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(3 September 2020 – Kepler Communications) Kepler’s Low Earth Orbit constellation expanded earlier today with the successful launch of its third satellite.

This satellite, internally referred to as TARS, was launched onboard the Arianespace Vega SSMS (Small Spacecraft Mission Service) from the Guiana Space Centre at approximately 01:51 UTC, with communication established shortly thereafter.

Developed as part of the UK’s Satellite Applications Catapult’s In-Orbit Demonstration (IOD) programme, IOD-5 TARS is the final pathfinding satellite launched by Kepler ahead of the deployment of their GEN1 satellites set to launch in the coming months. The satellite bus and integration work was completed in partnership with AAC Clyde Space at their facility in Scotland, with launch services provided by Innovative Space Logistics B.V (ISL). The satellite joins Kepler’s two other satellites, both launched in 2018, and will bring additional capacity to Kepler’s Global Data Services (GDS) data backhaul offering. This capacity will enable Kepler to increase the service level of GDS for existing users as well as add new users who have been awaiting the service.

In addition, TARS will advance the capabilities of Kepler’s constellation with the addition of narrowband support for IoT applications. Kepler became the first to provide Ku service from low earth orbit with the launches in 2018, and with TARS will become the first to provide both Ku and narrowband from a single platform in LEO, a feat made possible by Kepler’s proprietary Software Defined Radio technology. Demand for Kepler’s IoT service has been building since the announcement of the Kepler IoT DevKit, which will now be released to early program participants.

“TARS represent another important and incremental step in Kepler’s Mission to deliver the Internet in space” said Mina Mitry, Chief Executive Officer at Kepler. “We’ve seen great demand for our GDS Service, and we have significant pent-up demand for our IoT service. Based on customer discussions we’ve heard of the clear need for a global, affordable IoT solution across a range of industries, from monitoring to asset tracking to smart agriculture and beyond. With TARS and the GEN1 satellites to follow, we’ll start to address those needs.”

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Kepler’s TARS (courtesy: Kepler Communications)

Jeffrey Osborne, VP of Business Development at Kepler added that “The development and launch of TARS represents a truly successful outcome for the Catapult’s IOD program. Our partnership with SAC contributed not only to the build and launch of TARS, but was also fundamental in our choice to have the UK as the site of our first international expansion and first international hire. We look forward to continuing to advance our business in the UK and Europe, and further collaboration with the space ecosystem there”

Stuart Martin, CEO, Satellite Applications Catapult said: “We have been delighted to work with Kepler Communications on this mission and to build on our Canada-UK relationship. With LEO satellite communications becoming a necessary and fast-growing sector, we are looking forward to seeing IOD-5 TARS support this growth with its new IoT service capabilities.”

Kepler’s currently available Global Data Service (GDS) covers every part of the globe, from pole to pole, and allows the movement of Gigabytes of data to and from the user’s location at economic rates. With this launch, Kepler’s EverywhereIoT service will offer the same global coverage for IoT applications, with data plans that support a wide range of applications across a wide range of industries and use cases. Visit kepler.space to learn more and explore how Kepler is enabling communication solutions that enable the movement of all types of data from all points on the globe.

About Kepler Communciations

Kepler is a satellite telecommunications provider based in Canada, backed by Costanoa Ventures, IA Ventures and other leading investors. Kepler’s mission is to connect people and things Everywhere, on earth and beyond. To this end, Kepler will build an in-space telecommunications network through an incremental deployment of products and technologies. The first to launch and operate a Ku-band satellite service in Low Earth Orbit, Kepler has recently announced the commissioning of a cubesat manufacturing facility at their Toronto headquarters.

About Satellite Applications Catapult

The Satellite Applications Catapult is an independent innovation and technology company, created by Innovate UK to drive economic growth through the exploitation of space. We work with businesses of all sizes to realise their potential from space infrastructure and its applications, and we bring together multi-disciplinary teams to generate ideas and solutions in an open innovation environment.

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Paradigm’s SWARM950 type approved for use on Inmarsat with ST Engineering iDirect 950mp

Paradigms SWARM950 type approved for use on Inmarsat with ST

(20 October 2020- Paradigm) Paradigm’s rugged carry-on SWARM950 terminal is now Type Approved on Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network, providing extreme flexibility for high throughput, secure data services around the world.

The SWARM950 is powered by the PIM providing the user with higher throughputs as a result of its enhanced power offering. With its ST Engineering iDirect 950mp modem, it also offers military grade security over both the commercial and military satellite frequencies.

(courtesy: Paradigm)

Jon Godfrey, Paradigm’s General Manager stated: “Our SWARM terminal has always outperformed other hand carry satcom terminals, now with the highly capable 950mp modem and type approval on GX it will be impossible to beat for high throughput and flexibility in every location around the world”.

