Category Archives: Space and Satellites

The Space and Satellite blog posts news about the aerospace industry, including links to industry news and articles, and announcements of continuing education for professionals who are working in the space and satellite profession.

ATICourses Announces A New Course: Fundamentals Of Understanding Space

New ATI Course Bolsters President’s Anticipated Robust Funding of Human Space Flight Program

The Applied Technology Institute ( has introduced a new two-day short-course, Understanding Space  scheduled September 28-29 in Beltsville, MD and October 22-23 in Albuquerque, NM. The timely new course will facilitate training for aerospace professionals to support the significant growth expected in the industry.

Last month, Next Step in Space Coalition announced that President Obama’s Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee will be recommending an appropriation of 2.5 billion in funding over four years starting in FY2011 to support development of commercial human space transport and capabilities. The review panel’s announcement echoes a declaration earlier in August by NASA that they will invest $50 million of Recovery Act funds to develop a commercial crew program. The funding of these programs is projected to greatly bolster engineering, analysis, design and research jobs.

Tom Logsdon is a top industry expert, author of 29 non-fiction books, and instructor for Understanding Space. He specifically designed the course to provide today’s busy professionals with all the skills they will need to assure themselves a bright, shining future serving tomorrow’s satellites and the astronauts living and working along the space frontier. Examining the status quo, he finds it,  “…rather amazing that our country, the world’s preeminent space power, is currently forced to rely on Russian rockets to carry our American astronauts up to the International Space Station; so I was delighted to read that President Obama’s review panel is so strongly focused on developing new and improved American rockets to supply the station in future years.”  His recent article, Striking it Rich in Space, reflects back on Space Industrialist Expert, Art Dula’s 1980’s prediction – so vehemently criticized at the time – of massive space industry growth in the beginning of the twenty-first century.

Logsdon has long advocated inexpensive access to space, remarking in a recent interview, “ I help my students find clever new ways to gain access to space.  My approach includes conventional chemical rockets with more pizzazz as well as practical alternatives to chemical rockets.”  He tells his students, “There is nothing wrong with the space program that the elimination of chemical rockets won’t cure.”

 The Applied Technology Institute (ATI) specializes in professional development seminars in the technical areas of space, communications, defense, sonar, radar, and signal processing. For over twenty-five years, ATI has presented leading-edge technical training to defense and NASA facilities, as well as DOD and aerospace contractors. Their courses provide a clear understanding of the fundamental principles and a working knowledge of current technology and applications. ATI has the unique capability to schedule and deliver courses in a matter of weeks. They  provide customized on-site training at your facility anywhere in the United States as well as internationally and offer over 200 annual public courses in dozens of locations. World-class design experts lead courses.  To register for a course or request an on-site quote, call (410) 956-8805 or (888) 501-2100 or visit

IP Networking Over Satellite Acronyms

Additonal Acronyms

ABS   –   Accounting and Billing Server

ARP    –   Address Resolution Protocol

CRTT   –   Compressed Real Time Transport Protocol

CS-ACELP   –   Conjugate-Structured Algebraic Code-Excited Linear Prediction

CTP   –   Circuit to Packet

DAS   –   Direct Access System

DCM   –   Dynamic Coding and Modulation

DVP   –   Distance Vector Protocol

FEC   –   Forward Error Correction

FH   –   Frame Header

FT   –   Frame Trailer

IANA   –   Internet Address Naming Association

IKE    –   Internet Key Exchange

IPH   –   IP Header

IS-IS   –   Intermediate System to Intermediate System

LSP   –    Link State Protocol

MIB   –   Management Information Base

MOS   –   Mean Opinion Score

OC    –   Optical Carrier

PPP   –   Point to Point Protocol

RAS   –   Remote Access System

RED   –   Random Early Detection

RTCP   –   Real Time Control Protocol

SIP   –   Session Initiation Protocol

TCPH   –   TCP Header

TIPH   –   Tunnel Internet Protocol Header

VAD   –   Voice Activity Detection


IP Networking Over Satellite   taught by Burt H. Liebowitz was held on July 20-22, 2009 in Laurel, MD and was very well reviewed by all.  One attendee, Dennis Almer,  supplied the preceding acronyms to complement the course.

