QuadSAT at the IRG Annual Workshop

IRG workshops should serve a number of purposes. We want to bring together the forward-thinkers of the satellite industry and facilitate the important conversations. But we also want to introduce any exciting developments that may prove useful in our struggle against interference.

Joakim Espeland of QuadSAT will be speaking at our next annual workshop on the 25th and 26th of October, and he’ll be introducing a technology which should get everyone listening!

QuadSAT is a relatively new organisation but it has already caught the eye of the satellite operators. Based in Denmark, one of its primary aims is to integrate drone solutions into the Satcom industry.

At the Danish National Drone Centre, QuadSAT is currently prototyping brand-new drone technology and conducting test flights. Drone technology has evolved rapidly over the last few years, and we now have significantly better quality equipment at a lower cost than ever before.

With this evolution has come a plethora of possibilities and opportunities that could be put to use mitigating satellite interference. QuadSAT hopes to prove the effectiveness of drones which can be flown above and around a satellite antenna, preform tests, and feed this information to the ground. This may be particularly beneficial for the coms-on-the-move industry where antennas are located in hard-to-reach areas.

Sensors and controllers installed within the drones can stress test the resilience of the satellite feed, but also ensure correct antenna alignment and detect any errors with the equipment. Given that poor-quality equipment emerges as a cause of interference time and time again, so this could well prove effective.

At the workshop, Joakim and his team will be presenting QuadSAT’s concepts as well as welcoming any feedback to help them improve and develop new drone concepts.

GovSat @ the IRG Annual Workshop

GovSat’s Russ Hogan will be joining us at the IRG Annual Workshop to discuss what government and institution communication providers can learn from the commercial satellite sector.

Russ has 20 years of experience within the satellite industry, spanning both military and commercial operations. For the past 10 years, he has been focusing on Geolocation and RFI investigation, reporting and mitigation.

Having spent 26 years in the Royal Air Force following his formative education, he joined Paradigm (now Airbus Defence & Space) as Interference Manager. In 2009, he moved to Luxembourg to take up the position of Operations Systems Engineer within the SES Customer Service Delivery team. In this post, he brought into operational service the SES Geolocation system and was the SES lead in RF interference Geolocation. Since late 2016, Russ has been with GovSat.

As a joint venture between the Luxembourg government and SES, GovSat’s mission is to provide reliable satellite communications to governments for both defence and civilian services. Russ now manages all aspects of GovSat’s payload operations including heading up the team within the Mission Operations Centre.

As you can see, he knows a thing or two about interference and we’re looking forward to hearing him speak at the Satellite Interference Reduction Group’s Annual Workshop!

It’s not too late to register for the IRG Annual Workshop to be held in Brighton on the 25th and 26th of October. Find out more here.

BSN-UK Networking Event

29th June 2017
Host – Access Partnership
Regulation is Fun!

The BSN-UK regularly holds networking events which usually look at a range of technological advances across the broadcasting and satellite industry. But regulation is something that touches us all in our everyday professional activities, yet is one of the often invisible and unappreciated aspects of the industry.

For this event, we gathered the membership for a meeting at the London office of Access Partnership to find out just how much fun the regulatory aspects of the industry can really be! No, really! Our presenters were Anna Guégan and Daphné Joseph, who are Managers of Policy and Market Access with Access Partnership, a firm which seeks to guide and influence world policy telecoms regulatory decision-making with a staff of 40 across 6 global offices.

Anna and Daphné gave some practical examples of cases where their tailor-made database of regulatory decisions and decision makers for some 190 countries has proven to be vital in gaining a VSAT license in some far-far-away land, or obtained approval for in-flight technology. The presentation made the juxtaposition of how a country could be seen from one viewpoint as an island paradise, with white sand, azure seas and perfect skies… and a regulatory, time consuming, frustratingly uncooperative bureaucratic one from another!

Access Partnership comprises three teams. The Technical Policy Team devises technical arguments to support advocacy, and gains acceptance for a position across multilateral technical groups. It also performs technical due diligence and spectrum campaigns at the ITU. The Public Policy Team delivers outcomes in nation proceedings, multilateral events, and designs and executes issue-specific campaigns. The Market Access team advises on market compliance, conducts regulatory studies and drives campaigns for approval for products and services.

The presentation led to lively discussion and debate from the membership with plenty of Q&As from the floor, followed by networking with refreshments courtesy of Access Partnership. In the end, we all agreed that regulation surely could be fun – but we’d probably leave it to Access Partnership www.accesspartnership.com to sort it all out…

To find out more about the BSN-UK please see www.bsnuk.org.

