and the overall impact of new technologies such as HTS and the LEO mega constellations.

Jul 25, 2018
25 - The Growth of HTS, Death of WiMAX and the Future of Smart Antennas
22:37

Hear Susan Bull, Senior Consultant and Partner of COMSYS share her insights on the present and future state of satellite communications. With capacity prices continuing to fall, the primary focus is no longer on the bandwidth. Satellite operators and service providers are targeting the applications, services and content that customers will pay for and that will drive revenues according to Susan. Lessons can be learned from the telecommunications industry and how that sector addressed similar challenges. Will the aero, maritime or the mobility market drive growth? Find out which sector Susan is bullish on and which one she believes is over hyped. With so much technological advancement in space with HTS and smallsat constellations, how will the ground sector keep up? Susan describes a future where flat panel antennas will have the intelligence, efficiency and price points to meet the demands on the ground for these transformational technologies. With 5G coming, Susan believes the industry will see much more integration between the terrestrial and satellite worlds to satisfy the end-to-end communications needs of customers.

Jul 17, 2018
24 - Balance, Certainty and Sharing the Spectrum
23:42

What is 5G? We are experiencing a change in how 5G is defined to include the growing role of satellites.  They are positioned to be an important 5G player with communications on the move, services to rural areas, backhaul, and trunking network capabilities. However, the wireless industry is demanding additional RF spectrum for 5G and a change in rules may allow them to take it from the satellite industry. Is it possible for both sides to share the same spectrum? Tom Stroup, President of the Satellite Industry Association, discusses the need for caution and certainty when making decisions about rule changes and why there should be a balanced approach.

Jul 04, 2018
23 - Free to air, Lasers and Predictions about LEO
20:50

The changes occurring in the satellite and space industry are simply amazing. From miniaturized satellites to space tourism we’re seeing an explosion in innovation and may be heading towards a true commercial space economy. Jim Simpson, CEO of communications satellite operator ABS discusses the opportunities for traditional satellite operators as well as the potential threat posed by the LEO constellations. Jim provides his views on key challenges facing the industry such as the HTS driven impact on satellite capacity and how satellite operators are struggling to maintain profitability. He also talks about new emerging technologies that may prove to be disruptive in the industry.

Jun 13, 2018
22 - Cloud Technology, Machine Intelligence & Bots
24:07

The cloud and the satellite world are on the edge of convergence with the satellite community attracted to the low cost of developing platforms in the cloud and satellite technologies giving the ability to extend a network from a disadvantaged location to anyone in the world demanding cloud assets.  This brings up questions about security.  How will it be addressed?  The current challenge is leveraging technology to get ahead of our adversaries.  Listen to Dave Mihelcic, former CTO of DISA and current CTO of Juniper Networks, talk about self-driving networks, artificial intelligence and machine learning tools such as bots - tools to both defend the network (whether on the ground or in the cloud) and keep it healthy in the future.

May 30, 2018
21 - LEOs, IoT and M2M Communications
20:30

Global businesses need access to critical data on a 24/7 basis no matter which environment their assets and resources are operating in. With roughly 80 percent of the Earth’s geography with no cell service how are companies able to track and monitor their remote equipment and other assets around the world? In many cases satellite based machine-to-machine (M2M) communications are filling the gap as a reliable way to link critical equipment no matter where it is located on the planet. Listen to Matthew Desch, CEO of Iridium as he discusses how their low-Earth orbit satellites provide global coverage for tracking of maritime vessels, equipment monitoring, and automatic vehicle location, across a variety of sectors from agriculture, to mining, energy, oil and gas, to transport.

May 15, 2018
20 - Smallsats, Interference and EPFD Limits
26:04

Congestion is becoming a reality in today’s new space world. With hundreds of HTS and thousands of LEO and MEO constellations in place or planned - the potential for increased interference continues to grow.  How will the satellite industry adapt to meet the challenge?  What role will regulation play in this new environment? What new technology and approaches will be used or need to be developed to address the potential increase in interference? Listen to a conversation with industry experts and Satellite Interference Reduction Group (IRG) members to find out what new challenges lie ahead and how to address interference in a new space world.

May 08, 2018
19 - Dish, Phased Array and Now-Isotropic Antennas
21:58

This is a golden age of technology for the satellite industry-HTS satellites, LEO constellations, reusable rocket boosters…and now a potential breakthrough in satellite ground stations. Will isotropic antennas technology leap-frog phased array antennas and upend antenna economics with a massive pricing differential? Listen to David Geen, Chief Operating Officer of Isotropic Systems as he explains the unique technology driving the development of isotropic antennas during this podcast.