The PIM in the SWARM950 is the brains behind the terminal. It provides network flexibility and intelligent operation to the user and enables the terminal to achieve the highest possible throughput in any location, as well as having the ability to operate in TRANSEC mode and being FIPS 140-2 encryption compliant, as required.

Already recognised as a low SWaP terminal, the SWARM950 provides full Mil-Ka and Ka-Band operation and can also operate in either Ku or X-band as operational requirements demand. The PIM950 is lightweight, power-efficient and industrialised to MIL-STD in order to meet the most rigorous military and government demands for mobile, tactical terminals providing security and always-on broadband capabilities.

“Adding the 950mp modem alongside a Mil-Ka capable, higher power BUC creates a highly flexible hand carry system which enables end users to use G2X Land services over Global Xpress anywhere in the world, whilst also accessing their own national MILSATCOM systems on the same device. With options to switch to other bands on the same easy to use system, this is an extremely versatile, low SWAP government user terminal” said James Marley, Sales Director, Land Sector, Inmarsat Global Government.

This flexibility of the SWARM950 is enhanced even further by the PIM terminal controller offering a simple to use interface for the modem, baseband switching, pointing and setup functions. The PIM has a built-in visual crosshair and audio pointing device so that any non-skilled user can easily operate the terminal reducing both training and operational costs. With only three parts to assemble, the SWARM950 can also be setup in under 90 secs. The PIM also supports Power over Ethernet devices and provides a multitude of services to the end user – from VLAN setup and management to smart auto-selecting of AC and DC power interfaces.

The SWARM950 will give Military and Government users operating at multiple locations all over the world the capability to achieve data, voice and video connectivity at the level they require.

“It’s essential that troops operating in harsh, challenging environments have the communications equipment that can withstand the conditions,” commented Koen Willem, Head of International Government Satcom, ST Engineering iDirect. “SWaP, security and efficiency are built into both the 950mp board and the SWARM terminal so that users can be assured of maximum uptime and throughput wherever and whenever it’s needed.”

About Paradigm

Paradigm provides state-of-the-art satcom solutions, making satellite communication simple for everyone. Military & Government, NGOs and Commercial & Enterprise customers are all supported with easy-to-use, cost-effective and state-of-the-art global satellite communication solutions.

Paradigm has extensive engineering experience designing, manufacturing and delivering customised satellite terminals and earth stations for a wide range of industries and sectors, developing close relationships with customers, and giving valuable insight into their key requirements.

Paradigm is a UK-based, independent and privately owned company with Europe’s largest satcom warehouse. Incorporating an extensive logistics capability, Paradigm is able to deliver extremely efficient and cost-effective global services and unique solutions, from the provision of satcom equipment and terminals to the design and installation of complete turnkey systems.

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Thales Alenia Space selected by Airbus as partner to the Mars Sample Return Mission

Thales Alenia Space selected by Airbus as partner to the

(14 October 2020 – Thales) Thales Alenia Space has signed an Authorization To Proceed (ATP) with Airbus Defence and Space, prime contractor of the program, to contribute to the Earth Return Orbiter (ERO), the key element of the Mars Sample Return (MSR) Mission, which will be carried out through an international cooperation led by NASA.

A first tranche, worth around €11 million, will be related to the B2 phase for a global contract value of around €130 million.

(courtesy: ESA)

Thales Alenia Space will be responsible for:

  • supplying the Communication System, consisting of the elements allowing the data transmission between Earth and ERO and Mars
  • designing the crucial Orbit Insertion Module (OIM) and related thermo-mechanical, propulsion and electrical architectures
  • the Assembly Integration and Test (AIT) phase for the Proto-Flight model of the ERO Spacecraft composing elements in its test facilities of Turin and Toulouse.

The Earth Return Orbiter spacecraft is composed by the Return Module and the Orbit Insertion Module. The Return Module (RM) hosts the NASA payload devoted to the capture of the Martian samples orbiting around Mars, of their containment and delivery to Earth. The Orbit Insertion Module (OIM) is an additional chemical propulsive stage, for inserting the spacecraft into Mars orbit. This module is crucial as he will allow to reduce the spacecraft velocity enabling the Martian gravity to capture ERO in a stable orbit. After the maneuver successfully completed, IOM will be separated from RM in order to save mass prior to the return to Earth.

Hervé Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space stated: “We are enthusiastic to be part of the core team on this revolutionary mission of bringing Mars to Earth, that will open a new frontier in Mars exploration missions. Mars Sample Return has an immense scientific importance, that could lead to new findings regarding Martian geology, climate and life itself. Our involvement in this new mission is not only reflecting our Space for Life aspiration but will take advantage of all we already have developed in term of technologies including the planetary protection duty.”

