Another great networking event with the BSN, courtesy of Telesat – From HTS to LEO

 

The mid-year gathering of the Broadcasting & Satellite Networking group (BSN), focusing on the topic ‘From HTS to LEO’, was generously hosted by Telesat in a very hospitable Westminster location.

With the recent successful launch of Telesat’s Telstar 19 VANTAGE satellite, providing new HTS Ku and Ka- band capacity across the Americas and Atlantic, BSN members heard from Telesat’s Gordon Grant, Manager International Sales Engineering, regarding the company’s future strategies and new constellations.

Describing the capabilities of Telesat’s new geostationary T19V satellite at 63°W, Mr. Grant highlighted its Ka-band HTS spot beam capacity that covers South America, the Caribbean, North Atlantic and Northern Canada. The satellite’s Ku-band coverages include HTS spot beams over Brazil and the Andean region, along with regional beams over Brazil and the North Atlantic.

For the future, Telesat is now developing an advanced LEO constellation with capacity and performance that could transform global communications. Mr. Grant explained that the system’s design will enable Telesat to offer customers, both in commercial and government markets, with an unsurpassed combination of capacity, speed, security, resiliency and low cost with latency that is as good or better than the most advanced terrestrial networks. Telesat LEO has the potential to become a core component in satisfying many of the world’s most challenging communications requirements such as: accelerating 5G expansion; ending the digital divide with fiber-like high speed services into rural and remote communities; and setting new levels of broadband performance on land, sea and in the air.

Telesat is uniquely positioned to deliver the world’s most advanced and capable LEO constellation given the company’s deep technical expertise, strong track record of innovation, senior spectrum rights, and industry-leading customer service and support. Mobility will be a key market, particularly commercial aviation that is forecasted to see broadband access revenues grow from about $800 million today to over $9 billion by 2028. In the maritime sector, demand is expected to increase a hundredfold, with cruise ship offerings increasing from 10Mbps to 1Gbps to meet customer demand.

Telesat’s Phase 1 LEO satellite was launched January 2018 into a sun synchronous orbit of 1000km with customer testing scheduled later this year. Telesat is now working with leading satellite manufacturers to finalize the design of its constellation that will initially consist of approximately 120 state-of-the-art satellites providing full global coverage. Under the MEF 3.0 umbrella, the network will provide a ‘plug-and-play’ approach for equipment and service delivering ease of access for Telesat’s present and future customers.

The evening was a resounding success, with nearly half of the BSN membership attending.

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SPACE DEBRIS CHALLENGES AND SPACE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS (SSA)

By Bob Gough, Head of Business Development Australia & Asia-Pacific, Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd.

I’m pleased to have been invited to sit on the panel “Debris – What Debris?” on Day 3 of the APSCC 2018 Satellite Conference & Exhibition (APSCC 2018), organised by Asia-Pacific Satellite Communications Council (APSCC), in Jakarta, Indonesia, 2 – 4 October 2018.

Goonhilly Earth Station

It’s of particular interest to me as I’m leading the expansion of Goonhilly Earth Station (GES) in Australia and Asia Pacific and expanding our Deep Space Network and other developments in the region.

Satellite IRG

The Panel moderator is Martin Coleman, Executive Director of the Satellite Interference Reduction Group (sIRG) which has been so proactive and successful over many years to encourage the industry to take positive actions to reduce interference.

But it’s more than just interference that threatens everything we depend upon from space. What we really mean is “Looking after Space!”

Almost everyone in the World is dependent upon satellite services either directly or indirectly for the channels they watch be they domestic or international and for our part satellite interference is still a hot topic for the satellite industry over many years. Space has transformed our lives and enabled globalisation. Corporations, national governments, international agencies and individual citizens now consistently rely on spacecraft-supported communication, navigation and timing, imagery, and remote sensing information capabilities to conduct daily business. Space transportation initiatives have now taken hold. Space is no longer the domain of an extended superpower struggle – it has evolved and become a place of utility for all mankind.