Global Digital Elevation Map Released to The Public

Massive satellite derived digital elevation data base released to the public. NASA and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and industry (METI) announced the release of the ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM) digital elevation maps. The GDEM was created by stereo-correlating the 1.3 million scene ASTER VNIR archive, covering the Earth’s land surface between 83N and 83S latitudes. The GDEM is produced with 30 meter postings, and is formatted in 1 x 1 degree tiles as GeoTIFF files. Each GDEM file is accompanied by a Quality Assessment file, either giving the number of ASTER scenes used to calculate a pixel’s value, or indicating the source of external DEM data used to fill the ASTER voids.

Do You Think That Tourist Space Flight Is A viable Industry in the Next 10 Years?

ATIcourses has long tracked the emerging new space launch models for Space Tourism. Several of ATI’s courses feature the technology for lower-cost space launch systems. There is excitement, but do you think the tourist Space Flight Is A viable Industry in the Next 10 Years?

Virgin Galactic which is investing over $300 million in developing a new space launch system which will operate at the New Mexico Spaceport America after it opens. Today’s event clearly signals the birth of a new commercial age in space and is a proud moment for the vision and foresight of both the people and government of the state of New Mexico.”

With Spaceport America officials and supporters of commercial space development in attendance, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport broke ground today in southern New Mexico. Today’s event delivered on the promise of an exciting new age for space exploration and development, as well as a bright future for the people of New Mexico and their children. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson remarked on the importance of the groundbreaking for the spaceport. “After all of the hard work to get this project off the ground, it is gratifying to see Spaceport America finally become a reality.” Executive Director Steve Landeene of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) commented, “The groundbreaking for Spaceport America is the beginning of a historic new chapter in New Mexico’s long legacy of space and cutting-edge technology. Virgin Galactic President Will Whitehorn was excited to be at the groundbreaking for Spaceport America. “The groundbreaking is an enormous milestone for Virgin Galactic which is investing over $300 million in developing a new space launch system which will operate at Spaceport America after it opens. Today’s event clearly signals the birth of a new commercial age in space and is a proud moment for the vision and foresight of both the people and government of the state of New Mexico.” Today’s groundbreaking initiates construction on a cutting-edge, 110,000-plus square foot-facility using cost-effective, energy-efficient green building practices. In accordance with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s executive order 2006-001 for state buildings, Spaceport America’s terminal hangar facility will be built to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system. Extensive use of sustainable and clean energy technology throughout the design will ensure that the spaceport will set the standard for environmentally sound design for similar structures in the future. The design for Spaceport America’s terminal hangar facility was created by a team of American and British architects that were selected after competing in an international design competition. URS Corporation, one of the world’s largest design and engineering firms, teamed with lead designer Foster Partners of the United Kingdom to submit the winning design.

Acoustics and Sonar Classic Books

Classic Acoustics and Sonar books for from Peninsula Publishing Los Altos Hills, California USA

Many of these texts were written by current or retired ATIcourse instructors and several of the textbooks are given out free as part of the ATI sponsored short course on the subject.

June 2009
Principles of Underwater Sound, Third edition. Robert J. Urick. The most widely used book on underwater acoustics and sonar published today. This book continues to be the standby of practicing engineers, scientists, underwater systems managers and students. Its contents lie squarely in the middle between theory at one end and practical technology at the other. Principles summarizes fundamentals, effects and phenomena of underwater sound and their application to sonar. It provides numerical, quantitative data for the solution of practical problems. 229 figures; 23 tables; 673 references. Detailed index pinpoints data and explanations instantly. Problem section with solutions.
Hardcover. 444 pages. ISBN: 9780932146625

Mechanics of Underwater Noise. Donald Ross. Most authoritative book on fundamentals of underwater noise radiated by ships, submarines, torpedoes. Stresses physical explanations of mechanisms by which noise is generated, transmitted by structures and radiated into the sea.
Hardcover. 375 pages. ISBN: 9780932146168

