For many years, companies such as Space Expeditions, Space Adventures and even some airlines have been seriously talking about lofting paying passengers into space on privately operated (non-governmental) vehicles. When Burt Rutan’s SpaceShipOne won the X-Prize on Oct. 5, 2004, it dawned on people that this idea was a real near-term probability.
Iridium disclosed plans for a future constellation to replace the 66 low-earth-orbit satellites that make up its current satcom network. Speaking at the Satellite 2007 conference in Washington, D.C., company officials said the “Iridium Next” constellation will maintain the current service’s “cross-linked” architecture but will use Internet Protocol technology to deliver broadband data and voice communications services to users.
Iridium last month disclosed plans for a future satellite constellation to replace the 66 low-earth-orbit satellites that make up its current satcom network.
A British aerial filming business played a small part in last month’s successful landing of a European Space Agency probe on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan. Helifilms, the firm that delivered the aerial TV pictures at last year’s Athens Olympics (AIN, October 2004, page 113), helped develop the drogue parachutes that lowered the probe safely onto the moon’s surface.
Datalink weather may be nothing new, but many believe it is much improved thanks to subscription-based services from XM Satellite Radio that are taking the aviation world by storm.
While the FAA’s current WAAS network offers equipped users with improved GPS performance across the continental U.S. and Alaska, it still does not provide the redundancy and reliability required from an aviation navigation service. So the FAA has now contracted to obtain additional geostationary satellites (GEOs) to rectify this shortcoming.
Honeywell has completed initial flight and ground testing of its AIS-2000 multi-regional airborne satellite television system in the Middle East. During testing in a Gulfstream IV-SP, signal performance and video quality were recorded to verify coverage areas. Honeywell assessed system performance by monitoring non-subscription channels available on the Nilesat and Arabsat DBS satellites, according to the company.
Iridium’s new chief executive comes to the job following seven consecutive quarters of profitability and with plans in place to replace the communication network’s constellation of 66 satellites starting in 2013.
The Iridium satellite network is the medium for TextLink, a new portable satellite data communications package developed by Paradigm Services that will enable British soldiers on deployment to maintain contact with family and friends.
The Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner which made a record flight between Hong Kong and London earlier this month was equipped with technology from AeroMobile, a joint venture between Arinc and Telenor, enabling passengers to use cell phones en route.