The current orbital environment
Our increased dependency on space capabilities demands an understanding of the associated vulnerabilities in what has become an increasingly congested Earth-orbiting space environment. From just one spacecraft in orbit in 1957, thousands of spacecraft, their associated transportation systems (spent rocket stages) and other related debris have entered the space domain.

Orbital Debris – click to see the NASA Video

While many of these objects have either transited out of Earth orbit or re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrated, nearly 23,000 trackable objects currently remain in orbit. This includes Vanguard 1, the oldest orbiting Earth object, along with 1,150 active spacecraft and thousands of retired spacecraft or other orbiting debris, ranging in size from fragments to 25 metre long rocket stages at altitudes from 100 km to over 120,000 km from the Earth’s surface. Given the significantly reduced atmospheric drag in higher Earth orbits many objects will stay in space for decades, and in geosynchronous orbits (GEOs) objects could remain in space for hundreds of years or more.

Here are links to Analytical Graphics (AGISpaceBook, a real-time satellite viewer, and an Animation based upon real data. These two show visually what the space environment looks like.

The main example for this panel to follow is that of the Joint Space Operations Centre (JSpOC) based in the US, which actively tracks all objects of ‘softball size’ (10 cm) or larger in orbit, using a combination of ground radar and optical systems and some space-based sensors.

Of the 23,000 trackable objects 7,500 are considered very small and are followed only by an extremely limited number of sensors. Degradations among those sensors can have a significant impact on our ability to track and, more importantly, to provide safety of flight for both critical manned and unmanned space vehicles. Remember, the object the size of a marble (1 cm) has the potential to destroy a spacecraft.

Presently such small objects are not tracked, and only rarely are objects between 1 cm and 10 cm consistently tracked. Estimates of the number of such objects in low-Earth orbit (LEO) range between 300,000 and 560,000. It is expected that as sensors and computing systems improve more small debris will be discovered and thousands more of these objects could be tracked.

Before 2007, the number of trackable objects orbiting Earth increased at a predictable rate. But since then, three incidents have completely changed the situation. In 2007 the Chinese carried out an anti-satellite test against their own spacecraft known as Fengyun 1C. Two years later, there was a collision between two spacecraft known as Iridium 33 and Cosmos 2251. And in 2012 the upper stage of a Russian BRIZ-M rocket exploded.

Iridium 33

Kosmos 2251

Together, these events were a watershed. Between them they nearly doubled the number of catalogued objects in orbit, drastically increasing the amount of close approaches between orbiting objects, or ‘conjunctions’, that are detected. Additional debris from those three events are found and tracked nearly every day. JSpOC is set up to notify spacecraft owner/operators around the globe on a continuous basis, giving out information on which they can base collision avoidance manoeuvre decisions.

Space Data Association

Which is why the Space Data Association (SDA) was set up in the first place to complement this vital work done by JSpOC and recognise the problem for the commercial industry. Other organisations such as CSIROJAXAKoreaESA, DLR (German Aerospace), and AGI to name but a few are also heavily involved with similar work and cooperation, bringing vital new developments and technology to remedy the debris problem.
In the Asia Pacific region another key organisation is the Australian Space Environment Research Centre (SERC). The SERC is a collaboration between government agencies, universities and space industry professionals from Australia, USA and Japan. Other key organisations that are active in this field and in this region include the Space Industry Association of Australia(SIAA), the South Australian Space Industry Centre (SASIC) and the new Australian Space Agency.

In general, conjunction warnings are issued that are under 5 km miss distance at GEO or less than 1 km miss distance in LEO and done within 72 hours of the time of closest approach. Currently, the estimated day-to-day statistical chance of a collision is 1×10-6 (one in a million); and 70 per cent of detected conjunctions can be traced back to one of the above three events!

To meet space safety challenges, thousands of observations every 24 hours are collected to generate a current average of 30 daily collision warning notifications that are provided to global spacecraft owners and operators. This gives them position and trajectory information so they can, where possible, take avoidance measures.

The proliferation of smaller spacecraft

Other considerations, that given the inevitable increase in LEO constellations and given that these objects travel at speeds of up to 17,500 mph (more than 10 times the speed of a bullet) collisions of even the smallest objects with any spacecraft could be catastrophic and propagate further debris.