Space Data Association @ The IRG Annual Workshop

Mark Dickinson, the Vice President of Satellite Operations at Inmarsat and the Chairman of the Space Data Association, is another confirmed speaker at IRG’s Annual Workshop this October. The SDA is a non-profit association that brings together satellite operators who value controlled, reliable and efficient data-sharing critical to the safety and integrity of the space environment and RF spectrum.

The SDA is an organisation that allows operators to safely and effectively operate their satellites and protect the space environment. At the workshop, Mark will be considering the rising risk of collision in space and the importance of a widespread awareness of threats.

“The integrity of Space relies on the mindfulness of those occupying it. It’s important for all satellite operators to be aware of the risks associated with operating in the space environment and take appropriate mitigation measures. The SDA is launching the Space Data Center 2.0 to allow operators to manage the rising risk of collisions, given the ever more congested space environment. We as an industry need to work together to ensure that we can avoid these preventable problems in the future,” – Mark Dickinson, Space Data Association.

The SDC 2.0 has two main functions. The first is improved space situational awareness, provided through a high accuracy, extensive and independently generated catalogue of objects. This system will for the first time provide operators with timely, transparent and actionable conjunction notifications. The second is a Radio Frequency Interference service, which includes a Carrier ID database, to help operators work together to identify the source of interference. Geolocation solution sets will allow operators to determine the best neighbouring satellites to enable geolocation.

Mark will lead the discussion on how the industry as a whole can work together to reduce both the effects of interference and the risk of collision.

The Annual Workshop will be held on the 25th and 26th of October in Brighton, UK. For more information, or to register, please visit the website.

Latest IRG News

IRG has had a very busy few months and have lots of news to share. As always, we’ve had a presence at many of the industry’s biggest shows and have also welcomed a new member to the fold! Here’s what we’ve been up to.

IRG Annual Workshop

Preparation is well underway for the IRG Annual Workshop to be held on the 25th and 26th of October at the Brighton Harbour Hotel.

The workshop will be an excellent opportunity to hear from leading industry experts about satellite interference, including the latest initiatives and practical solutions.

Keynote topics will include:

  • Carrier ID and how the FCC regulations will affect broadcasters.
  • VSAT interference – have new tools had the desired effect?
  • The future of big data and machine learning.

We are also undertaking a series of blog posts in the run up to the event all about our excellent workshop speakers. Our first post is about Plum Consulting and can be read here.

For more information or to register to attend, please head to our website. We are also able to organise accommodation for those of you who wish to book through us. Please contact us on press@satirg.com.

If you would like to propose a speaker for the workshop, please contact us.

New member joins IRG

We’re very pleased to announce that Novella SatComs has become a member of IRG!

Novella SatComs has been a supplier of high performance RF equipment since 1997.

Based just outside of Leeds, Novella Satcoms has designed and manufactured a wide range of equipment for satellite stations world-wide, serving many high-profile customers including the BBC, BT and the UK, USA and French MoD’s. Read more.


NAB Las Vegas 2017 

In April, our very own Executive Director, Martin Coleman, headed to NAB Las Vegas. Once again, the exhibition was a hive of activity, and a great venue for networking and to sample the latest industry innovations.

Whilst he was there, Martin moderated a panel titled ‘Is Technology Actually Solving Interference for the Broadcaster’, alongside Nigel Fry (BBC), Roger Franklin (Crystal), Michael Downey (Glowlink) & Bob Potter (Kratos). To read a recent IRG article on the topic featuring contributions from the panelists, click here.

Martin was also interviewed by InBroadcast, offering his perspective on the state of interference for the broadcaster. A video of this can be found here.

CommunicAsia 2017

May also meant a trip to Singapore was in order, for the CommunicAsia show.

As always, it was a busy week but also a great opportunity to catch-up up with IRG members and their latest activities.

Our CommunicAsia Interference Tour was once again a success and we would like to extend a huge thank you to those who were involved!


Satcoms 2017

 25 – 28 September 2017 / IET London: Savoy Place

As a result of our long-standing partnership with the Institution of Engineering and Technology, IRG will once again be promoting another of its excellent events, the 32nd edition of the Satellite Communications Systems Course (Satcoms).

IET Satcoms is the UK’s longest-running course for early-career satellite professionals, and has given hundreds of people a flying start to their careers.

