Taking stock of Commercial Space Applications, between Transformation, Fusion and Competition

22 November 2017
Participants in the conference examined the market potential of new satellite technology developments

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) recently sponsored the 23rd Ka and Broadband Communications Conference and the 35th AIAA International Communications Satellite Systems Conference (ICSSC), two of the most influential technical conferences on satellite systems, which were held jointly in Trieste, Italy, on 16-19 October 2017.

Under the theme Commercial Space Applications: Transformation, Fusion and Competition, participants examined the competitive market transformations arising from the development of new low Earth orbit (LEO) systems and small satellites, in addition to stratospheric platforms and geostationary (GEO) systems, among other technological developments.

This rapid technological revolution and the resulting large scale integration of services are driving a major transformation in satellite systems. The attendees examined these developments, discussed new uses of the technologies, and explored the economic, marketing, technical and regulatory issues that need to be addressed for the technological developments to reach their full potential.

Technological advances to change how people live

At the conference, GSA Head of Market Development Gian-Gherardo Calini participated in a panel discussion on New Markets Emerging from Aviation and Autonomy, in which the participants discussed how new uses of airspace coupled with recent advances in autonomy will change how people live and work. It was noted, moreover, that the enormous amount of research taking place in autonomy, and its use in self-driving cars and drone operations, would result in exciting new opportunities for satellite technology.

Calini also chaired a thematic session on Navigation Systems and Applications, which he closed by pointing out the economic, marketing, technical and regulatory challenges that need to be overcome.

Next year’s joint conference - the 24th Ka and Broadband Communications Conference and the 36th AIAA International Communications Satellite Systems Conference - will be held in Niagara Falls, Canada, on 15-18 October 2018.

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Updated: Nov 22, 2017