Space based Communications, Applications and Technologies in the 5G Era:
Moving forward to the Third Decade of the 21st Century

Niagara Falls, Canada, October 15 - 18, 2018

Plenary Panels

Tuesday, October 16

Round Table 1

Commercial Space Applications: Can Private Enterprise Accommodate a New Deep Space Network

Moderator: Badri Younes
Deputy Associate Administrator, Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN), NASA HQ, USA

The Panel will discuss the rapid technology revolution in satellite communications and how private enterprise may complement a role normally undertaken by government agencies, that of providing communications to manned and unmanned exploration and science missions. The continuation of the International Space Station (ISS) and the move to go back to the moon and beyond to Mars calls for a much enhanced near earth and deep space network, possibly as an extension of the terrestrial network. More and more space communications networks will be integrated with the terrestrial network, which calls into question what the government and private sector roles will be. This panel will discuss many aspects of space exploration communications, including the concept of the Deep Space Gateway as a communications node within an extensive laser and RF network, providing both long distance point to point and local Wi-Fi connectivity.


  • Les Deutsch, Deputy Director, Interplanetary Directorate, JPL, USA
  • Nader Alagha, ESA/ESTEC, The Netherlands
  • Daniel Gratton, Manager, Microwave & Communication, Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Canada
  • Matt Cosby, Director of Space Engineering, Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd., UK
  • Jim Schier, Chief Architect, SCaN/NASA, USA

Plenary Panel 1

Optical Technology and Systems

Moderator: Pete Vrotsos
Director, Satellite Programs, ZIN Technologies Inc., USA

To build on the 24th Ka-band and 36th ICSSC Conference Plenary Session on Optical Technology and Systems, we are going to further explore the movement of optical communications technology from civil space technology infusion and demonstrations to commercial sitcom systems. Numerous companies are developing architectures and building spacecraft that will include optical communications in inter-satellite links and space to ground gateway services. This year’s panel will include current operational systems, new systems that will be launched, traditional global service providers, large and small optical systems developers.


  • Guy Baister, Thales Alenia Space, Switzerland
  • Chien Chen, Facebok, USA
  • Mathias Motzigemba, Tesat, Germany
  • Thomas Wood, LGS Innovations, USA
  • Tony Stajcer, Honeywell, Canada

Wednesday, October 17

Plenary Panel 2

Emerging New Markets in Aviation, Mobility and Autonomy

Moderator: Marco Lisi
Special Advisor to ESA, The Netherlands and Chief Technical Advisor to the European GNSS Agency, ESA, The Netherlands

Rapid new uses of airspace coupled with recent advances in autonomy will change the nature of how people live and work. The growth of the civilian drone services (Unmanned or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, UAS, RPAS) took market analysts totally by surprise. Coupled with the tremendous research taking place in autonomy and it’s applications to self-driving cars and drone operations could cause an exciting new opportunity for satellites. This panel will review the role of satellites in supporting mobility and autonomous operations expected to be greatly influenced by the introduction of 5G/LTE in terrestrial networks.


  • Nader Alagha, European Space Agency (ESA), The Netherlands
  • Marco Brancati, Telespazio, Italy
  • Flavio Sbardellati, European GNSS Agency, Czech Republic
  • James Kimery, National Instruments, USA
  • Peter Mabson, Exact Earth, Canada

Thursday, October 18

Plenary Panel 3

Disruptive Change

Moderator: Chris Hoeber
CFH Engineering, USA (Consultant for the Communications Satellite Industry)

For the third straight year, we will examine the disruptive forces that are reshaping the space communications ecosystem. First came the HTS spacecraft, which disrupted the satellite bandwidth pricing models, and created (temporary?) excess capacity. Then came the LEO systems, which disrupted the satellite procurement and manufacturing models. In the past year, SpaceX and Telesat launched prototype spacecraft; OneWeb constellation manufacturing moved forward, and the Telesat constellation procurement is underway. On top of these seismic changes, last year’s panel identified the rollout of Wireless 5G as something that the industry ignores at its own peril, and predicted that to survive, new manufacturing/service alignments would come into being. So as not to be left behind, manufacturers will have to create a new future, rather than wait for RFPs. Have we made progress in the past year?


  • Mark Dankberg, Chairman & CEO, ViaSat, USA
  • Greg Edlund, VP RF Payload Center of Excellence, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, USA
  • Barry Evans, Professor, University of Surrey, UK
  • Rajeev Gopal, Senior Technical Director, Advanced Systems, Defense & Intelligence Systems, Hughes Network Systems, USA
  • Michel Forest, Director of Engineering, Telesat, Canada
  • Alessandro Le Pera, R&D Nanager and Advanced Payload Manager, Eutelsat, France
  • Rob Singh, Vice President Business Development, Solutions Architect, SSL, USA
  • Glyn Thomas, Payload Lead Engineer, Airbus Defence and Space, UK

   Information & Inquiries should be directed to:

   the Ka Conference Technical Program Co-Chairs at and at
   the ICSSC Conference Technical Program Co-Chairs at and at
   the Joint Conference Organization at

Early bird fees are available till September 7, 2018.


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