June 2017




Eighteen-year-old Rifath Sharook, a resident of Pallapatti in Tamil Nadu, India, will have the honour of creating the world's smallest and lightest satellite, just 4 cms cube, weighing a mere 64 grams.

The satellite, called 'KalamSat', will be launched by a NASA rocket on June 21 - the first Indian student's experiment flown by NASA.

Rifath explained it will be a sub-orbital flight and the mission will last 240 minutes. The tiny satellite will operate for 12 minutes in the micro-gravity environment of space. "The main role of the satellite will be to demonstrate the performance of 3-D printed carbon fiber," explained Sharook. He said the satellite was selected through a competition called 'Cubes in Space' that was jointly organised by NASA and a organization called 'I Doodle Learning.'


ISRO plans to launch 3 satellites during the next 18 months.

GSAT-19, GSAT-11 and GSAT-20 will be orbited to augment India's broadband capacity and connectivity. All 3 satellites have been designed and built indigenously.

The GSAT-19 satellite is scheduled to take off in early June onboard GSLV-Mk III,

I S R O ' s h e a v i e s t rocket, from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.

T h i s would be the maiden flight for GSLV-Mk III, the next g e n e r a t i o n launch vehicle of ISRO capable of launching 4 ton class of satellites to Geosynchronous Transfer orbit (GTO).

"The next big launch will be GSAT-19 in June. With this launch, we will begin a new age of communication satellites. It is also the beginning of highthroughput satellites (in India)," Tapan Misra, director of Ahmedabad-based Space Applications Centre (SAC), ISRO's arm that develops satellite payloads.

GSAT-19 will carry Kaband and Ku-band payload along with a Geostationary Radiation Spectrometer (GRASP) payload to monitor and study the nature of the charged particles and influence of space radiation on spacecraft and electronic components.

On May 5, ISRO successfully launched GSAT-9 - India's gift to South Asia. It will provide disaster support and connectivity among South Asia countries.


SES-15, t h e company's first hybrid s a t e l l i t e offering a mix of Ku Band TV transponders and Ku Band HTS broadband d e l i v e r y , was launched on May 18.

SES-15 is designed to operate for 15 years in geostationary orbit. This is an allelectric 702SP satellite and is the 1 2 t h satellite in more than 25 y e a r s that SES has ordered from Boeing. The satellite includes up to an 8 KW payload and weighs 2.3 tons. It has an electric propulsion system for orbit raising and on orbit manoeuvres.

Typical of today's coorporation across nations, SES- 15 was manufactured by Boeing USA and launched by a Soyuz rocket, by Arianespace, from French Guiana.

SES-15 is positioned at the new orbital location of 129 degrees West, offering extensive coverage over North America, Mexico and Central America, stretching from Arctic Alaska to the South of Panama and from Hawaii to the Caribbean.

SES-15 will also provide inflight broadband connectivity and entertainment from New York to Hawaii & Alaska to Mexico.


SpaceX has outlined the company's plans to launch a high-speed broadband constellation of more than 4,000 satellites, beginning in 2019.

The satellites will tackle "the digital divide" and provide broadband connectivity to the more than 34 million Americans (and other global rural communities) who lack access to 25Mbps broadband.

SpaceX intends to combine technological advancements such as dynamic beam forming and Phased Array Antennas (PAAs) to bring internet to those underserved locations both in & outside the U.S.

SpaceX's system will consist of 4,425 satellites operating in 83 orbital planes at altitudes ranging from 1,110 km to 1,325 km.

SpaceX has separately filed for authority to operate in the V-band, where the company has proposed an additional constellation of 7,500 satellites operating even closer to Earth. In the future, those satellites would provide additional broadband capacity to the SpaceX system and further reduce latency where populations are heavily concentrated.


Iran is preparing to launch two new domestic satellites into space, according to a new announcement by Iranian military leaders that is stirring discussion among U.S. national security insiders who say the move is likely cover for the test firing of advanced intercontinental ballistic missile technology that could be used as part of Iran's nuclear weapons program.

The expertise needed to launch satellites into space is similar to that needed to properly launch intercontinental ballistic missiles, which could potentially reach U.S. soil.

"Now, we have 2 ready-tolaunch satellites. One of them is Amir Kabir sensing satellite and another one is Nahid telecommunication satellite and over 97% of preparation work has been carried out on them," Iranian Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi told the Iranian press.


A European Consortium consisting of the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, WORK Microwave and AVANTI Communications recently completed highly successful overthe- air trials on Avanti HYLAS satellite, employing the latest DVB-S2X modulator and demodulator equipment.

The demonstrations included closing the forward link with a 480 MHz carrier and successfully receiving and demodulating this signal on the ground. The sustained throughput to a single end-user terminal was measured at 1.27 Gbps, leveraging from the DVBS2X time slicing capability that allows the receiver to selectively skip and ignore parts of the incoming signal and thus save on processing power. DVB-S2X as the latest satellite communication standard allows for exceptionally efficient use of spectrum. n