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DARPA envisages robotic satellite repair missions

Martyn Williams | Sept. 14, 2015
Robotics could revolutionize the satellite telecommunications industry.

If realized, it could be a game-changer in the telecommunications industry, which spends several hundreds of millions of dollars to build, launch and operate each satellite.

“We talked to companies like Intelsat and Eutelsat,” she said, naming two of the world’s biggest owners of telecommunications satellites.

“They are very interested in refueling and that’s because they have transponders that work. It’s a huge investment up front, but once it’s up there, there’s a huge desire for video from the ground.”

She said the U.S. military, which operates its own communications satellites at that altitude, isn’t as interested in refueling as it is in upgrades.

“They want the latest and greatest capabilities. Their satellites are up there for 30 years at a time and they want the latest thing, whatever it is, so upgrading is of most interest to national security.”

Here’s Melroy’s speech at the DARPA conference.

 

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