Sediment Acoustics. Robert D. Stoll. Seminal book addressing Biot Theory for the modeling of acoustic behavior of ocean sediments. Written for seismic-acousticians in the geo-exploration, engineering, oceanographic and underwater sound communities. Stoll, a respected leader in marine geoacoustics for more than forty years, added a brief preface and updated selected bibliography to this second printing of his book, first published in 1989. Sediment Acoustics provides an excellent introduction to Biot Theory, the physics underlying the model parameters, and experimentally measurable predictions of the theory. The book constitutes a major synthesis for non-specialists: the results of laboratory, in-situ and numerical modeling studies of seismic-acoustic wave propagation, reflection and attenuation in two-phase poro-visco-elastic media. Includes tutorial sections and references for new researchers in seismic modeling, quantitative seismic stratigraphy, offshore marine geotechnique, underwater acoustics and sonar, and ground-interacting aeroacoustics.
Softcover. 172 pages. ISBN: 9780932146144

Underwater Electroacoustic Transducers. Dennis Stansfield. This reprint is a practical handbook for users and designers of underwater transducers. It has been an authoritative text in the field since first published by the Bath University Press in 1991. Design methods are illustrated by concentrating on the design of piezoelectric transducers in the 2 – 20 kHz range, most commonly used in sonar systems. Designs for frequencies below this range are also discussed. Treatment is down-to-earth and avoids complex mathematics. Topics include the role of the transducer as an element of the complete system; wide bandwidth, high power transmitter applications; wide band hydrophones; characteristics of piezoelectric and magnetostrictive materials; and transducer testing. For the user, the wide range of topics and practical approach of the book help him to identify the most important features of the requirement and assist him in drawing up realistic specifications. For the designer, the book describes the necessary theoretical and practical aspects involved in developing a transducer to most effectively suit the application and it discusses the main features of the various types of designs.
Softcover. 429 pages. ISBN: 9780932146724

Introduction to the Theory and Design of Sonar Transducers. Oscar Bryan Wilson. Written in 1985 as a text at the Naval Postgraduate School, this book provides a complete treatment of the fundamentals of transducer theory and design using equivalent circuit techniques. Subjects addressed: introductory baseline and definitions, equivalent circuits, properties of materials: piezoelectric and magnetorestrictive, hydrophone design and transducer arrays.
Hardcover. 202 pages. ISBN: 9780932146229

Underwater Electroacoustic Measurements. Robert J. Bobber. Theory and practice of measuring electroacoustic parameters such as response, sensitivity, directivity, impedance, efficiency, linearity and noise limits of transducers used in sonars.
Hardcover. 341 pages. ISBN: 9780932146199

Matched Field Processing for Underwater Acoustics. Alexandra Tolstoy. Published by the World Scientific Publishing Company in 1993. The author was with the Naval Research Laboratory. Matched Field Processing is the process of cross-correlation of a measured field with a modeled, predicted or replica field to determine a set of input parameters that yield the highest correlation. Typically, input parameters in to a selected sound propagation model would include candidate range, bearing and depth of a source relative to the receiving array. The sound propagation model might be defined by environmental data such as sound speed profiles, bottom and surface conditions, tides, and composition of the water. The matched field processing (MFP) would be employed to determine the location of the source – the exact relative range, bearing and depth of the source. This book is for scientists and engineers who are familiarizing themselves with MFP and those in need of detailed information about the process. The first two chapters address a brief history of MFP and discuss other types of processors used in underwater acoustics. The third chapter discusses where errors in MFP solutions occur due to errors in the propagation model. Chapter 4 gives the reader a familiarity of how linear and minimum variance processors perform under a wide range of conditions. And the last chapter addresses broadband processing, source movement, and multiple sources.
Hardcover. 228 pages. ISBN: 9789810210595

Space-Time Information Processing. Charles Loda and A. Winder. Classic reference for signal processing and data analysis for acoustic and sonar engineering. Features Fourier transforms, statistical analyses, spectra and correlation. Valuable chapters address spatially and temporally limited functions, optimal filtering procedures, and interpretation of results.
Hardcover. 192 pages. ISBN: 9780932146045