Apr 24, 2018
18 - Satellite Refueling, Deep Space Assembly Lines and Five Ball Constellations
21:09

NASA Telecommunications Systems Manager Greg Heckler shares his thoughts on some of the latest scientific and technological achievements in space. He discusses extending the lifetime of spacecraft and satellites by robotically servicing and refueling in space. This extends a mission’s ability to provide science observations and satellite communications for a much longer duration. Greg also explores the concept of Deep Space Gateways and how NASA is developing robotic tools and technologies to assemble larger spacecraft in deep space. This eliminates the need for astronauts to go into space and perform assembly, as was necessary with the International Space Station.   He also talks about the increasing partnership between NASA and the private sector to drive advancements in space and how the Space Network Ground Segment Sustainment (SGSS) project will decrease ground station footprints by about 90%. This is achieved by leveraging a pooled architecture that detects errors and retrieves additional resources as needed. 

Apr 11, 2018
17 - Constellations, Earth Observation and Open Access to Space
22:02

The economics of space have changed dramatically….satellites today can cost one tenth of previous generations and be delivered in a fifth of the time. Find out how this inflection point is driving innovation in Earth Observation. Listen to Anthony Baker, CEO of Satellite Vu to find out how this inflection point is enabling multiple satellites in constellations to deliver high frequency imagery and situation awareness information derived from automated monitoring and analytics direct to end users.

Apr 06, 2018
14 - New Space, Old Space and Government Space
21:29

With Kay Sears, Vice President, Strategy and Business Development at Lockheed Martin. With the advent of New Space, particularly LEO satellite constellations and HTS satellites, the traditional relationships between government contractors and DoD and civilian agencies have been upended. Hear how “New Space” is affecting government procurement, an ever more congested space environment and an increasingly interdependent relationship between commercial and government space interests. Kay Sears walks us through this transformation.

Mar 26, 2018
16 - Satellites, Lasers and Data at the Speed of Light
19:43

Listen as Michael Abad-Santos, Senior Vice President of LeoSat, explains how optically connected satellites can change the dynamics of satellite communications. Satellites have now become routers and are inter-connected with lasers forming an optical backbone in space. Data travels at the speed of light directly from your terminal to your final destination. Will optically connected satellites create a paradigm shift in the use of satellites for data connectivity – rather than a gap filler or last resort where no terrestrial alternative is available?

Mar 26, 2018
15 - Vessels, Vehicles and Aircraft: You can run but you can't hide
18:00

With Kambiz Aghili, CEO, Blue Sky Network. Satellite tracking systems have been around for a while; but with the advent of mobility applications and IoT their contribution to business success increases.   Learn how asset tracking and two-way communications utilizing hardware, cloud-based software, Iridium satellite service are enabling aviation, marine and land based entities to capture, display, disseminate, and port data from mobile assets to command and control centers.  

Mar 26, 2018
13 - Space Situational Awareness, Space Policy and Bernoulli
25:06

Hear Doug Loverro, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy, share his thoughts on current space policy and the clear need for international agreements and regulation to turn space into an economic reality. Doug discusses space situational awareness and the essential requirement to know where things are and where they are going in order to avoid space collisions that would be catastrophic. He makes an analogy to unregulated city traffic in the 1900’s where the lack of traffic rules clearly enabled chaos and collisions. Space is a vast wilderness with plenty of economic potential, however many companies will not exercise their economic destiny until rules and a clear infrastructure, like traffic signals, are put into place.

Mar 05, 2018
12 - X-Band, Clean Frequencies and Satellite Separation in Space
25:02

Philip shares his thoughts on X-band frequency; space situational awareness, mobility, jamming and the potential of hybrid HTS and broad beam capability. He describes the unique characteristics that differentiate military satellites from commercial satellites. Chief among these is that military satellites in space are mandated to be separated by four degrees, whereas commercial satellites can be separated by as little as one or two degrees, thereby increasing the chance of interference. He explains how military frequencies are “clean” frequencies because they have fewer commercial users and applications on them and are operated by a very well trained user base. Philip goes on to explain why X-band interference is more likely to be intentional, rather than accidental. He also discusses a future where he sees a potential hybrid of HTS and broad beam capability in military satellites.

Feb 26, 2018
11 - Space Debris, Congestion and the Wall-E Effect
21:30

Dr. Michael K. Simpson shares his thoughts on establishing the secure and sustainable use of the space domain. He discusses space sustainability and some of the key challenges to that effort, such as collisions from space debris, intentional efforts to destroy or handicap satellites and the potential lack of cooperation in using space as a shared and protected resource. Michael also explores the potential consequences of a significant event affecting space sustainability which could substantially disrupt the availability of satellite services and incur costs in the trillions to hundreds of billions of dollars. He also talks about how as more countries become involved in space there is a greater common interest in protecting the domain – since more parties are now affected by any potential negative consequences.