A Typical Cubesat Mission

In addition, there is a growing appetite today for small, inexpensive space payloads. The number of these systems and their size presents opportunities to academics, students, innovators, entrepreneurs and others hoping to access space on a low-cost basis. However, this also creates a related challenge and increased risk to space operations. If not deployed into orbit in a responsible manner, these objects can be exceedingly difficult to identify in a timely manner and could threaten other objects in orbit. The proliferation of CubeSats (usually 10 cm cubes) and associated technology has exacerbated traditional tracking challenges.

In addition, the emerging space transportation industry will also need to consider carefully the spaceflight safety risks from debris.

Increasing partnerships and meeting challenges head-on
The Panel will focus on the following key subject areas…

SSA Collaboration is key
• The significance and enormity of the task area and that no one nation can achieve SSA
without working with others
• The different approaches to SSA (Military, Civil & Commercial)
• Cooperate to ensure SSA develops and with all space programs
• The need for appropriate and proportionate regulation supported by the correct level of technology

Current SSA Trends and Challenges
• Overview of the research conducted by Organisations on space debris
• State of the art Optical communications
• The beginnings of space tourism communications
• Where does the problem lie?
• Next steps

Industry Cooperation for SSA
• Current mitigation Processes and Technologies
• Risk of Collision and damage to the space environment
• Importance of transparent data
• Need for international and industry wide cooperation
• SSA – Are our Models up-to-date?

So it looks like being an interesting Panel discussion with Conference attendees from around the globe, given that the APSCC is one of the major annual international satellite communications conferences in the Asia-Pacific region!

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A Busy Few Weeks for ETL Systems

It’s not just the British weather that has us excited for the summer ahead. One of our members, ETL Systems, has had some truly amazing accomplishments recently and is keeping the ball rolling with plans for the future.

Firstly, I wanted to congratulate ETL for being named Exporter of the Year at the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce Awards. From 140 applicants, to a shortlist of five finalists, ETL Systems were chosen as a clear winner. This was granted due to its strong reputation for high quality and reliable products, which are continuing to raise standards across the industry. We couldn’t be happier for them to have received this award.

This year, ETL Systems has developed and delivered a new StingRay DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) system that will be showcased at IBC. The solution enables high-quality distribution between a satellite antenna and an equipment room. By using its technology, broadcasters will be able to transmit and receive multiple signals over distances up to 100s of kilometres through a single fibre cable. It can maintain a much finer optical spectrum, enabling it to distribute up to 40 channels through one single fibre channel. Therefore covering much larger distances before suffering any signal loss. Furthermore, the addition of pre-amp and post-amp Erbium Doped Fibre Amplifiers further reduces the potential for signal loss. This is great for the industry as it is clear that satellite is under increasing pressure to deliver high quality and performance.

 

ETL will also be demonstrating its existing StingRay CWDM (Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing) system, at IBC, which combines eight optical signals on a single fibre. Other products demonstrated at IBC include the Griffin Redundancy Switch and Hurricane Matrix. If you’re at IBC this year I would suggest you check it out. Also, come and join IRG and ETL Systems on its booth (1.A33) at 4pm on Saturday 15th September for champagne and canapés.

Alongside its plans for IBC, ETL Systems has recently been busy re-launching its website (go check it out).

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Integrasys on the Current State of Interference

IRG is running a member blog series to highlight the interference mitigation activities of its members, and to hear from experts in the field as they offer their thoughts on the current state of interference. Earlier in the year we welcomed ETL Systems to the blog. This time we’re hearing from Alvaro Sanchez, Sales & Marketing Director at Integrasys.

1.    Tell us a bit more about Integrasys

Integrasys is a specialist provider of satellite spectrum monitoring systems for the satellite, telecommunication, and broadcast industries. The main aim of our solutions is to enable fast but efficient installation and monitoring, which also helps to reduce both errors and any associated cost. The Integrasys mission is to build success from innovation, and we have been doing this for more than 28 years; in order to provide the best quality technology available in carrier monitoring systems and VSAT tools. We actually won the World Teleport Association Award for Most Innovative Technology at Satellite 2018 which only strengthens our mission statement!

