Apscc monthly Newsletter November 2011

Spacenet Mexico Launches Digital Cinema Distribution Network Powered by iDirect's Evolution Platform

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Spacenet Mexico Launches Digital Cinema Distribution Network Powered by iDirect's Evolution Platform

October 11, 2011 - VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect) announced that Spacenet Communications Services de Mexico S.A. de C.V. (Spacenet Mexico), a licensed provider of satellite and video services to Mexico and Latin America, has launched an iDirect Evolution satellite network to distribute live HD content and digital movies to cinema complexes throughout Mexican cities. The network will provide critical connectivity from Spacenet Mexico’s teleport where live content is downlinked, produced and then immediately redistributed to cinema complexes across the country. Spacenet Mexico purchased and installed an iDirect series 15100 universal satellite hub at its Mexico City-based teleport, which complements its existing tier III+ teleport in Puebla.

RRsat’s Additional 3D Programming for FashionTV to Responds to Increased Demand for 3D TV Content

October 11, 2011 - RRsat Global Communications Network Ltd. will broadcast an increase in 3D programming for FashionTV H3D on AsiaSat 5, Eurobird 9a and Intelsat 805 satellites. Due to its belief in the rapid penetration of 3D TV sets, FashionTV has decided to extend its FashionTV H3D broadcast of 3D fashion shows. Viewers and operators of AsiaSat 5, Eurobird 9a and Intelsat 805 satellites have been able to experience FashionTV's 3D programming in the beta test mode four times a day for 10 minutes each. After ten months of testing, FashionTV has decided to extend this to a regular 30 minute 3D window four times per day beginning December 1, 2011.

NDS Technology Powers New Anytime VOD Service for Sky Deutschland

October 11, 2011 - NDS announced that its technology is powering the new Sky Anytime push video-on-demand (VOD) service for Sky Deutschland, the largest pay-TV operator in Germany and Austria. The new service was launched in August for satellite subscribers with Sky+ and will be available for all Sky+ subscribers later this year. Enabled by NDS’ MediaHighway™ set-top box software, Sky Anytime provides Sky+ customers with a wide range of on-demand content, including selected movies from their subscribed film packages as well as high quality entertainment and sport programs. A wide selection of content is ‘pushed’ onto the Sky+ hard disc overnight in a way that makes efficient use of broadcast bandwidth, the majority of which is available in HD. Accordingly each day a new selection of content is available through the Sky Anytime service for instant playback, including the latest blockbuster releases from “Sky Select”.

EMC Announces Breakthrough in HD Videoconferencing over Satellite

October 11, 2011 - Emerging Markets Communications (EMC) announced the general availability of its affordable new high quality HD Connect On Demand satellite technology, which offers significant breakthroughs for the telepresence, videoconferencing and visual collaboration industry. The first high definition (HD) videoconferencing over satellite service available in an affordable, on demand, 'pay as you go' manner, HD Connect is available now for deployment to Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia -- and soon to China as well as Central and South America. HD Connect allows governments, multinational corporations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in hard to reach areas of the world to use HD videoconferencing, telepresence and visual collaboration anywhere, anytime (on land, sea or in the air), at a fraction of the price of a typical dedicated satellite data circuit.

Turner Delivers Global News and Entertainment with SES

October 12, 2011 - SES announced that Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.), a Time Warner company, has signed capacity renewal agreements for nearly seven transponders on four satellites to enable the distribution of news and entertainment programs throughout North America and Europe. TBS relies on more than ten transponders on SES satellites for global coverage. As part of the multi-year, multi-satellite deal, TBS, Inc. is using five transponders of Ku-band capacity aboard SES’ AMC-3 satellite. Four transponders are used for CNN satellite news gathering (SNG) across the U.S. and Canada and one is used for distribution of CNN Newsource to more than 800 domestic affiliates. The SNG coverage will seamlessly migrate to the new SES-2 satellite once the spacecraft initiates service in the 87 degrees West orbital slot next month. An additional 8 MHz of capacity is being used to provide voice communications between remote SNG news trucks and CNN in Atlanta.

