Mobile Satellite Ventures Hybrid Satellite Network

Mobile Satellite Ventures is in the process of receiving patents to support a Hybrid Satellite Network. If implemented, the company would have an extraterrestrial communications system to support ground-level operations on different planets.


(Mobile Satellite Ventures hybrid space communications network)

In one scenario, a satellite would orbit another planet (like Mars) in communication with a base station on the surface. That network would, in turn, communicate with a satellite orbiting Earth and Earth ground stations.

"The fundamental concept of the ATC [Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) concept of combining satellite signals with signals from terrestrial repeaters] has created an opportunity for significant innovation," said Peter Karabinis, senior vice president and chief technology officer with Mobile Satellite Ventures of Reston, Va.

"...we imagined a future architecture that would enable communications as we expanded our presence on a planet," said Lon Levin, co-inventor, with Karabinis, then a senior officer with Mobile Satellite Ventures who also had co-founded XM Satellite Radio. "This architecture would not only provide efficiently expandable communications on the surface of a planet, it would also provide an efficient and effective means to have many simultaneous communications between Earth and other planets."

Science fiction writer George O. Smith has already contributed a significant amount of prior art on this idea. In his 1942 story QRM - Interplanetary, he writes about Venus Equilateral Station, which serves as the Interplanetary Communication Center for the solar system.

The Venus Equilateral Relay Station was a modern miracle of engineering if you liked to believe the books. Actually, Venus Equilateral was an asteroid that had been shoved into its orbit about the Sun, forming a practical demonstration of the equilateral triangle solution of the Three Moving Bodies. It was a long cylinder, about three miles in length by about a mile in diameter...

This was the center of Interplanetary Communications. This was the main office. It was the heart of the Solar System's communication line, and as such, it was well manned. Orders for everything emanated from Venus Equilateral.

Smith was an electronics engineer, and Arthur C. Clarke remarked that Smith was probably the "first technically qualified writer - to spell out the uses of space stations for space communications."

From Space Communications Patent Spans Solar System and Mobile Satellite Ventures.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/8/2008)

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