2.    What do you think the current state of interference is?

There definitely seems to be more discussion around interference, thanks in part to the hard work of IRG which has firmly put the topic at the top of the agenda. Having said this, there is more work to be done in terms of technological solutions to help us solve the problem and mitigate the disruptive effects of interference. We are very pleased to be a member of this organization and we believe we have input many ideas in the group. The group was originally focused on broadcast interference and then drifted to VSAT interference, now it is switching to proactive tools, which is actually what we build for our customers.

Interferences have a massive potential to increase, especially with future HTS deployments and Small Sat constellations. It’s going to be highly important that we put solutions in place to provide better accuracy and efficiency ahead of this.

On top of this, with 640 LEO satellites currently in orbit and another 9,000 due to launch in the next five years, we’re facing an increasingly congested space environment. This does, of course, mark an exciting time for the industry as consumers demand the ability to stay connected wherever they are. But it also means that LEO and MEO operators will need to be able to constantly monitor entire fleets on a 24/7 basis. The satellite industry must put better measures in place in order to ensure the SLAs and the highest Quality of Service.

3.    What would you say has been the most positive recent advancement in interference mitigation technology?

Without any doubt Integrasys’ own solutions are very positive advancements in interference mitigation technology and that is why they have been named multiple times as ‘Most Innovative Technologies’.

Our Alusat, Always Up solution has also been awarded the Best Ground Technology Award at the VSAT Global event, and was labelled a disruptive innovation. Alusat automates RF health checks at the Network Operating Centre without the need to travel to sites and it can also remotely recover terminals that are out of service, perhaps after a disaster. This means a significant cost saving for networks, especially given that Alusat and Satmotion Pocket, our other preventative solution, can cost-effectively share the same hardware.

Satmotion Pocket simplifies the commissioning process by measuring the Copol, Xpol and Adjacent Satellite Interference (ASI) and feeding this back to the installer in such a manner that non-satellite experts can understand.

4.    How are you working to reduce satellite interference?

Integrasys has been working on several new solutions for LEO/MEO operators which have dynamic thresholds for effectively monitoring their carriers and services in preparation for the expansion of these constellations. Our Controlsat HTS topology is another cost-effective solution where we centralise the operation in the main Network Operating Centre (NOC) and spread other less costly systems around the user beams (or in this new constellation case, around several 100s of small gateways).

VSATs are notorious causes of interference and are responsible for a high percentage of all cases. Many of our solutions are enabling VSAT operators to ensure an error-free service, and some, like Satmotion Pocket, are able to be used by even non-satellite professionals due to its simplicity. Satmotion Pocket is compatible with most of the largest VSAT manufacturers and enables an installer to setup and deploy a VSAT correctly without interacting with the NOC.

5.    What do you think are the most interesting innovations in the industry right now?

Satellite has come under threat recently from many new and emerging technologies, but I’ve been impressed by the pace of innovation that the satellite sector has responded with. We definitely haven’t taken this competition lying down and this has resulted in many innovations including HTS. But you can’t talk about satellite innovation without discussing LEO and MEO. As I said above, these constellations represent an exciting era for satellite as they enable the industry to handle the serious traffic expected from the future demand for connectivity.

Of course, the problem with advancing technology is that they often present new challenges that nobody expects until they are dug in. So we must make sure we match the pace of innovation with the advancement of our interference mitigation techniques and tools for the future. I’m looking forward to hearing Martin Coleman discuss the potential of AI and Machine Learning-based technology to solve interference mitigation for future super-networks at the upcoming IRG workshop in Paris.

 6.    Do you have any interesting things planned for the coming months?

We very recently moved into new headquarters due to continuing expansion and this move will allow us to support new customers and partners. Integrasys has grown by 33% in the last four years so we hope to continue this level of growth whilst still providing the same high level of customer service and care.

A new initiative is to provide onsite support in the States to our customers and develop within the US to provide government and commercial users with the best technology developed and supported within North America or Europe.

The next big event on our calendar is CommunicAsia where we’ll be exhibiting at booth 1U14-12 between the 26th – 28th June. Contact us if you’d like to meet to discuss anything from interference to our product portfolio.