The 4-day course is one of the most comprehensive, in-depth trainings on satellite communications available on the market. Its industry-focused projects enable the attendee to put knowledge into practice straight away and is designed to lead them through each topic in a logical and accessible way, bringing new entrants to the industry up to speed with the latest trends.

Book now to secure your place or visit the website for more information.

Recent News

Is Technology Actually Solving Satellite Interference for the Broadcaster?

Cyber Experts: The Truth About The Threats to Satellite.

The State of Satellite Interference (p. 20).

Future Investments in VSAT: What you Need to Know.

Plum Consulting at the IRG Annual Workshop.

Plum Consulting at the IRG Annual Workshop

As you may already know, IRG is once again holding its Annual Workshop this October, in Brighton.

We’re confirming more and more speakers each week, so ahead of the event we’ll be posting blog entries all about the latest confirmed speaker and what they’ll be discussing at the workshop.

Don’t forget, registration for the workshop is now open so don’t hesitate to confirm your place as soon as possible. You can register on our website.

Plum Consulting – Richard Rudd

Our first confirmed speaker is Richard Rudd from Plum Consulting, a leading independent consulting firm specialising in telecommunications, media and technology.

At the IRG Annual Workshop, Richard will be assessing the scale of the issue in C-band interference across satellite & terrestrial systems in a talk titled ‘C for Conflict or C for Collaboration’.

“The C band is used across both satellite and terrestrial radio systems, to varying degrees in different jurisdictions. The scale of the interference problem is expected to worsen as cellular and fixed wireless systems continue to evolve towards 5G. Directional antennas, and electronically steerable beam patterns such as those being developed under multi-user MIMO technology are also likely to increase interference levels with VSAT stations.” – Richard Rudd, Plum Consulting.

In this session, Richard will present recent relevant experience from Plum, to inform on the interference debate, and to lay out a potential way forwards – involving collaboration across both satellite and terrestrial players.

ETL Systems to debut brand-new RF solution at CommunicAsia


ETL Systems, a global designer and manufacturer of custom-built Radio Frequency equipment for satellite communications, will debut one of its newest RF switch matrices – the configurable 64 x 64 Hurricane Matrix – to the Asian market at CommunicAsia2017.

ETL’s presence at the show highlights ETL’s commitment to the Asia-Pacific region and follows recent, major orders placed by operators in the region.

The customisable Hurricane RF matrix is designed to change and adapt with the ever-changing requirements of the latest satellite teleports. Input and output modules can be configured with features to suit specific RF needs for each satellite feed. Not only is the Hurricane flexible and future-proof, but it also features no loss of service, power consumption reductions, improved RF performance, and a simple and intuitive user interaction.

Visitors to the ETL stand will also be able to see ETL’s proven RF over Fibre solutions, with more than 120 links installed in Asia and more than1,500 fibre links installed at satcoms sites around the world. ETL’s 128 x 128 Vulcan Matrix, the 16 x 16 Victor Matrix, the Alto Amplifier and the highly resilient Dextra Splitter will also be on display at stand 1V3-03.

At CommunicAsia 2017, ETL Systems will be a stop on IRG’s interference mitigation tour. The guided tour will offer attendees practical advice and guidance from leading operators, manufacturers and associations.

The tour will begin every day at the Level 5 meeting point at 11am. To register a place on the tour, please visit the CommunicAsia website

Satellites Today – The Third Great Wave of Innovation & Opportunity

BSN Networking Event – 10th May 2017
Presenter – Phil Carrai, President, Technology & Training Solutions – Kratos

With a title inspired by the works of Alvin Toffler [American writer and futurist], BSN members were captivated throughout  the presentation made by Phil Carrai, President of Kratos’ Technology & Training Solutions. Much more than a simple point and click PowerPoint presentation, this was more of a ‘conversation’ between industry experts, led by a dynamic and charismatic business and thought-leader.

With the ever-increasing requirement for satellite launches and a plethora of LEO and HTS satellite networks already in the planning – and indeed execution – we’re still operating in a “Moore’s Law” driven marketplace, where the price point is being driven ever-downwards. We might yet look at the current necessity to build satellites capable for 12 to 15 years operation, to re-imagining a world where they are designed only to operate for some 5 years before replacement in order to maintain a high level of technical ability of the satellite. This would require a paradigm shift in the economic thinking about the way in which networks are conceived, launched and commercialised. There’s also the very real and growing issue of space debris to be properly confronted and acted upon.