NDS Reaches 20 Million Digital Homes in India, 100 Million Viewers

October 19, 2011- NDS announced that in the rapidly growing Indian pay-TV market its technology is providing an enhanced TV viewing experience in 20 million homes. With an industry estimated average of five people per household, NDS is enabling a compelling, next-generation TV experience for 100 million viewers; a milestone that reinforces the company’s position as the leading supplier of digital pay-TV solutions in India.

Eutelsat's Atlantic Bird™ 7 Satellite Goes Live

October 24, 2011 - Eutelsat Communications announces the full entry into commercial service of its high-capacity ATLANTIC BIRD™ 7 satellite one month after its launch to 7 degrees West. The transfer of all television channels onto ATLANTIC BIRD™ 7 at 7 degrees West from the ATLANTIC BIRD™ 4A satellite was completed in the early hours of October 23 by Eutelsat's control centre, working in close collaboration with broadcast clients and providers of uplink services. More than 400 TV channels are now broadcasting via ATLANTIC BIRD™ 7 into almost 30 million homes located from the North African Atlantic coastline across to the Gulf states. The satellite's increased Ku-band capacity delivers headroom for growth at the premier video neighbourhood in the region. Its significantly enhanced footprint will also enable broadcasters to expand reach into satellite homes, notably across North Africa and in the Gulf.

Global Broadcasters Choose SES to Cover the Pan American Games

October 25, 2011 - SES announced that two world-class broadcast organizations, Televisa and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), are using its occasional use satellite capacity to enable the contribution and distribution of the 2011 Pan American Games taking place in Guadalajara, Mexico where over 6.000 athletes from 42 nations are competing. Televisa is utilizing more than a full transponder of C-band capacity on SES' AMC-9 satellite for local contribution. More and more broadcasters are relying on the enhanced regional coverage of AMC-9, which is fast becoming one of Mexico's top video neighborhoods.

Intelsat and du Expand Television Program Distribution Solutions on Intelsat 10

October 26, 2011 - Intelsat has partnered with du, a leading integrated telecommunications service provider in the United Arab Emirates, to jointly offer turnkey multichannel per carrier (MCPC) television program distribution solutions on the Intelsat 10 satellite. Located at 68.5 degrees East, the Intelsat 10 satellite offers a premier video neighborhood spanning Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. The new MCPC platform, part of the IntelsatONE network, will enable programmers in the Middle East to reach viewers in these growing regions. The platform leverages MPEG-4 and DVB-S2 technology to optimize bandwidth and offer cost-effective solutions for customers.

Intelsat Announces Capacity Agreements with Turner Broadcasting

October 27, 2011 - Intelsat announced capacity agreements with Turner Broadcasting on two Intelsat satellites. Turner Broadcasting has extended its long-term commitment on Intelsat 9, and has committed to new capacity on Intelsat 11 as part of two multi-year deals. Turner Broadcasting will continue to provide standard-definition content on Intelsat 9, and will offer high-definition programming on Intelsat 11 to its customers in Latin America. Turner has historically used Intelsat's fleet exclusively for its Latin American distribution platforms. Together with Intelsat 805, the three satellites are the premier content distribution platforms for television in the region.

MobiTV Introduces TV Everywhere Solution for Cable, Satellite and IPTV Service Providers

October 27, 2011 - MobiTV, Inc. is introducing a TV Everywhere solution for cable, satellite and IPTV service providers, leveraging the company's expertise in providing video delivery solutions for mobile devices, personal computers and other Internet-enabled consumer electronics. Based on MobiTV's existing cloud-based video distribution platform, TV service providers can now offer their subscribers live and on-demand programming for viewing inside and outside the home on personal computers, tablets and a broad range of mobile devices.

RRSat Launches Second DVB-S2 Platform on MEASAT-3a

October 27, 2011 - RRsat announced that it is offering services on its second DVB-S2 MCPC platform on MEASAT-3a. The SD/HD video channels on the MEASAT-3/3a satellites currently reach over 50 million pay-TV households in the Middle East, North Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, Australia/Oceana, and parts of Africa. RRsat has provided an end-to-end managed fiber and satellite uplink and teleport service, including optional playout, via MEASAT-3a since October 2010. The first RRsat DVB-S2 platform is booked almost entirely with HD/3D channels including Sky News HD, All Sports Network (ASN), GinxTV, iConcerts, BabyTV Asia, Bigfoot TV, Unitel Classica Asia and Nat Geo Music.