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Remembering Dick Tauber

As many of you may be aware, this week we lost a valuable friend and colleague, Dick Tauber. We know that Dick will be sorely missed by the entire industry, with his accomplishments touching many different aspects.

For us, Dick was instrumental in many important initiatives that helped to reduce satellite interference. For many years Dick was chair of the World Broadcasting Union – International Satellite Operators Group (WBU-ISOG), as well as also co-chairing the Radio Frequency Interference – End Users Initiative (RFI-EUI). It was his work that got the broadcasters involved and interested in doing their bit to reduce interference and he was an absolutely crucial link between the broadcasters and satellite operators. I remember being with Dick at NAB 2010 pounding the exhibit floor getting the beginnings of Carrier ID off the ground. 

As well as that, I’m sure anyone that met him will agree that he was a wonderful person, full of humour, always happy to help others, and an absolute pleasure to be around. His absence at the various meetings and events has been sorely missed over recent years and more so in the future.

I would like to extend, on behalf of all of us in IRG, our heartfelt condolences to the Tauber family.

Martin Coleman

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IRG at Satellite 2018

Satellite is a standout show for the industry, and one that we always look forward to attending with our many colleagues and friends who are just as passionate about satellite’s potential and demonstrated prowess as we are. We make no attempts to hide how passionate we are about satellite interference, and how working together as a united industry can help tackle the challenges our industry faces.

Not only that, but we are looking forward to Satellite 2018 as will be celebrating our 20th Anniversary with a half-day workshop, hosted by SES, on the 15th and a champagne reception on the 14th at the Kratos booth (#1700). Click here to find out more.

This year at Satellite, our Executive Director, Martin Coleman will be moderating on a panel entitled ‘Machine Learning to Solve Satellite Interference and Manage Future Networks’. We are going to be exploring how we can apply the emergence of machine learning to satellite interference, exhausting the capabilities of technology to assist in the gathering of data and intelligence to combat the challenges satellite operators face.

As we all know, data is literally everywhere, but there is no need to be overwhelmed by it. By 2020, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe forecasts that the amount of data on a global scale will reach approximately 40 Zettabytes. Imagine what we could do with this data, utilising new processing techniques to solve future interference scenarios at a faster rate. Using complex algorithms, Machine Learning can enable computers to identify items of interest from large quantities of data and identity relationships between that data. This is an enormous concept, but if we can learn how to properly apply this data to satellite situations by collecting the data, asking the right questions of the data, we could use it to make informed decisions, as well as solve problems and educate.

If we retain every statistic, every incident, every detail of satellite interference, eventually, as our Data store grows we can apply deep learning methods to it in order to help us predict and resolve future incidents and potentially help stop them occurring. By collecting those statistics, adding the analysis from interfering signal characteristics to the Data store, certain “signatures” could be extracted that could lead to possible auto-classification of interference types and better user-friendly tools to progress our mission of mitigating interference.

We look forward to delving deeper into this topic at Satellite with the panel, and exploring exactly how Machine Learning can be applied in real-life interference scenarios to assist satellite operators. The panel will be taking place on the 15th March from 11:15am until 12:15pm.

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BSN – Momentum continues in 2018

One year after the re-launch of the BSN-UK (Broadcasting & Satellite Network), 2018 began with the same gusto that has seen the Membership double over the last 12 months; keeping broadcasting and satellite professionals connected with the latest developments in the industry and an opportunity to share their knowledge and ideas as well as network with industry leaders.

This year’s series of networking events was sponsored by Intelsat and attended by our largest group of members since the re-launch. An excellent presentation given by Andrew Faiola , Director Mobility Solutions EMEA & APAC, outlined Intelsat’s EPICNG network of HTS (High Throughput Satellites) satellites, featuring next-generation satellite technology focused on bringing improved connectivity to meet today’s – and tomorrow’s – demanding applications. With over 50 satellites in orbit, the network is also supported by the IntelsatOne®  terrestrial network which operates seamlessly with the satellite network to provide maximum inter-connectivity.

