Northern Sky Research

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Archive: October 2014 (X)

  • They may seem like a new trend, but High Throughput Satellites (HTS) first launched in August 2005 with iPSTAR, nearly a decade ago. Since then there has been a learning curve that HTS has been through, and to some extent is still on. Applications, architectures, business models, orbits and coverage areas have all been tweaked and tested. All this while, being the newbie has given some leeway to HTS in terms of fill rates. Some beams have maxed out at launch while others have struggled…

  • The flurry of announcements and many projects under the radar to build and launch communications satellite constellations is hitting a fever pitch.  This level of activity is unseen since the heydays of the late 1990s when dozens of projects with prefixes such as Sky-, Tele-, Astro-, or Star- were announced.  Today, most of them are dead, and those that survived went belly up before their re-birth.   Like in the famous movie, the phantoms of past constellations are here again and are…

  • Why Compare The Two?

    At first this seems like an unusual combination of continents to compare and contrast. Africa is about three times the population of South America, twice the area and more than one and half times more dense in terms of people per square kilometre. South America on the other hand, has a GDP per capita that is almost four times that of the African continent. Yet, both regions have contributed one country each to the BRICS viz. Brazil and South Africa. Both continents…