Mega Media Indonesia Partners with Irdeto to Launch Parabola

October 27, 2011 - PT Mega Media Indonesia, the country’s newest player in direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast services, has selected Irdeto’s conditional access (CA) solution to launch ‘Parabola Orange TV’ pay TV services. Parabola Orange TV broadens Indonesia’s access to digital TV broadcast services through a combination of post-paid subscription and a “Prepaid Plus” concept while offering unlimited free-to-air viewing. Through its alternative Prepaid Plus offering, Parabola Orange TV allows greater flexibility of consumers’ access to a variety of TV programs of their choice without having to be tied a fixed subscription fee and fixed channels. Irdeto provided Mega Media Indonesia with its proven Cloaked CA solution, a fully renewable software-based conditional access solution that enables Parabola OrangeTV to offer premium content while having the flexibility to adopt a wide variety of business models.

High TV 3D Becomes First 24/7 3D Channel to Broadcast at 1 Degree

October 27, 2011 - Telenor Satellite Broadcasting (TSBc) has announced the launch of High TV 3D, a 24/7 channel for the Nordic region, on TSBc’s THOR 6 satellite, located at 1 degree West, one of Europe’s fastest-growing orbital hotspots. High TV 3D will initially reach audiences in Norway only and will distributed to viewers via Canal Digital’s DTH satellite-TV service as part of the standard family package. High TV 3D, one of the first 3D TV entertainment channels to broadcast worldwide, is the first such channel to be launched in the Nordic region. Its launch follows successful trials and one-off broadcasts (both free-to-air and subscriber-based) of live sports events.

Viasat Broadcasting Adds CTC-International to Its Pay-TV Offering in the Baltic

October 31, 2011 - Viasat Broadcasting has signed a five year exclusive agreement with CTC Media, Russia’s independent media company, to distribute the international version of the CTC channel in the Baltic territories. The channel will be broadcast on the Viasat satellite pay-TV platform, as well as on third party cable and IPTV networks. Viasat Broadcasting is a subsidiary of Modern Times Group (MTG), which owns 38.2% of CTC Media. CTC-International will be made available from 31 October 2011 to Viasat subscribers in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

MBC Group Picks Atlantic Bird 7 to Support HDTV Roll-Out

October 31, 2011 - Eutelsat Communications and MBC Group announce the signature of a multiyear contract for capacity on Eutelsat's new ATLANTIC BIRD™ 7 satellite at 7 degrees West. The lease of a full transponder will enable MBC to expand its platform of channels addressing viewers in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly new HD content which the Group is preparing to launch in January 2012. The announcement was made at Digital TV Middle East, the broadcast and broadband conference taking place in Dubai from November 1 to 2.

NASA Modifies Launch Service Contract to Add Delta II Rocket

October 3, 2011 - NASA announced the modification of its NASA Launch Services (NLS) II contract with United Launch Services to add the Delta II rocket launch service in accordance with the contract's on-ramp provision. The modification will enable United Launch Services to offer as many as five Delta II rockets. The NLS II contracts are multiple award, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts with ordering periods through June 2020. The NLS II on-ramp provision provides an opportunity annually for new launch service providers to compete for future missions and allows existing launch service providers to introduce launch vehicles not currently on their NLS II contracts. The NLS II contracts provide for a minimum capability of delivering agency payloads weighing approximately 550 pounds or more to a minimum 124-mile-high circular orbit with a launch inclination of 28.5 degrees. The launch service providers also may offer a range of vehicles to NASA to meet higher payload mass and orbit requirements.

Success of the 1,776th Launch of Soyuz

October 3, 2011 - The 1,776th flight of a Soyuz launch vehicle was performed on 3 October 2011 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia. Arianespace and its Russian partners report that the governmental spacecraft was accurately placed on the target orbit for another mission to the International Space Station. This was the eleventh Soyuz family mission in 2011. With the introduction of Soyuz at the Guiana Space Center (CSG), this famed Russian medium-class launch vehicle will become an integral part of the European launch vehicle fleet, together with the heavy-lift Ariane 5 and the lightweight Vega. To be offered to the commercial market, the Soyuz in French Guiana is Europe's reference medium-class launch vehicle for governmental and commercial missions.

