by Jaime Leger, Founder, Leger Marcom Communications
Satellites surround this planet in constantly growing numbers. They perform many functions from those elevated altitudes, including navigation, surveillance, and weather monitoring. But they are perhaps best known for satellite communications (satcom) services. And as the world increasingly depends on the Internet as a true international network for exchanging information, satellites will become a means of connecting for not just people but the many machines and things that work with them, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Various market studies point to a strong compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in satellite infrastructure, including ground stations, satellites, and antennas, approaching 10% through 2030. Many vehicle owners are familiar with driving to an unknown destination helped by the guidance of their Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, either built into the vehicle’s dashboard or integrated in a “smart” cellular telephone. But satellites appear headed for even greater roles in many day-to-day lives. Satellites offer wireless communications services where terrestrial infrastructure may not be easily erected, such as through mountain ranges. For defense electronics, satellites provide communications after ground-based transceivers and even mobile transceivers have been destroyed or damaged by enemy fire.
As global communications networks depend more on instantaneous interconnections, to and from anyplace at any time, satellite Internet is gaining considerable attention. Whether for rural Internet service or broadband Internet access, by linking a home or office Internet modem to a satellite in space, satellite Internet service provides DSL-like performance without the DSL equipment. Service providers such as Hughesnet® Starlink (operated by SpaceX), and Viasat® provide reliable Internet access without the sensitive ground hardware of cable or optical fiber networks.
As many satcom conferences have highlighted, satcom growth requires technological advances motivated as much by military as by commercial market needs. The strong needs for reduced size, weight, and power (SWaP) that enables agility and mobility with military equipment also provides the ease of transport for commercial users. Reliability is critical for both sets of users and, increasingly, governments around the world are relying on satcom infrastructure and services for critical communications during challenging times and events. Leger Communications is aware of how satellite infrastructure and services will support a truly global communications network and effective use of the Internet. We also understand the unique requirements of satellite components for electronic systems with military performance demands even in commercial settings. I hope to say “hello” and share some time at your booth during the Satellite 2024® Conference this March in Washington, D.C.