What seems certain is the continuing ‘virtualisation’ of services as satellite operators move further and further down the value chain – disrupting and impacting traditional service providers. Service will no longer be just based on infrastructure! And that would certainly impact/disrupt the convergence of military and commercial systems. Future success in service provision is likely to be based on applications – not yet written – but no doubt waiting in the wings for the new generations of engineers and commercial teams to develop.

This was an inspiring, thought-provoking and forward-looking BSN session and we thank Phil Carrai for sharing his strategic thoughts with the BSN networking group.

Integrasys Tackling VSAT Interference at CommunicAsia 2017

VSAT networks are complex, and it’s becoming clearer that the best way to manage them is with smarter, more efficient tools. The problem is, VSAT terminals very often remain unmanned and in remote areas. Although this is particularly helpful for those who may be in the maritime, environmental and oil & gas industries for example, it makes interference exceptionally difficult to solve. Integrasys aims to provide the fastest, high quality technology available in satellite carrier monitoring systems in order to tackle that interference.

At CommunicAsia this year, Integrasys’s booth will feature demonstrations of a number of its state-of-the-art monitoring solutions including Satmotion Pocket and Alusat.

Satmotion Pocket

 As a mobile application, Satmotion enables fast and accurate installation of VSAT networks by reducing errors and minimizing deployment time. Satmotion Pocket is able to measure Copol, Xpol and ASI before feeding back to the installer with an extremely simple interface that even non-industry experts can understand.


As the progression of Satmotion Pocket, Alusat (Always Up Satellite Terminal) reflects Integrasys’ realisation that the industry needed to get smarter after installation to prevent interference while operating, and to ensure continuation of networks.

As a rule, most Network Management Systems assume that satellite terminals can be accessed by an engineer in the event of a problem. In actual fact, VSAT terminals, by their very nature, are often located in remote areas where satellite is the only viable connection.

Alusat, on the other hand, automates checks and corrections from the Network Operating Centre (NOC) following correct installation thanks to Satmotion Pocket. By combining traditional equipment management with spectrum monitoring and measurement, Alusat can accurately derive the radio frequency status. As a result, the health of both uplinks and downlinks of all terminals in a community can be verified automatically, detecting failures and performing pre-determined actions if needed.

In partnership with Optus and iDirect Technology, Integrasys has recently delivered satellite communications to 2,100 rural sites across New Zealand. Alvaro Sanchez (Sales & Marketing Manager, Integrasys) discussed this deployment in the May edition of Sat Magazine in an article titled ‘Delivering Connectivity to the Unconnected’. The article can be accessed here.

Integrasys will be exhibiting at CommunicAsia between 23rd and 25th of May at booth 1U2-10. 

The Integrasys booth will also be a stop on the IRG interference mitigation tour, offering expert advice and guidance on the latest tools available. For more information or to register your place, please visit: http://satirg.org/communicasia-2017/.

Kratos @ CommunicAsia

VSAT Interference Event @ CommunicAsia

Ahead of IRG’s interference mitigation tour at CommunicAsia, we’re hosting a series of blog posts detailing exhibitor activities at the show. First up is Kratos:

A significant source of interference in Asia and around the world is due to VSAT systems, especially with the explosive growth in recent years.  The Satellite Interference Reduction Group’s (IRG) data indicate that VSAT systems cause approximately 40% of all interference, and are responsible for 50% of the downtime. These interference issues are some of the most highly complex, time-consuming, costly and resource-intensive to solve.

At CommunicAsia this year, Kratos will be hosting an event featuring Bob Potter, Vice President of Signals and Ground Systems. Mr. Potter will discuss the latest techniques and technologies for combatting VSAT interference. He will also demonstrate how complete VSAT monitoring capabilities including scanning, identification and geolocation can be applied to real-world interference scenarios through software demonstrations.

Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2017

9:00 am (Breakfast)
9:30 am to 10:30 am (seminar)

Speaker:  Bob Potter, Vice President, Signals and Ground Systems Technology, Kratos

Location: CommunicAsia
Sands Expo and Convention Centre
Level 4
Hospitality Suite: Melati 4011

Register to attend to today!

Also, if you missed our “Ending VSAT Interference” breakfast panel at Satellite 2017, the video recording is now available to view.

Kratos will be a stop on this year’s interference mitigation tour at CommunicAsia. For more information about the event, please visit the tour page