Transducers and Arrays for Underwater Sound. Charles H. Sherman and John Butler. This book is published by Springer, released in 2007, and sold by Peninsula Publishing. This is the most recent and complete book on the theory and design of underwater transducers in print today. Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research of the U. S. Navy. This book addresses the theory, development and design of electroacoustic transducers for underwater applications. It is more comprehensive than any existing book in this field. It includes the basics of the six major types of electroacoustic transducers and shows why piezoelectric ceramic transducers are the most suitable for underwater sound. It presents the basic acoustic concepts and models needed in transducer and transducer array development, and discusses most currently used transducer designs. It analyzes nonlinear effects and describes methods of transducer evaluation and measurement. The extensive Appendix and numerous diagrams provide an up to date source for use by students and practicing engineers and scientists.
Hardcover. 630 pages. ISBN: 9780387329406

Underwater Acoustic System Analysis, Second Edition. William S. Burdic. Provides a comprehensive exploration of underwater acoustics, acoustic signal generation, and acoustic signal processing for systems analysts, systems engineers and sonar engineers. This book is a reprint of the second edition published in 1991 and is still a classic text in the field. Updated and expanded in 1991, this edition contains all the valuable information it its earlier text plus a detailed discussion of adaptive processing as applied to spatial filtering. You will also find review sections on Fourier analysis, correlation, random processes and hypothesis testing. Highlights include: generation and propagation of compressional acoustic waves in the ocean; narrow band signatures of surface ships caused by cavitating propeller blades and diesel engine firing; optimization of signal-to-noise ratio and spatial resolution in the presence of multiple signals; ambient noise in the ocean; and examples of system performance.
Softcover. 489 pages. ISBN: 9780932146632

Sonar Engineering Handbook. Harrison T. Loeser. Fundamentals and
engineering formulas dealing with sonar, signal processing, sound transmission, noise generation, vibration control and elastomers. Each formula is briefly explained in an associated paragraph with references provided for detailed follow up.
Softcover. 216 pages. ISBN: 9780932146595

Ambient Noise in the Sea. Robert J. Urick. Examines significant aspects of ambient noise beneath sea’s surface: definition; measurement; sources; variation. Essential for work in sonar systems.
Hardcover. 205 pages. ISBN: 9780932146137

Sound Propagation in the Sea. Robert J. Urick. Overviews underwater sound propagation, multipath, deep sound channel, sea surface reflections scattering, attenuation, absorption, modeling.
Hardcover. 225 pages. ISBN: 9780932146083

Physics of Sound in the Sea. Milestone work on undersea sound propagation resulting from the World War II studies. Discusses transmission loss, target strength and echoes from subs/surface ships, sound transmission through wakes, etc.
Hardcover. 577 pages. ISBN: 9780932146244

Side Scan Sonar Record Interpretation. Charles Mazel. Training manual produced by Klein Associates, Inc., manufacturer of side scan sonars. Applies to interpretation of all commercial side scan sonars. The 144 figures and photographs of actual sonar records depict mine and ship targets, shadows, clutter, noise, wakes and dolphins.
Softcover. 146 pages. ISBN: 9780932146502

Noise Reduction. Edited by Leo L. Beranek. Classic book of fundamentals of noise control and noise reduction for the general engineer. Elementary beginnings leading to the advanced aspects of noise reduction for offices, residences, auditoriums and transportation vehicles. Case histories and abundant references.
Hardcover. 776 pages. ISBN: 9780932146588

Collected Papers on Acoustics. Wallace Clement Sabine, the Father of Architectural Acoustics. Acoustic problems in theater, auditorium, church, classrooms and their solutions. Magnificent sketches and photos. This unabridged volume forms the foundation of modern architectural acoustics.
Hardcover. 304 pages. ISBN: 9780932146601

Signal Detection and Recognition by Human Observers. Edited by John A. Swets in 1964, this book was the first to bring together into one volume a broad discussion coverage of modern signal detection theory applications to human performance, specifically in auditory and visual sensory tasks. Applications address problems in psychology including the integration of sensory information, signal uncertainty, auditory frequency analysis, speech communication, vigilance and recognition memory. Bibliography updated to 1988.
Hardcover. 734 pages. ISBN: 9780932146212