Feb 13, 2018
10 - Assured Communications, Resiliency and Paradigm Shifts
24:32

Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch, Senior Vice President, Inmarsat, has been with Inmarsat for over 9 years, plenty of opportunity to see how the commercial satellite industry has changed. However, she started her career with the U.S. Air Force - giving her keen insight to both the military and commercial world.

Rebecca discusses developing commercial SATCOM into a network that operates similar to the cellular network, with users having the ability to plug in, operate and get where they need to be, whether with voice, video or data. She shares her thoughts on a government procurement culture that wants to remain the same, but clashing with technology that cannot be taken advantage of without change.

Jan 24, 2018
9 - SmallSat Launches, Ride-sharing and Re-usability
20:21

Kirk Pysher shares his thoughts on the rapid growth of smallsats and the increasing market opportunity for traditional launch service providers.

He outlines the challenge faced by smallsat operators…..that “it is frequently more expensive to launch a small satellite than build it.”

Kirk argues that the most cost-effective approach for these new satellite operators is to share rides to reduce costs. He states that the cost of launch can be reduced by 50% right away, if the small satellite can be launched with someone else to share the cost. He also discusses the changing launch landscape and the continuing focus on reliability and how that is affecting insurance for launches.  When discussing engine reusability, Kirk makes it clear that the concept isn’t new and that there are many trade-offs in terms of reliability, cost and performance.

Jan 16, 2018
8 - Hypersonics, Torpor and the Valley of Death
26:08

Listen as Caleb Williams, Space Systems Analyst for SpaceWorks, takes you on a tour of the near-term future of space and beyond. He tells us of maturing hypersonic technology and how it will eventually air launch small satellites into space, how technologies such as Torpor will put astronauts or space tourists into a form of stasis for their journey to Mars and how space industry business models will have to adapt to a technological and economic change.

Dec 18, 2017
7 - New Space, Advanced Composites and the Boom of Innovation
20:05

Chris Pearson is a New Space strategist with over 20 years of experience in spacecraft systems engineering. He leads space programs for Roccor, a fast-growth company with special expertise in high strength composite materials and thermal products. Roccor develops advanced deployable space structures, thermal management systems and combat casualty products for the US military, NASA and commercial space companies within the US and Europe.

Chris discusses how recent developments in flexible and bendable Advanced Materials are significantly lowering costs and increasing performance in the space industry. He also talks about the importance of establishing a culture of innovation that facilitates high agility and fast decision making. This enables organizations to closely align development efforts with the technical and business needs of their customers – thus providing a competitive advantage in the market.

Dec 11, 2017
6 - UAVs, Disaster Recovery and Future of HTS
23:41

Rick Lober discusses how the government can take advantage of the latest commercial satcom technologies to lower costs and improve mission performance.  He shares his thoughts on the rapidly advancing UAV technologies, the future of High Throughput Satellites (HTS) in the military and how the government is using satcom technology effectively for disaster recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. He also shares insights into the future of the government space architecture.

Nov 29, 2017
5 - 3-D Printing in Space, Additive Manufacturing and Space Mining
20:16

Andrew Rush shares his thoughts on how 3-D printing in space will enable people to sustainably live and work in space. He discusses how time in space is a precious commodity and how manufacturing in space helps maximize that time by augmenting the mission and increasing astronaut productivity. And, listen as he describes how 3-D printing will enable astronauts to manufacture repair parts, reconfigure the satellite or even manufacture smaller satellites on that larger satellite.

Nov 29, 2017
4 - RF Analytics, SmallSats and Dark Ships
22:07

Rob Rainhart, Senior Vice President of Engineering at HawkEye 360, shares his thoughts on the technology, applications and future potential of space based RF mapping and analytics. 

Nov 14, 2017
2 - Satellites, Cyber Threats and Sun Tzu
24:08

Bob Gourley shares his thoughts on the latest cyber threats affecting satellites and space. He discusses everything from encryption, forensics, connected aircraft to the NIST framework.

Oct 27, 2017
3 - Data Centers in Space, LEO Satellites and Cybersecurity
23:41

Cliff Beek shares  a vision of cloud storage in space that will solve the cybersecurity and jurisdictional challenges posed by today’s worldwide networks.

Oct 27, 2017
1 - Big Data, HTS and Drone Races
23:26

Hear Skot Butler the President of Intelsat General share his thoughts on the New Space trends that are shaping and leading the satellite industry on the Constellations podcast.  Skot discusses a range of topics transforming the industry from High Throughput Satellites (HTS), the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, mobility, and much more.

Oct 12, 2017