Andrew also went on to describe Intelsat’s strategic partnership with the antenna manufacturers, Phasor and Kynetic, in their development of flat antennas for mobile markets as well as Intelsat’s interest in OneWeb, a low earth orbit (LEO) network of satellites aimed at providing more than 10 terabits per second of data throughput, bringing internet access to billions of individuals around the globe.

If you are interested to join the BSN-UK please visit www.bsnuk.org and join the discussion. More events are being planned throughout 2018.

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ETL Systems - Member Blog Series

To mark 20 years of IRG, we will be running a member blog series in the run up to our Paris Workshop on the 5th of June. We’ll be inviting all of our members to participate, to tell us about all of the exciting things they have planned for the year ahead and what they are currently doing to tackle interference. First up, it’s ETL Systems:

Tell us a bit more about ETL Systems

ETL Systems design and develop a wide range of satellite communications and RF equipment. This includes switch matrices and routers, as well as a vast array of RF components. Across our entire range, our main focus is on building high quality products to ensure a reliable service for our customers. We also customise our products whenever needed to make sure they fit the exact application being used for.

What do you think the current state of interference is?

Unfortunately, interference is still a very big problem that poses significant challenges for the industry. Having said this, there is much more awareness of the issue amongst operators, manufacturers and most importantly the users, as a result of IRG’s global initiatives. Operators and users are considerably more focused on getting the right equipment to stay interference free, which means investing in those of a high-quality – that’s where we come in.

What would you say has been the most positive recent advancement in interference mitigation technology?

I would say that Carrier ID remains the most significant advancement. IRG has been extremely active in driving new technological developments here, but also in driving standardisation. The focus as far as CID is concerned now needs to be on encouraging widespread adoption so it can make a real difference in making interference easily detectable.

How are you working to reduce satellite interference?

As a ground segment equipment manufacturer, our main aim is to provide quality products which enable reliable signal distribution. Of course, this makes business sense to us but it’s absolutely key to preventing interference, too. If you think of equipment as the beginning of all satellite transmissions, using poor quality equipment means you are fighting a losing battle almost before it’s begun.

There are so many factors out of the operator/users control, ensuring product quality is a sure-fire way of reducing errors and therefore protecting against interference.

What do you think are the most interesting innovations in the industry right now?

It looks like 2018 could be the year of the Smallsats, with 2017 seeing more of them launched than any other year to date. This should be positive, given the demand for bandwidth from new apps such as the Internet of Things (IoT). Particularly for the likes of connected cars, the sheer number of Smallsats in orbit could facilitate a significant advancement in the viability of these vehicles and other similar, data-hungry devices/applications.

Do you have any interesting things planned for the coming months?

We’ll be attending several tradeshows, exhibiting our range of RF signal distribution products including the new Griffin L-band and ASI Redundancy Switch and our Hurricane 64/64 L-band Matrix. Our next stop is Delhi for Convergence India in March where we’ll be exhibiting at stand E279. You will also find ETL at Satellite 2018 (stand 837). Find out where to meet us at NAB, IMS, CommunicAsia and IBC on our website.

There will likely be a great deal of change for the satellite industry over the coming year and ahead, driven primarily by both GEO and LEO High-Throughput Satellites (HTS). As already discussed, the demand for services will increase as the consumer demand for constant connection and higher throughputs increases. This will fuel the need for more bandwidth and for the efficiencies afforded by HTS. As a result, this will present a number of challenges for the VSAT sector, driving the need for new products with extra resilience and reliability. At Satellite 2018, we’ll be showcasing our new StingRay VSAT RF over Fibre system, designed to reduce signal loss and ensure a much higher quality feed, whatever the VSAT application.

We look forward to the new challenges which may arise as the industry expands and innovates. We will continue our relationship with IRG, keeping product quality firmly on the interference agenda.


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BSN UK YEAR ENDS ON HIGH NOTE AT ITS ANNUAL OPEN MIC NIGHT

After what has been a very active year for the BSN, with networking meetings sponsored by Inmarsat, Kratos, Access Partnership and our Annual Open Mic Night, sponsored by SES Networks, our membership has more than doubled in numbers since the beginning of 2017!

