Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Rump Session: The Internet of Space – Technological and Economic Challenges for the Future Space-based Internet

Panel Organizer and Moderators:
Sanjay Raman, Professor & Associate Vice President, National Capital Region, Virginia Tech
Mark Wallace, VP and General Manager, Keysight

David Bettinger, OneWeb, VP of Engineering, Communications Systems
Prakash Chitre, Comsat Laboratories, a Division of ViaSat, Vice President and General Manager
James Farricker, Boeing, VP Engineering
Hamid Hemmati, Facebook, Director of Engineering for Telecom Infrastructure
Michael Pavloff, RUAG Space (Zürich Switzerland), Chief Technology Officer

Today, approximately 60% (4.5B) of the world’s population cannot access the internet. Consequently, there has been a renaissance in interest and investment in space- and suborbital-based high-data-rate communications networks – the internet of space. These networks will have global impact on humanity by delivering high bandwidth information to every part of the world. For example, Google and SpaceX recently announced a $B investment in a plan to deliver hundreds or thousands of micro satellites into LEO around the globe to serve Internet to rural and developing areas of the world. Similarly, OneWeb, is proposing a 648 satellite LEO constellation, with significant investments from Virgin Group and Qualcomm. Facebook and Google have begun laying plans to serve under-wired markets with drone-based and balloon-based data networks. The European Space Agency and AirBus Defense & Space are planning a “Space Data Highway” for Emergency Response, Open Ocean Surveillance, UAS communication, Weather Forecasting and Wide-Area Monitoring. Back in the 1990’s, there were a number of large space-based satellite network ventures, such as Iridium, GlobalStar, Teledesic, etc. but only limited number of low-data rate satellites were ultimately deployed. However, since that time, satellite technology has greatly advanced, bringing the cost of deployment down significantly. “Toaster-sized” micro-satellites can be launched dozens at a time to low earth orbits (LEO), reducing launch costs, while delivering performance comparable to larger, older satellites at higher orbits. Also, operation at LEO, satellites will also significantly reduce network latencies, while introducing challenging tracking, synchronization and handoff issues. Advances in microwave/mm-wave phased array technology and advanced CMOS over the last several years will also be key enablers. But significant technical and economic questions remain to be resolved.
The Panel Session will run approximately 90mins and a Networking reception will follow in back of the room.