Affiliations: Institute for Applied Space Research, The George Washington University, 2033 K Street, NW, Suite 340, Washington, DC 20052, USA E‐mail: [email protected] | Mac Rae Technologies, 72 Sherbrook Drive, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922, USA E‐mail: [email protected] | Center for Wireless Communications, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA E‐mail: [email protected] | Consultant, 5137 Klingle St NW, Washington, DC 20016, USA Tel.: +1 202 362 0735; Fax: +1 202 237 0887; E‐mail: [email protected]
Abstract: A single satellite located at GEO provides communications coverage over 1/3 of the surface of the Earth. Thus, by their very nature, satellites are an international communications media. A NASA and NSF sponsored study of satellite technology and markets included visits by a group of experienced satellite communications engineers and policy makers to over 60 locations located in North and South America, Europe and Asia. They concluded that the rapidly growing and large market for communications satellite services has attracted the attention of numerous countries and companies located over the entire globe. These countries are investing in R&D and the establishment of manufacturing facilities to enable them to be not only users of such services but significant participants in this growth market in the future. This paper summarizes the visits to satellite communication facilities located all over the globe and describes their R&D activities in support of this rapidly growing business. The participants in this study concluded that the major investment in satellite communications R&D in numerous countries, located all over the globe, represents a serious threat to the United States’ continued long term dominance in the manufacture of satellites and in the development of new satellite based services.