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June 13, 2019

The first U.S. weather satellite weighed 270 pounds. Its immense size made most people associate the word “satellite” with either a moon, a sputnik, or a modern rig with rocket motors, solar panels, and antennae. Is that still the case?

Sixty years later, satellites are more common, providing Internet access to billions, secure telecommunications, GPS information, and strategic military advantages. Modern satellites are more powerful and ?exible, do more, cost less, and get to orbit faster. They deliver better accuracy, improved anti-jamming capabilities, and, more recently, they even connect to the wider network of satellites orbiting Earth. And investments in satellite and space technology are growing not only in commercial markets, but in military and civil ones as well.

Modern satellites are also driving a new business model. Small satellites have changed the procurement chains for space technology, from the satellite producers down to the designers of the radiation-hardened integrated circuits (ICs) that fuel their sophisticated payload. They have shifted the paradigm in terms of costs and time-to-market because they are less expensive to produce and launch, and if one goes down it can easily be replaced by another. The number of annual nano- or microsatellite launches has grown at an average of 40% per year since 2011, with 10% growth projected annually through 2023. What does it take to be successful in this market?

The New Space Race is a new podcast hosted by John McHale, group editorial director for Military Embedded Systems and brought to you by Wind River®. Hear about the people and technology that are transforming the space industry today.

During this six-episode event we will explore how satellites have developed from the first GEO satellites of decades ago to the new SmallSats being launched en masse today. Each episode will feature interviews with experts on the satellite industry covering the spacecraft themselves as well as the hardware and software that enables their complex payloads.

Each episode of the series will dive deeper into:

• Business and technology drivers of the satellite market and how they impact system design, from GEO satellites to CubeSats, SmallSats, and new launch vehicles

• The emergence of new business models in the entrepreneurial space age

• Technology trends ranging from the increased use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology for critical spacecraft functions to the embrace of open architectures and agile practices

Access show transcripts and additional resources at


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