This year’s Annual Open Mic Night was held, as has become the tradition, at The Yorkshire Grey in London’s Theobald’s Road. Easily accessible for members, it was actively attended by BSN members from a wide range of disciplines across our industry. First on his feet was Martin Coleman, Executive Director of iRG and BSN Board Member. Martin gave an overview of the recent iRG Workshop that had been held in Brighton (and one that was generously offered to BSN members to attend free of charge). His overview included some excellent data on space debris – an issue that is set to become a potentially major issue, especially for the LEO satellite operators in the not too distant future. It seems to be that there are many thousands of pieces of debris of more that 20cm in length, travelling at thousands of miles per hour with the kinetic potential to cause major damage to current and future satellites. Clearly an area the industry needs to keep a close eye on.

Roger Boddy, told us of his new plans for Global Teleports with a new site coming on stream sometime in the New Year. He had also been involved with a project transmitting the first occasional use TV out of Easter Island with Danish Company, QuadSAT. Through the networking power of the BSN, QuadSAT is company with whom Anver Anderson (BSN Secretary) has now been engaged to develop their commercial ‘go to market’ strategy and tactical planning. The BSN is what networking and business building is all about.

We also heard from one of the BSN’s newest members, Richard Jacklin, Director of Sales, Vialite, who gave an overview of ViaLite’s RF over fibre links and systems, which supports the transmission of data of any modulation type with minimal degradation. ViaLite products are optimised for satcom teleports, satellite ground stations, satellite downlinks, VSAT, interfacility linking, cellular networks, TV broadcast and GPS timing signal distribution.

The evening was rounded off with some observations on the industry from Chris Snowdon of Access Partnership.

The BSN UK is grateful for sponsorship for the event by SES Networks and we’re looking forward to an active 2018 ahead.

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Introducing Our Latest Member

Last month, we were very excited to announce that Novella Satcoms has become a member of IRG. Novella has been a well-known figure in the satellite industry for some time, and so we are pleased to finally welcome them into the fold!

In order to introduce our new member, we sat down with the CEO of Novella Satcoms, Dr. Ventura Rufino, for a Q&A session.

Can you tell us a bit more about Novella Satcoms?

Certainly. Novella Satcoms is an established supplier of high performance, often bespoke, RF equipment and solutions for satellite earth stations and CATV systems. Myself and Bill Dransfield founded the company in 1997 and we’re based on the outskirts of Leeds city in West Yorkshire.

In the 1990’s, Bill and I were both part of the RF design team that pioneered satellite earth station equipment using the now widely accepted L-band interface.

At Novella Satcoms, we’ve designed and manufactured a wide range of equipment for satellite stations across the globe, serving lots of high-profile customers including the BBC, BT and the UK, USA and French MOD’s. Our beacon receivers are some of the best in the world in terms of quality, and that’s something we always aspire to across our range of products. We also offer, as standard, a warranty of 36 months, to reflect the quality of our products.

What do you think the current state of interference is?

Although there’s been some great progress thanks to IRG’s tireless efforts to bring together the industry, there is definitely still ground to be made. Carrier ID, when properly implemented by users, has significantly lessened the time-consuming process of solving interference after it has occurred, and I definitely see a receptiveness from broadcasters to join the conversation. After all, satellite is still hugely in demand as much as those in the online video business claim it’s dying out. The fact is, the growth of VSAT terminals and increased congestion in the LEO suggest that interference will only intensify, unless we work together to solve it.

What would you say are the most positive advancements in interference mitigation technology?

At Novella, we truly believe that providing the best quality solutions makes a big impact in terms of reducing errors, including interference. Most cases of interference stem from human error, but also from equipment failure which is a difficult and time-consuming problem to solve. Clearly, enforcing Type Approvals could help here, meaning that only approved, quality products can be used.

It’s great that there are significantly more options available when it comes to solving interference, and even preventing it. Much of this is a result of technological advancements, but this also means that although equipment is becoming more advanced, it shouldn’t be less reliable or more difficult to use, and that’s where we come in.

We’re really excited to have joined IRG and are looking forward to getting involved in the group’s latest initiatives and events.

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