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GMV calls for new approaches to space technologies.

Last year, GMV became a member company of the Eurospace association. Can you share with us an overview of the space industry in Europe, and what are the technologies and/or solutions you see relevant to the Asia-Pacific space industry?

Miguel Molina: Over decades, the space sector in Europe has reached a level of maturity that allows reliable access to space and fully operational programmes delivering services strategic for governments, and for answering the citizens' needs.

Satellite imagery and satellite communications (including localisation) have become the norm for a range of major applications, such as for meteorology; for disasters monitoring; for surveillance purposes; for providing localisation, navigation and cartography software and services; for emergency and /or secured communication, and for delivering connectivity everywhere (in-flight and to the most isolated places), just to mention a few.

Can you share with us GMV's plans in expanding into the broadcast and media industry, and what opportunities do you see in Asia-Pacific?

Molina: GMV is expanding its presence on the payload domain, particularly in terms of configuration, redundancy and capacity management. Today, operators are looking for the adaptation of the payload to the real and immediate user needs, and to be able to react faster in order to minimise the margins in the payload operation, and improve the final cost.

The versatility and flexibility delivered by the new-generation payloads design will be supported by our innovative Payload Control System (PCS), which enables the efficient operations of the payload from the ground while supporting a high degree of operations automation. The new payload concept will be able to include antennas electronically steerable and shapeable, geolocation capability, as well as an advanced Digital Signal Processor (DSP) stage with capabilities for channel selection, channel filtering and reprogrammable capabilities, including routing for any antenna and beam.

What are some of the strategies GMV has developed for HTS, and what opportunities does HTS have to offer to the broadcast sector?

Molina: High throughout satellite's (HTS) main purpose is to provide higher throughput over smaller surface areas while offering lower cost per bit, which is today a major driver for telecom operators and service providers in order to be competitive.

The concept is also about looking for services not covered by the previous standard payloads, like the possibility to cover regions unserved or underserved by terrestrial technologies, in-flight connectivity, enhanced maritime communications, high data rates and high-bandwidth applications, and improved governmental services.

As indicated before, GMV is providing dedicated tools to manage how these types of payloads and services are configured and operated--minimising the margins and increasing efficiency.

At the 3rd ESA International Security Symposium last year, GMV's Julio Vivero pointed out that big data and security are the two new challenges for space. Can you elaborate on his opinion, and how will both big data and cybersecurity intelligence impact the space industry?

Molina: The explosion that we are seeing in terms of data availability from space systems, particularly from TEO orbits and Earth Observation satellites, is creating a real need in terms of data management for such an amount of information.

In Europe, only the Copernicus programme and the Sentinels fleet are achieving levels of Petabytes that are requiring a dedicated data management system, as it is the case today for banking or massive Internet applications. The public availability of this data and the easy availability of information is also creating the need for a powerful and reliable access for intensive data exploitation of this information in hundreds of applications providing useful services to final users worldwide.

Today, several institutions are developing the required infrastructure to manage this public information in Europe. The challenge in the near future will be to find a way to coordinate all this data sources and to provide reliable and powerful access.

This growing relevance of space-based services in our societies, although mostly unnoticed by citizens, has gathered attention from several types of attackers: from anonymous hacktivists to cybercrooks or hostile governments.

For a long time, the security over the network was not a real driver when designing a future space ground segment. More and more, however, the use of dual systems and the potential risk to suffer an external attack in the network are putting a new relevant requirement affecting the design of the network. We need to protect our systems against external attacks and we need to be able to manage in a proper way the data according to its qualification level. Again, the experience acquired in other markets--such as banking--is fully reusable and should be adapted to the space domain.

However, not all space missions are equally attractive to the different types of potential attackers, neither would they be equally exposed to attacks. As an example, earth observation or military missions will gain more attention from hostile governments, communication missions will typically be more attractive for cybercrooks as long as they benefit from them, and virtually anything with a minimum notoriety will be a target for hacktivists.

What are some of the technology trends you are taking note of that will have a sustainable impact on the space industry in 2018?

Molina: These are exciting times for us. We are seeing several trends that will change how we approach space technologies, at a rate of innovation not seen in a long time. I would like to highlight the following ones:

* New payload concepts will show us the future evolution of communications systems.

* Integration of 5G is key and the satellite community should work with telcos to explore synergies for 5G, especially since connectivity is needed everywhere on a permanent basis, and when the failure of earth communication systems should be anticipated.

* The issue of sustainability in space is really crucial. In space, we have a growing amount of debris. There are several areas of improvement related to this topic, such as the identification and follow-up of the elements contributing to this debris, the removal and de-orbiting of the objects, and the definition of principles/rules, avoiding further proliferation.

* Constellations of hundreds of thousands of small, low-cost satellites are under deployment. In parallel, we are also defining new technologies and techniques for satellites manufacturing.

* The access to space is evolving to new concepts targeting relative lower costs, keeping the reliability for existing systems and new micro/small launchers and also enlarged/heavy versions.

* The massive use of electric propulsion (including orbit raising) is increasing the lifetime of satellites and reducing the cost at launch.

* The exploration of space is also becoming global. More nations are now within reach of space than ever before, while the influx of fresh capital is driving innovation and new technologies from the private sector. The possibility to fix permanent establishments in the moon or having a man walking on Mars seems to be achievable targets in the coming decades.

High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites (HAPs) are aircraft positioned above 20km altitude in the stratosphere for long-duration flights (defined in terms of months or years). These unmanned aircraft may be airplanes, airships or balloons offering advantages and complementary applications over satellites, terrestrial infrastructures and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) at relatively low cost.

Miguel Molina, business development manager for space, GMV, details some of the trends the company is seeing in the satellite sector, and how GMV is continually reinventing itself to better serve customers' needs.
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Title Annotation:HTS a hit in Asia-Pacific
Author:Molina, Miguel
Publication:APB Magazine
Date:Mar 1, 2018
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