SES CTO on launching software-defined satellites

Satellite operator SES has a busy year-end planned with the scheduled launch of two medium Earth orbit (MEO) satellites in mid-December.

The company's CTO, Ruy Pinto, met up with Light Reading on site at Boeing Satellite in El Segundo, California, earlier this month with an update on the scheduled launch. Pinto explains how SES' O3b mPower MEO satellites differ both in size and software-defined capabilities from traditional MEO satellites.

On the topic of software-defined satellites, Pinto provides an example of how the new mPower satellites will use the adaptive resource controller (ARC) orchestrator to adjust the connectivity provided to cruise ship customers.

"So the adaptive resource controller control plane, it will dynamically – every minute almost – allocate capacity, power and bandwidth to that ship as needed."

Pinto also discusses how SES partners with terrestrial service providers such as Orange and Verizon, and why SES works with cloud partners Microsoft and Amazon as part of its multi-cloud strategy.

You can download a lightly edited transcript of the podcast here.

Here are a few topics we cover:

  • Background on Pinto and his role as CTO at SES (00:20)
  • SES' O3b mPower satellites and partnership with Boeing (00:50)
  • Software-defined satellites and SES' ARC orchestrator (02:34)
  • Partnerships with terrestrial service providers and delivering connectivity to underserved areas and regions such as Africa (05:23)
  • Providing connectivity during a natural disaster and working with service providers such as Verizon, Orange and Deutsche Telekom (08:37)
  • Timeline for launch of O3b mPower satellites later this year and early next (09:54)
  • Size difference between new mPower satellites and traditional MEO satellites, and partnership with multi-cloud partners such as Microsoft and Amazon (12:20)
  • Troubleshooting potential satellite issues (14:51)
  • Addressing cybersecurity concerns (16:30)

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— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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