Astrium to Build EUTELSAT 9B Communications Satellite

October 4, 2011 - Astrium has been selected by Eutelsat Communications to build EUTELSAT 9B, a high-power broadcast satellite addressing high-growth video markets in Europe, to be launched at the end of 2014 and located at Eutelsat’s 9 degrees East video neighbourhood. Over its 15-year mission lifetime, EUTELSAT 9B will operate up to 66 Ku-band transponders connected to a broad European widebeam and four regional beams over European countries. It will increase Eutelsat’s capacity for video services in Europe, providing wide coverage for channels seeking maximum reach into satellite homes and terrestrial headends, as well as regional footprints addressing linguistic markets for digital TV in Italy, Germany, Greece and the Nordic/Baltic regions. In addition to its broadcast mission, EUTELSAT 9B will host the first data relay payload for the European Data Relay Satellite System (EDRS) being implemented through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between Astrium and ESA.

Astrium Partners with ESA for European Data Relay System

October 4, 2011 - Astrium will partner with the European Space Agency (ESA) to design, deliver and operate the European Data Relay System (EDRS). The EDRS’s two telecommunication payloads in geostationary orbit will enable broadband, bi-directional data relay between Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites and an associated ground segment via either of the EDRS payloads. The EDRS increases the time LEO spacecraft can be in communication with the ground and enables immediate broadband data transfer to the user. It also provides the capability to re-programme LEO Earth observation (EO) satellites in almost real-time. This ensures the timely acquisition and delivery of imagery following natural disasters, and helps emergency services on the ground to accurately map the affected areas and effectively coordinate response efforts. Currently, LEO satellites can only be reprogrammed and images can only be received when the satellites pass over a specific geographic location with a dedicated ground station.

Intelsat 18 Satellite Successfully Launched by Sea Launch

October 5, 2011 - Sea Launch AG has successfully completed its 5th Land Launch mission with the successful launch of the Intelsat 18 communications satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch complex in Kazakhstan. Built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, Intelsat 18 will have a useful life of nearly 17 years. The satellite carries Ku- and C-band payloads, and will be located in an orbital slot at 180 degrees East. Specially shaped Ku-band beams will provide DTH services to Australia, New Zealand, French Polynesia and dozens of other islands in the region, while also supporting maritime services in the South Pacific. The satellite's C-band antennas will blanket the western United States, eastern Asia and the Pacific Ocean with high-speed data connectivity.

Eutelsat's W3C Satellite Successfully Launched by Long March 3B Rocket

October 7, 2011 - Eutelsat Communications announced the successful launch of its W3C satellite by a Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China. Built by Thales Alenia Space, W3C will replace the EUROBIRD™ 16, W2M and SESAT 1 satellites at 16 degrees East. Through its configuration of 56 transponders, (53 Ku and 3 Ka), it will address markets for broadcasting and telecom/data services via four footprints. W3C is based on the Thales Alenia Space Spacebus 4000 platform, with a scheduled in-orbit lifetime exceeding 15 years. Eutelsat's in-orbit expansion programme will continue with the launch of six additional satellites from 2012 to 2014.

Russia Completes Deployment of Global Positioning Satellites

October 7, 2011 - Russia has completed the deployment of its global positioning satellite group Glonass. Glonass, the Russian equivalent of the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), is designed for both military and civilian use. The system requires 24 operational and 2-3 reserve satellites in orbit to ensure global coverage. Currently, there are 28 Glonass satellites in orbit -- 23 of them are operating, two are being put into service, and three are out for maintenance.

Thales Alenia Space to Study UAS Command and Control by Satellite for ESA

October 10, 2011 - Thales Alenia Space has won a contract from the European Space Agency (ESA) to lead a nine-month study regarding satellite communications solutions for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The ESPRIT (Emerging system concepts for UAS command & control via satellite) study will focus on the provision of communication capacity for Command & Control (C2) links to Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAVs) flying through civilian airspace. As of today, UAVs are operated exclusively in so-called “segregated airspace” where they do not interfere with non-military aircraft. As the leader of an industrial consortium for ESPRIT, Thales Alenia Space will study solutions at both spectrum and system levels. To cover all aspects of the domain, its team includes major actors in the aeronautical satellite communications, UAS, space systems and regulatory issues.