Signal Detection Theory and Psychophysics. David Green and John Swets. Summarizes the application of signal detection theory to the analysis and measurement of the human observer’s sensory system. Outlines the theory of statistical decision making and its application to a variety of common psychophysical activities. Applies signal detection theory to problems in a sensory psychology.
Hardcover. 521 pages. ISBN: 9780932146236

Applied Acoustics. G. Porges. Develops the basic theory of sound from first principles and applies the theory to obtain practical formula for the transmission and absorption of sound, sound levels in closed spaces and the radiation of sound from common noise sources. In keeping with the practical orientation of the book, the mathematics used is relatively elementary.
Hardcover. 190 pages. ISBN: 9780932146182

The Sabines at Riverbank. John Kopec. Chronicles the people and research involved in the birth and first decades of the science of architectural acoustics. Here is the history of the first family of architectural acoustics, the Sabines, and the Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories, the world’s first independent laboratory for measuring the acoustical properties of architectural materials. The story begins in the early 1900s with Wallace Clement Sabine, a Harvard professor, who led the practice of acoustics toward a quantitative science with great insight, industry and integrity. He was followed by two other giants in the field of architectural acoustics: Paul Earls Sabine, a cousin, and his son, Hale Johnson Sabine, all Harvard graduates. No one other than John Kopec with his historical perspective and inside knowledge of the lab could have authored this extraordinary history.
Hardcover. 230 pages. ISBN: 9780932146618

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The nomination of Bolden as NASA Administrator, and Lori Garver as Deputy NASA Administrator.

On May 23, 2009, President Barack Obama announced the nomination of Bolden as NASA Administrator, and Lori Garver as Deputy NASA Administrator.

Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NASA, Assistant Deputy Administrator
USNA, Deputy Commandant of Midshipmen
Charles Frank “Charlie” Bolden, Jr.
NASA Astronaut
Born August 19, 1946 (1946-08-19) (age 62)
Columbia, South Carolina

Time in space 28d 08h 37m
Selection 1980 NASA Group
Missions STS-61-C, STS-31, STS-45, STS-60
Mission insignia

Charles Frank “Charlie” Bolden, Jr., (born August 19, 1946 in Columbia, South Carolina, United States) is a retired U.S. Marine Corps major general and a former NASA astronaut. A 1968 graduate of the United States Naval Academy (USNA), he became a Marine Aviator and test pilot. After his service with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, he became Deputy Commandant of Midshipmen at the USNA. Bolden is the virtual host of the Shuttle Launch Experience attraction at Kennedy Space Center.[1] Bolden also serves on the board of directors for the Military Child Education Coalition.

On May 23, 2009, President Barack Obama announced the nomination of Bolden as NASA Administrator, and Lori Garver as Deputy NASA Administrator. [2] Bolden will take office after confirmation by the United States Senate.[3][4]

Space & Satellite Technical Training Courses


ATI June Space & Satellite Courses


Space Professional,

Did you know that ATI has been a leader in space and satellite training since 1984? ATI technical training helps you increase your value to your employer and gain the knowledge you need to get the edge over the competition. But don’t take our word for it, check out the links below to sample some of the pages direct from the instructor’s notes, before you attend a course.

Don’t see the space & satellite training topic your looking for below? Tell Us About It. We want to develop and schedule the courses you need, when and where you need them.

In This Issue: June Space & Satellite Courses

Solid Rocket Motor Design & Applications Jun 2-4 (Cocoa Beach, FL)

Antenna Fundamentals—One Day Overview June 8 (Laurel, MD)

Satellite Communications – An Essential Introduction June 8-10 (Beltsville, MD)

GPS Technology – Solutions for Earth & Space June 8-11 (Columbia, MD)

Spacecraft Quality Assurance, Integration & Testing June 10-11 (Los Angeles, CA)

Satellite Communication Systems Engineering Jun 15-17 (Beltsville, MD)

Thermal & Fluid Systems Modeling June 16-18 (Beltsville, MD)

Space Systems Fundamentals June 22-25 (Beltsville, MD)

Schedule of All ATI Courses Through July 2010

Solid Rocket Motor Design & Applications Jun 2-4 (Cocoa Beach, FL) Register

This three-day course provides a detailed look at the design of solid rocket motors (SRMs), a general understanding of solid propellant motor and component technologies, design drivers, critical manufacturing process parameters, sensitivity of system performance requirements on SRM design, reliability, and cost; and transportation and handling, and integration into launch vehicles and missiles.

