From The Editor | February 26, 2024

What To Expect At SATELLITE 2024

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By John Oncea, Editor


Today there is unlimited opportunity for companies to take advantage of the efficiencies, savings, and benefits that satellite and space technology can offer. That opportunity is bringing with it exponential growth and rosy predictions about the resiliency and future outlook of the industry. How can you keep up with all of this growth? Attending SATELLITE 2024 would be a good start.

Let’s see. What are some space communications predictions being made for this year?

Well, Charles Alexi, Senior Partner at Tonex Group, wrote in a LinkedIn post that satellite communications will continue to play a vital role in global communications in 2024 and beyond. More specifically, Alexi writes, “Experts in the satellite communications sector contend that there will be more advances in 2024, such as:

  • The integration of multiple orbits spanning high-, medium-, and low-Earth orbits;
  • the widespread adoption of direct-to-device connectivity; and
  • a shift from the historical reliance on small satellites for network deployment toward a greater emphasis on medium to large-scale satellite investments.”

OliverWyman adds the coming year is “likely to see more space consolidation, the development of new technologies closer to Earth, such as artificial intelligence-enabled earth imaging and asset tracking, and new satellite networks focused on direct-to-mobile-phone communications.”

ViaSaellite adds, “2024 promises to bring an insurgence of collaboration and innovation, along with more established regulatory processes for the space sector. Industry leaders should take note of these anticipated trends and evaluate how they can support the evolving needs of the growing space economy.”

Other trends expected include satellite networks focused on direct-to-mobile-phone communications, increased utilization of CubeSats, rapid development of software-defined satellites, a focus on sustainable and eco-friendly satellite designs, and the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

Who’ll be proven right? We have no idea.

But there is one place to go to gather enough information to hedge your bets and that’s the 2024 SATELLITE conference and exhibition taking place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC from March 18–21, 2024. The exhibition will take place from March 19–21, 2024. This year’s conference and exhibition will feature more than 375 exhibitors, two content theaters, two general sessions, unlimited networking opportunities, and groundbreaking insights and innovations.

Let’s take a closer look at “the largest and most important satellite event of the year” which is considered by many to be the meeting place for the global space and satellite communities.

History In The Making

The SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition was launched in 1981 to connect and unite the satellite industry as it headed toward new frontiers. Over the past 43 years, SATELLITE has served the satellite and space communities and broadened the scope of content to encompass professionals in commercial markets benefiting from satellite technology and applications, such as broadcasting, media and entertainment, government/military, aviation, maritime, automotive, financial, healthcare, telecommunications and more.

According to the event’s preview page, “Executives, engineers, government officials, and commercial customers convene annually at SATELLITE to solve global challenges, bridge the digital divide, increase access to space, cultivate innovation and future leadership, collaborate on policy, and network with colleagues and peers.”

More than 14,000 people representing 120 countries are expected to attend the four-day event with this year’s featured speakers being:

  • Diane Howard, Director, Commercial Space Policy, National Space Council at The White House
  • Glenn Latta, Managing Director of In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC), Delta Airlines
  • Lt. Gen. Shawn N. Bratton, Deputy Chief of Space Operations, Strategy, Plans, Programs, & Requirements, U.S. Space Force
  • Jessica Rosenworcel, Chairwoman, Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

In addition to those for featured speakers, there will be more sessions that are possible to list here. So, go ahead and check them out at your leisure.

SATELLITE also has historically been an event at which important industry developments have been announced. For instance, last year Google spinoff, Aalyria, shared its vision for Spacetime and Amazon Project Kuiper unveiled new user terminals and announced launch plans for 3,000 satellites into LEO during the keynote address.

Elon Musk appeared in 2009 to announce commercial satellite launch service on Falcon 9 and again in 2020 to announce remote/rural broadband service on Starlink. Jeff Bezos revealed Blue Origin’s first commercial satellite launch customer in 2017 and its first lunar lander, Blue Moon two years later.

Will history be made this year? We’ll have to wait and see but wouldn’t it be nice to be there if it were?

Looking For Inspiration?

The first two days of SATELLITE will feature SGx 2024, a program addressing critical challenges and presenting groundbreaking ideas aimed at igniting the aspirations of future space pioneers. Based on TEDx, SGx cultivates an atmosphere that encourages young professionals, industry experts, and government leaders to convene and exchange valuable insights and experiences.

SGx features for panels – two a day both days – including Space 4 Good: Harnessing Space for Positive Change; Space Beyond STEM: Exploring the Multidimensional Space Workforce; Launching Careers: Making the Leap into the Space Workforce; and Championing Change: Practical Steps for Driving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

Don’t Overlook The Exhibit

The Exhibit Hall at SATELLITE serves as a gathering for industry professionals seeking to network, advance their careers, and remain well-informed about the latest technologies, products, and services. In 2024, attendees will have access to more than 375 exhibitors, two content theaters, two General Sessions, and unlimited networking opportunities during the three-day Exhibit Hall run.

Other events to look forward to are the 8th Annual Startup Space Pitch Competition, cutting-edge partner sessions, and the Startup Pavilion for new market entrants. There also will be a session – The Future Space Economy | Building Deep Space Satellite Connectivity Networks – during which panelists will discuss what deep space satellite networks will look like, how they will be built to perform in extraordinary environments, and the history of deep-space exploration and research satellites and what we’ve learned from those missions.

By attending SATELLITE, you’ll be exposing yourself to new ideas, perspectives, and innovations, accessing valuable knowledge and insights, and allowing yourself to meet with industry professionals, experts, and like-minded individuals. Nowhere else can you increase your professional visibility, establish business connections, access market intelligence and competitor analysis, and walk away with invaluable connections and potential for partnerships to enhance your organization’s future.