Massimo Claudio Comparini, Senior Executive Vice President Observation, Exploration and Navigation at Thales Alenia Space, added: “Thales Alenia Space will bring its expertise in the Mars exploration domain, leading the ExoMars 2016 and 2022 missions to search for life on the Red Planet. The Trace Gas Orbiter launched in 2016 in orbit around Mars is analyzing the Martian atmosphere before becoming the communication relay for all the upcoming missions landing on Mars”.

Leonardo is also widely involved in Mars exploration missions, from the ExoMars 2016 and 2022 missions to the Mars Sample Return program. On this latter program, Leonardo is studying and designing the two robotic arms that will collect and transfer the Martian samples on the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV).

About the Mars Sample Return mission

By 2031, the Mars Sample Return mission will collect in situ Mars surface samples and bring them back for study in terrestrial laboratories. Firstly, the MSR Sample Retrieval Lander will descend to the planet’s surface carrying the Sample Fetch Rover (SFR) and the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). SFR will collect the samples from the Martian surface that have been cached by the NASA Mars 2020 Perseverance rover and the SFR will transfer these samples into Mars Ascent Vehicle, a mini-rocket developed by NASA, which will launch them into Mars orbit. In that moment, the ERO spacecraft, that will be launched in 2026, will be ready to locate and capture the samples released by the MAV. After the capture, the samples will then be sealed in a biological containment system and placed inside an Earth Entry Vehicle. ERO will then leave Martian orbit and head back to Earth. When it arrives back in Earth orbit, it will release the Earth Entry vehicle that will be recovered on ground and the sample analyzed.

About Thales Alenia Space

Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of approximately 2.15 billion euros in 2019 and has around 7,700 employees in nine countries.

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Gilat Satellite Networks chosen by Southern Linc for 4G cellular backhaul services

Gilat Satellite Networks chosen by Southern Linc for 4G cellular

(19 October 2020 – Gilat) Gilat Satellite Networks has been awarded by three-year managed service contract for cellular backhaul by Southern Linc.

Gilat met Southern Linc’s requirements of enabling embedded accelerated MPLS traffic, coupled with cellular 4G with GTP acceleration, a major technological innovation in satellite transmission.

The agreement will enable Southern Linc to use satellite transmission for backhaul services when established networks are unavailable. Gilat satellite installations will be used to extend cellular coverage for voice and high-speed data services in remote and terrestrially challenged areas and in areas affected by severe weather. Gilat will also provide backup for terrestrial aggregation sites and an underlining level of monitoring and support for Southern Linc’s large-scale LTE network.

Gilat services met Southern Linc’s challenge to provide high reliability with very strict requirements, including MPLS support. Gilat services will provide transparent and simplified accelerated backhauling over satellite and enterprise and 4G cellular traffic over MPLS. These services, coupled with Gilat’s patented GTP acceleration technology are delivered with Gilat’s SkyEdge II-c platform.

“We are happy to award the managed service cellular backhaul over satellite contract to Gilat, who was really the only vendor that could meet Southern Linc’s demanding requirements,” said Southern Linc Director of Engineering Alan McIntyre. “Gilat services can help us improve service reliability and coverage particularly in more remote areas, and they will be a great support in times of emergency for our fleet of deployable network assets.”

“Gilat is honored to have been selected by Southern Linc for the managed service 4G CBH project and is proud to have been the sole vendor to meet their stringent requirements,” said Gilat Global Broadband Networks Vice President Michal Aharonov. “This achievement further validates Gilat’s proven technological superiority and testifies to our industry leadership in cellular backhaul.”

About Southern Linc

Southern Linc is a wireless communications company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Southern Company. Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is a leading energy company serving 9 million customers with clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy. Southern Linc delivers highly reliable, highly secure wireless voice and data services via the CriticalLinc™ 4G LTE Advanced network to Southern Company electric utilities as well as to a wide range of businesses and public sector agencies across Alabama, Georgia, southeastern Mississippi, and the Florida panhandle. The CriticalLinc network provides over-the-air encryption from devices to towers and supports encryption from towers to the network’s core data centers. This mission-critical network design conveys a highly reliable suite of LTE services that will support the most critical business processes.

About Gilat

Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. (NASDAQ: GILT, TASE: GILT) is a leading global provider of satellite-based broadband communications. With 30 years of experience, we design and manufacture cutting-edge ground segment equipment, and provide comprehensive solutions and end-to-end services, powered by our innovative technology. Delivering high value competitive solutions, our portfolio comprises of a cloud based VSAT network platform, high-speed modems, high performance on-the-move antennas and high efficiency, high power Solid State Amplifiers (SSPA) and Block Upconverters (BUC).

Gilat’s comprehensive solutions support multiple applications with a full portfolio of products to address key applications including broadband access, cellular backhaul, enterprise, in-flight connectivity, maritime, trains, defense and public safety, all while meeting the most stringent service level requirements. Gilat controlling shareholders are the FIMI Private Equity Funds.

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