Antenna Fundamentals—One Day Overview June 8 (Laurel, MD) Register
This one day class is geared as an introduction into basic antenna and antenna array concepts. The material is basic and should be familiar to an engineer working on any system involving transmitted electromagnetic waves (e.g., radar, satellite communication, terrestrial communications, etc.).

Satellite Communications – An Essential Introduction June 8-10 (Beltsville, MD) Register
This introductory course has recently been expanded to three days by popular demand. It has been taught to thousands of industry professionals for more than two decades, to rave reviews. The course is intended primarily for non-technical people who must understand the entire field of commercial satellite communications, and who must understand and communicate with engineers and other technical personnel. Check out the PDF Course Sampler!

GPS Technology – Solutions for Earth & Space June 8-11 (Columbia, MD) Register
Nearly every military vehicle and every satellite that flies into space uses the GPS to fix its position. In this popular 4-day short course, GPS expert Tom Logsdon will describe in detail how those precise radionavigation systems work and review the many practical benefits they provide to military and civilian users in space and around the globe. Each student will receive a new personal GPS Navigator with a multi-channel capability.  Check out the PDF Course Sampler!

Spacecraft Quality Assurance, Integration & Testing June 10-11 (Los Angeles, CA) Register
Quality assurance, reliability, and testing are critical elements in low-cost space missions. The selection of lower cost parts and the most effective use of redundancy require careful tradeoff analysis when designing new space missions.

Satellite Communication Systems Engineering Jun 15-17 (Beltsville, MD) Register
This three-day course is designed for satellite communications engineers, spacecraft engineers, and managers who want to obtain an understanding of the “big picture” of satellite communications.  Check out the PDF Course Sampler!

Thermal & Fluid Systems Modeling June 16-18 (Beltsville, MD) Register
This three-day course is for engineers, scientists, and others interested in developing custom thermal and fluid system models. Principles and practices are established for creating integrated models using Excel and its built-in programming environment, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Real-world techniques and tips not found in any other course, book, or other resource are revealed. Step-bystep implementation, instructor-led interactive examples, and integrated participant exercises solidify the concepts introduced. Application examples are demonstrated from the instructor’s experience in unmanned underwater vehicles, LEO spacecraft, cryogenic propulsion systems, aerospace & military power systems, avionics thermal management, and other projects. Check out the PDF Course Sampler!

Space Systems Fundamentals June 22-25 (Beltsville, MD)
This four-day course provides an overview of the fundamentals of concepts and technologies of modern spacecraft systems design. Satellite system and mission design is an essentially interdisciplinary sport that combines engineering, science, and external phenomena. We will concentrate on scientific and engineering foundations of spacecraft systems and interactions among various subsystems. Check out the PDF Course Sampler!

Those who plan ahead, get ahead. ATI Course Schedule Through July 2010 is Available Now!

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End of Primary Mission of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope


WASHINGTON — The primary mission of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope is about to end after more than five and a half years of probing the cosmos with its keen infrared eye. Within about a week of May 12, the telescope is expected to run out of the liquid helium needed to chill some of its instruments to operating temperatures.

The end of the coolant will begin a new era for Spitzer. The telescope will start its “warm” mission with two channels of one instrument still working at full capacity. Some of the science explored by a warm Spitzer will be the same, and some will be entirely new.

“We like to think of Spitzer as being reborn,” said Robert Wilson, Spitzer project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “Spitzer led an amazing life, performing above and beyond its call of duty. Its primary mission might be over, but it will tackle new scientific pursuits, and more breakthroughs are sure to come.”

Spitzer is the last of NASA’s Great Observatories, a suite of telescopes designed to see the visible and invisible colors of the universe. The suite also includes NASA’s Hubble and Chandra space telescopes. Spitzer has explored, with unprecedented sensitivity, the infrared side of the cosmos, where dark, dusty and distant objects hide.

