Tuesday, July 26, 2016

University CubeSats, the FCC, OneWeb, COM DEV, Honeywell, MacDonald Dettwiler and Space Mining

          By Chuck Black

Here are a few of the stories currently being tracked for the Commercial Space blog:

Software lead Brendan Bruner works on the code for the Experimental Albertan #1 Satellite (Ex-Alta 1) at the University of Alberta's Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering in Edmonton. Photo c/o Codie McLachlan/ Globe and Mail.

  • Cube-sats from York University in Toronto, Ontario and the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta will be travelling to space as part of the upcoming QB50 Cubesat Constellation mission, which is expected to fly on board an unmanned Orbital Sciences capsule when it ferries supplies to the space station in late December 2016. As outlined in the July 24th, 2016 Globe and Mail post, "Tiny satellites signal new era in Canadian spaceflight," the mission, "will be loaded into a mechanical deployer that will pump them out from the space station, one after another, so that they can begin circling the globe on their own separate trajectories." The 40 satellites which comprise the total CB50 mission will each carry one of three standard instruments so that the data they gather in orbit can be combined and compared.
Graphic c/o EU Research.
  • The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ruled that the sharing of 5G mobile spectrum between terrestrial phone companies and satellite networks will be subject to review as 5G technology develops. As outlined in the July 22nd, 2016 Space News post, "Satellite sector mulls how to live with FCC’s 5G decision," satellite companies with plans to build out large constellations of communications satellites over the next few years are worried that 5G interference issues could prevent investment in future satellite broadband systems. This could directly impact the plans of satellite companies like OneWeb, which, as outlined in the May 3rd, 2016 post, "OneWeb Goes to Gatineau," has floated plans to move into under-served rural and consumer telecom markets worldwide using satellite based 5G technology.
An overview of the Honeywell Q2 2016 earnings call. Graphic c/o Honeywell.
  • Of course, Honeywell isn't the only publicly traded aerospace company with a Canadian footprint. MacDonald Dettwiler (MDA) will host its Q2 2016 conference call on Thursday July 28th, 2016. It will be the first quarterly earnings call hosted by the incoming and US based CEO Howard Lance and it will be interesting to see how the new boss compares to the old boss, outgoing CEO Daniel E. Friedmann, a colorful, successful and oft quoted predecessor. As outlined in the July 14th, 2016 MDA press release, "MDA 's second quarter 2016 results conference call alert," longtime MDA CFO Anil Wirasekara will co-host the call. 
Chuck Black.
For updates and assessments on these items and others, check out future posts in the Commercial Space blog.

Chuck Black is the editor of the Commercial Space blog.

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