From a sidebar — The geographical reach of VSAT technology was a prime reason why Bob Evans Farms deployed a 481-site network. The national restaurant chain teamed with Spacenet to link its retail stores and corporate headquarters to an always-on IP VSAT service. And the network was up and running in five weeks. The company looked into frame relay, DSL and ISDN service options, but chose a VSAT network because it was the only technology that could reach all locations and was the most cost-effective.
“Despite the strong barriers to entry that prevail in the industry, some daring entrepreneurs are nevertheless attempting to challenge incumbents. The entry of low-cost launchers such as the Space Exploration Technology (SpaceX) Falcon-1 and Falcon-5, offered at USD 6 million and USD 12 million respectively, may…”
Technology developed in association with space activities is used in many industries and non-space applications. Technology is transferred through intentional efforts by governments to identify new applications, as well as through organic adaptation of technologies, via connections among researchers, labs, and companies.
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Satellites also provide mobile telephony services. Satellite mobile telephony enables regional to near-global coverage depending on the satellite or constellation, using handsets that communicate directly with a satellite. Mobile satellite telephone service is provided by satellite constellations in LEO, such as Iridium and Globalstar, and by satellites in GEO, such as Inmarsat, Thuraya, and ACeS. These services are provided by satellites primarily using the L-band. Satellites providing mobile phone and data services often are referred to as mobile satellite service (MSS) satellites.
Satellites have provided trunking for long-distance telephone service for decades. Most long-distance traffic is now routed over cable, avoiding the lag and other reductions in quality (such as echo) associated with satellite telephone calls. Areas or countries lacking terrestrial backbone still rely on satellite connectivity to the publicly-switched telephone network. Telephone companies or nations lease C-band or Ku-band transponders on GEO satellites. Telephony, along with broadcast television, discussed above, and data services are common FSS applications.
Data communications services include very small aperture terminal (VSAT) services, Internet backhaul, direct-to-home broadband, and mobile data.
The DoD and national security agencies could also use a variety of Earth observation satellites, like Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) under development, Fast On-orbit Recording of Transient Events (FORTÉ), and the Multispectral Thermal Imager (MTI) that provide intelligence through a variety of sensors, including multi-spectral imagery, thermal images and event classification, radio burst detectors, and radar imaging.
Space Services Inc. of Houston, Texas, offers memorial spaceflights, launching a symbolic portion of a person’s cremated remains into space. These memorials are a small secondary payload on a commercial or scientific satellite launch. Space Services offers Earth return services, Earth orbit services, lunar services, and Voyager (deep space) services.