For a telescope to detect infrared light — essentially heat — from cool cosmic objects, it must have very little heat of its own. During the past five years, liquid helium has run through Spitzer’s “veins,”
keeping its three instruments chilled to -456 degrees Fahrenheit
(-271 Celsius), or less than 3 degrees above absolute zero, the coldest temperature theoretically attainable. The cryogen was projected to last as little as two and a half years, but Spitzer’s efficient design and careful operations enabled it to last more than five and a half years.

Spitzer’s new “warm” temperature is still quite chilly at -404 degrees Fahrenheit (-242 Celsius), much colder than a winter day in Antarctica when temperatures sometimes reach -75 degrees Fahrenheit
(-59 Celsius). This temperature rise means two of Spitzer’s instruments — its longer wavelength multiband imaging photometer and its infrared spectrograph — will no longer be cold enough to detect cool objects in space.

You can learn more about Space Mission Design and Analysis at ATI Space Mission Design and Analysis

Workers For The U.S. Satellite Industry

I thought that this was interesting:

by Marion Blakey, President and CEO
Aerospace Industries Association

Photo 1
The U.S. satellite industry has a great deal to worry about these days ­— lost opportunities due to outdated export control rules, global competition from more and more countries every day, the various technical challenges of providing new services — but there’s another issue out there affecting the entire aerospace industry that demands attention in the satellite sector — a looming workforce crisis.

The U.S. aerospace industry workforce is currently dominated by aging workers — baby boomers who were enthralled with space travel and answered our nation’s call to win the Space Race and put Americans on the moon. Today, nearly 60 percent of aerospace workers were age 45 or older in 2007, with retirement eligibility either imminent or already reached.

There is a growing need to replace these experienced workers, especially the engineer talent pool, with capable new talent to ensure that the United States continues to be the world’s leader in satellite technology and other important aerospace applications. But there are not sufficient numbers of young people studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — the STEM disciplines — that would put them on the path to enter aerospace careers and replace our retiring workers.

There is very strong competition for our nation’s brightest math- and science-oriented students. Aerospace companies are forced to share talent with a variety of high-tech industries that were not even around when baby boomers were selecting their careers. For example, more than half of those who graduate with bachelor’s degrees in engineering go into totally unrelated fields for employment. And the numbers earning advanced degrees in STEM subject areas lag other fields by huge margins.

More at

What Effect Will Transformational Satellite (TSAT) Termination Have?

Defense Budget Recommendation Statement
As Prepared for Delivery by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Arlington, VA, Monday, April 06, 2009
DOD will “terminate the $26 billion Transformational Satellite (TSAT) program, and instead will purchase two more Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellites as alternatives.”

Transformational Communications Satellite (TSAT)
Advanced Wideband System
The Transformational Satellite System (TSAT) provides orbit-to-ground laser communications. Throughput for the five-satellite constellation could top out at 10 to 40 gigabytes per second, with a total program cost of $12 billion-to-$18-billion for the entire constellation.
The Transformational Satellite Communications (TSAT) System will provide DoD with high data rate Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) and Internet-like services as defined in the Transformational Communications Architecture (TCA). TSAT is key to global net-centric operations. As the spaceborne element of the Global Information Grid (GIG), it will extend the GIG to users without terrestrial connections providing improved connectivity and data transfer capability, vastly improving satellite communications for the warfighter.
As the terrestrial aspects of communication in the TCA evolve, so will DoD satellite resources. The stated goal of the Transformational Satellite communications system is to provide improved, survivable, jam-resistant, worldwide, secure and general purpose communications as part of an independent but interoperable set of space-based systems that will support NASA, DoD and the IC. TSAT will ultimately replace the DoD’s current satellite system and supplement AEHF satellites.
The TCA proposes a radio frequency (RF), i.e., traditional radio-based, crosslink to complete the AEHF group of satellites or constellation. The constellation is called the Advanced Polar System (APS), which supports strategic and national users in the polar region. The APS is designed to withstand nuclear attacks and support the strategic mission with uninterrupted service. These satellites introduce the use of jam-resistant laser crosslinks for connection into the TSAT.