Start Up Space 2017

Start Up Space 2017

Summary: Bryce Space and Technology recently issued an update to its popular 2016 report on investment in the space sector. The report, which spans the VC, PE, M&A, and IPO markets, concludes that startup activity remains incredibly active, with 86% of VC funding since 2000 ($4.5 B in total) occurring in the past five years. In 2016, alone, 60 VCs invested $1.5 B in startups that are now emerging at the rate of 17 per year vs, on 3 per year in the early 2000's.

Covered Companies: Multiple

Mentioned: Too many to mention.

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The Tiny Satellites Ushering in the New Space Revolution

The Tiny Satellites Ushering in the New Space Revolution

Summary: Spanning more than 5,500 words, this epic Bloomberg profile on Planet is well worth the (lunchtime) read. In addition to telling the colorful history of how Planet was started, the article provides a fairly good overview of the broader “NewSpace” revolution. My highlighted version of the article is linked above, but you’ll want to click through to the Bloomberg site to see sidebars, graphics, and an entertaining 16 minute video on Planet’s recent launch of 88 Dove satellites from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre (not on my bucket list).

Covered Companies: DigitalGlobe

Mentioned: Google, Monsanto, Wilbur-Ellis, Bayer Crop Science, 3 Gimbals LLC, Orbital Insight, SpaceKnow, Terra Bella, Capella Space, SpacePharma, OneWeb, Astro Digital, Axelspace, Hera Systems, Iceeye, SpaceX, Spire, Rocket Lab, Vector Space Systems, Virgin Orbit

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How Americas two greatest rocket companies battled from the beginning

How Americas two greatest rocket companies battled from the beginning

Summary: A lot of ink has been spilled on the long-running battle between SpaceX and ULA for US launch supremacy. This article by Eric Berger provides a good backgrounder on the controversy while also illuminating how the battle is likely to play out in the next several years.

Covered Companies: Orbital ATK

Mentioned: SpaceX, ULA, Lockheed, Boeing, Blue Origin, Aerjoet Rocketdyne

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Dancing Cubesats

Dancing Cubesats

Summary: Although cuebsats have historically lacked propulsion, this this article profiles a number of companies developing tiny, low-cost, propulsion systems that can be used to maneuver and deorbit the growing swarm of cubesats invading low Earth orbit.

Covered Companies: None

Mentioned: Planet, Accion Systems, Busek, ExoTerra Corp, Lockheed, Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Aerospace Corp, Astro Digital , Surrey Satellite Technologies Ltd, CU Aerospace, VACCO Industries, Aerojet Rocketdyne

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How Boeing is Coping with the Slowdown in GEO Orders

How Boeing is Coping with the Slowdown in GEO Orders

Summary: While layoffs and reorganization grab the headlines, this article highlights some of the factory-level innovations that Boeing is pursing to offset the current “nuclear winter” in satellite orders.

Covered Companies: ViaSat

Mentioned: Boeing, Eutelsat, ABS, SpaceX

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Amplifier Firms Eye Smallsat Ka-band Opportunities

Amplifier Firms Eye Smallsat Ka-band Opportunities

Summary: They may not be as sexy as rockets and satellites, but power amplifiers play a critical role in supporting the ground network requirements of LEO constellations proposed by OneWeb, SpaceX, Telesat, and Boeing. Problem is, none of the major players seem all that enthused with the prospects for spending large capex in pursuit of thin margins.

Covered Companies: Comtech Telecom

Mentioned: Teledyne, Mission Microwave, Wavestream, CPI International, Norsat International, Intelsat, OneWeb, SES, O3b Networks, Advantech Wireless, LeoSat, Boeing, SpaceX, OneWeb and Telesat

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Arianespace launches SES-15 in 2d Euro Soyuz GTO mission

Arianespace launches SES-15 in 2d Euro Soyuz GTO mission

Summary: When Boeing first-introduced its all-electric (702SP) satellite bus in 2012, one of the purported benefits was the ability to secure cheap launch by stacking two satellites on a Falcon 9. As noted in this article, however, finding a co-passenger has proven harder-than-expected, leading SES to select a more costly Europeanized Soyuz for launch.

Covered Companies: ViaSat

Mentioned: Arianespace, SES, SpaceX, Boeing, Eutelsat, Panasonic, Inmarsat, Arabsat

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Technology Update — Amplifiers Keeping Pace with Industry Changes

Technology Update — Amplifiers Keeping Pace with Industry Changes

Summary: Although not a particularly sexy niche of the satellite industry, this article notes that there are some pretty interesting changes taking place in the amplifier market, driven by new technology (GaN) and new frequency bands (Ka, V, Q).

Covered Companies: CMTL, SATS, TDY

Mentioned: CPI International, Wavestream/Gilat, D&S Microwave Consulting, Advantech Wireless

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Inmarsat attempts to change the landscape for software deployment

Inmarsat attempts to change the landscape for software deployment

Summary: This article describes Inmarsat’s plans to develop a “walled garden” application infrastructure whereby the cost of an app will be linked to the application’s bandwidth consumption. The program is still in its early stages and will take about three years to roll out (as vessels are converted from Ku to Ka).

Covered Companies: N/A

Mentioned: Inmarsat, CPI, Apple, SingTel

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