India Launches Monsoon Tracking Satellite

October 12, 2011 - India launched its latest satellite, the Megha-Tropiques, and three other satellites into space from Sriharikota spaceport in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh to study the patterns and dynamics of the monsoon. The 1,000-kg Indo-French satellite Megha-Tropiques was one of four hoisted into space, and all were successfully placed in orbit by India's Polar Satellite Launch vehicle-C18 following their launch by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) from Satish Dhawan Space Center. The three nano satellites include one built by students of SRM University near Chennai, a three-kg satellite Jugnu built by the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, and the other from Luxembourg. The Megha-Tropiques has day, night and all-weather viewing capabilities; it will pass over India almost a dozen times every day, giving scientists an almost real-time assessment of the evolution of clouds.

ORBCOMM Launches VesselSat1 AIS-enabled Satellite

October 12, 2011 - Satellite data communications company ORBCOMM Inc. reported the successful launch of VesselSat1, an Automatic Identification Service (AIS) enabled satellite that will be used to expand ORBCOMM's satellite AIS service. ORBCOMM is the exclusive licensee for the AIS data collected by VesselSat1. This data is used for ship tracking and other maritime navigational and safety efforts. Built by LuxSpace Sarl, an affiliate of OHB System AG, the new satellite is currently undergoing initial in-orbit testing and is expected to enter into commercial service before the end of 2011.

Lockheed Martin Successfully Completes End-to-End System Test of First MUOS Satellite

October 12, 2011 - The first Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) military communications satellite built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Navy has successfully completed a major end-to-end system test, validating satellite performance and functionality with user ground terminals. Completion of this key milestone confirms the system meets requirements and allows the satellite to proceed to final factory test activities prior to launch. MUOS will augment and replace the legacy Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Follow-On system (UFO) providing assured communications, including simultaneous voice, video and data, for mobile warfighters.

ILS Proton Successfully Launches Space Systems/Loral Built ViaSat-1 for ViaSat

October 20, 2011 - International Launch Services (ILS) successfully carried the ViaSat-1 satellite into orbit on an ILS Proton for ViaSat, Inc. ViaSat-1, weighing over 6.7 metric tons, is the highest throughput satellite ever built, with a total capacity in excess of 140 Gbps, more than all satellites covering North America. The all Ka-band satellite will be positioned at 115.1 degrees West longitude with an expected service lifetime of 15 years or more. ViaSat-1 was built on Space Systems/Loral's space-proven 1300 platform with 72 spot beams; 63 in the U.S. and nine over Canada. The Canadian beams are owned by satellite operator Telesat and will be used for the Xplornet broadband service to consumers in rural Canada.

First Two Galileo Satellites Successfully Launched by Arianespace

October 21, 2011 - The first two Galileo satellites have been successfully launched by Arianespace on a Soyuz vehicle from Kourou in French Guiana. These two satellites are part of a batch of four designed and built by Astrium Satellites, the industrial prime contractor of the space segment, under contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the In-Orbit Validation (IOV) phase. IOV will demonstrate the capabilities of the Galileo system prior to the deployment of the full constellation which is planned to reach 30 satellites in its final configuration. In addition to providing key equipment for the navigation payload and platform, Thales Alenia Space, was in charge of the assembly, integration and test (AIT) phase of the four satellites. The second pair of IOV satellites will be launched by 2012.

Thales Alenia Space ETCA Supplies Soyuz Launcher Range Safety System

October 21, 2011 - The Soyuz rocket has successfully launched from the French Guiana the first two operational satellites in Europe's Galileo satellite positioning and navigation system. Launched from French Guiana, the Soyuz rocket will considerably improve its performance: it will be able to send a 3.1 metric ton payload into geostationary orbit, versus 1.9 metric tons from its traditional launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. While the "European" version of the Soyuz launcher is nearly a carbon copy of the rocket launched from Baikonur, it does include a few modifications. In particular it is equipped with a range safety system supplied by Thales Alenia Space ETCA, which can be used to destroy the launcher if it goes off course. This safety system is in fact the only European component on the Soyuz version to be operated from French Guiana, and it was developed and is manufactured by Thales Alenia Space ETCA.

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