Antarctic Broadband featured on ABC Catalyst

15 March 2012 |

Antarctic Broadband was a featured story tonight on ABC TV’s Catalyst science program. The story included interviews with US South Pole Station researchers over an existing satellite link, which can be seen in full in the ‘extended interviews‘ section of the Catalyst website.

Dr John Kovac at South Pole Station says "we’re doing everything humanly possible to compress our data streams and move it out as efficiently as we can…there’s no way around getting more bandwidth…and the next generation of telescopes are going to require far more than we have now, far more than the current satellites can accommodate". Antarctic Broadband is on the front foot in tackling this challenging and important engineering problem.

Antarctic Broadband expresses its sincere thanks to everyone who assisted with the production of the program.


European Cubesat Symposium paper on Ka-band communications

1 February 2012 |

Antarctic Broadband program systems engineer, Mr Daniel Faber, today presented to the 4th European Cubesat Symposium in Brussels on the use of Ka-band communications for cubesats and other nanosats. His abstract and presentation noted that the expanding range of viable applications for nanosats, including broadband communications, optical and radar sensors, demands higher capacity than the VHF, UHF and S-band communications typically used by nanosats today. The presentation went on to describe the Ka-band work done under the Antarctic Broadband program, including our plans to fly a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) demonstrator mission using a Generic Nanosatellite Bus (GNB)-class spacecraft from the University of Toronto Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) and a Ka-band transponder developed by EM Solutions Pty Ltd of Brisbane.

The Antarctic Broadband consortium is planning our demonstration mission and is also looking for organisations around the World who might have a requirement for a nanosat-class Ka-band communications capability.

Antarctic Broadband business case presented at 62nd International Astronautical Congress

7 October 2011 | News

Antarctic Broadband Systems Engineer, Mr Daniel Faber, today presented a paper on the Antarctic Broadband business case at the International Astronautical Congress 2011 in Cape Town, South Africa. The paper, entitled The Business Case for Delivering Broadband to the Antarctic Using Micro-Satellites, draws on the two years of market research analysis to assess the balance between supply and demand for communications to Antarctica.

The paper covers a range of possible solutions to communications, the market and potential customers in the Antarctic, the value proposition, possible cost structures and financing options for delivering satellite communications.

This work highlights the growing need for a cost-effective and long-lasting solution to communications for Antarctic operators to enable more vital research to be conducted on the ice and support the crews who work there. Antarctic Broadband is continuing to work towards this solution and meet the communication needs of the Antarctic community.

Antarctic Broadband wins Engineering Excellence Award

30 September 2011 | News

The Antarctic Broadband consortium has won a prestigious Engineering Excellence Award at the Canberra Engineering Excellence Awards 2011.

The annual Australian Engineering Excellence Awards celebrate the accomplishments of some of the finest engineering companies and individuals in Australia. Their award programs seek to identify, recognise and reward outstanding achievement, eminence in the practice of engineering, and conspicuous service to the profession.

The Antarctic Broadband – Definition and Capability Development project was established to develop a cost-effective solution for delivering much needed broadband communications services to meet the data transfer needs of Antarctica. The Antarctic Broadband consortium was awarded $2.1 million under Round One of the Australian Government’s Australian Space Research Program in February 2010. This grant funded a study to define a solution and commence the capability development process. Through the creative application of small satellite technologies, unique orbit solutions and innovative new communications equipment, the solution has the ability to deliver high-quality, 24-hour coverage of the Antarctic Circle, providing over a terabyte of transfer capability per day at speeds comparable to that of ADSL.

Specific aspects of the Antarctic Broadband project that contributed to its recognition are:

·         Unique satellite design aspects that are world-leading;

·         Ingenuity and persistence in developing cost-effective solutions in the face of significant physical design constraints;

·         Demonstrated sound practice in collaboration and stakeholder engagement;

·         A valuable first-step contribution to enhancing the capability and lifestyle for a remote isolated Australian and international community;

·         Delivering real opportunities for expanding the research and scientific output in Antarctica; and

·         Advancing the design, implementation and support of small-satellite communications systems in Australia

Small Satellite philosophy presented at SmallSat 2011 conference

11 August 2011 | News

Antarctic Broadband’s System Architect, Mr Jan A. King has delivered an update to his seminal paper on small satellite design philosophy at the AIAA Utah State University SmallSat 2011 conference in Logan, Utah. The paper, Can Small Do What Big Does – Only Better? (An Update), covers advances in technology unique to small space systems, the difference between small and large system development methodologies, business success in various market applications for small satellites and the ability of small commercial systems to deal with sometimes “unfair” universal constrains imposed upon all space

The original ‘Can Small Do What Big Does?’ paper was presented at a workshop held at Stanford University, which addressed Emerging Commercial Applications for Small Satellite Technology on March 24, 2009. The paper has now been updated to add new information and changes in outlook since that time.

Jan’s presentation at the conference was picked up by The Space Review contributor Jeff Frost in his article on A quarter century of SmallSat progress. Here Jan notes “The real success in small satellite technology is in Earth imaging, I would say we had marginal success in telecommunications and pretty darn good success in remote sensing. In the rest of the area, I would say we have not produced to date.”

This approach to satellite systems development is fundamental to Antarctic Broadband’s ambitions to provide a cost-effective satellite solution to communications in Antarctica.

Clunies Ross award to John Ness of EM Solutions

20 May 2011 |

Congratulations to John Ness of EM Solutions, a partner of Antarctic Broadband, on being awarded a Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering’s Clunies Ross Award last night in Brisbane.

The news was picked up in The Australian and The Courier Mail today making special mention of John’s work on Antarctic Broadband. From The Australian:

 “Dr Ness confessed he had been "pretty surprised" when he got the news that he was one of this year’s award winners for his work in microsatellites and telecommunications.

The work that caught the judges’ eyes was Dr Ness’s contribution to an international collaboration to build an affordable, near-real time broadband network for scientists and travellers in Antarctica.

With $5 million in matching funds from the federal government’s Space Policy Unit, EM Solutions is collaborating with a Canadian microsatellites manufacturer and Canberra-based Aerospace Concepts. "Canada is providing the microsatellite bus and Australia the telecommunication payload and antenna," Dr Ness said.”

Antarctic Broadband highlighted in May 2011 edition of Engineers Australia magazine

18 May 2011 |

Antarctic Broadband was highlighted in the May edition of the Engineers Australia magazine with a full page article. On page 29 for those with a copy at home, the online version will be released in around a month.

Antarctic Broadband covered in ABC Science online

12 May 2011 |

ABC Science online has published a profile on Antarctic Broadband titled Antarctica to get satellite broadband

Antarctic Broadband project presented at the 61st International Astronautical Congress

1 October 2010 |

Michael Brett and Daniel Faber presented a paper today at the 61st International Astronautical Congress held in Prague. The conference paper discusses how the first applications of the Antarctic Broadband project are likely to be in niches that cannot be serviced by traditional communications satellites or terrestrial services. One example is Antarctica due to inherent orbital limitations of geostationary communications satellites, the remoteness and the limited market size.

Antarctic Broadband project presented at Australian Space Science Conference

1 October 2010 |

Today Cameron Boyd, Quality Assurance Manager for Antarctic Broadband, gave a presentation to the delegates of the Australian Space Science Conference (ASSC) in Brisbane. This year was the 10th ASSC which welcomed space scientists, engineers, educators, workers in Industry and Government from Australia and internationally.

The presentation gave an overview of the Antarctic Broadband program, the progress to date and how the project integrates with Australian space science.