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Better Satellite World: Making a Better World - The 2018 Better Satellite World Award Winners

In this podcast series, SSPI Director of Development and Innovation Lou Zacharilla interviews the winners of the 2018 Better Satellite World Awards about their projects, goals and making a better world for us all.

Episode 1: DARA (Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy)

The DARA project (Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy) is led by the University of Leeds School of Physics and Astronomy and supported by Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd. as an industry partner, as well as partners including the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, the South African National Space Agency and the Universities of Hertfordshire, Manchester, Oxford, Bristol and Central Lancashire. The project aims to develop high tech skills through training in radio astronomy in a number of African countries: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia. University of Leeds Professor Melvin Hoare spearheaded the program in 2015 with funding from the Newton Fund, which uses the UK’s Overseas Development Assistance budget for scientific collaboration with developing countries. Since its founding, the DARA project has trained 140 students in partner African countries with another 120 set to be trained in coming years. The DARA project received a Better Satellite World Award in 2018. Click here to learn more about DARA.

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Episode 2: Kacific Broadband Satellites International

Kacific is a next-generation broadband satellite operator delivering broadband to the Pacific and Southeast Asia, providing in many areas, affordable capacity for the first time.  The company has built a digital platform and management ecosystem to provide satellite internet even to the most dispersed rural populations, allowing local service providers, telecom infrastructure providers, tourism industry leaders, local governments, regional aid programs and local companies to improve their operations and offer more services. Working through local partners, Kacific currently provides services in Fiji, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Tonga, Niue, Samoa, American Samoa and Tuvalu. Kacific-1, a new High Throughput Satellite nearing completion at Boeing, is a large payload embarked on a satellite platform shared between Kacific and Sky Perfect JSAT. When launched, the satellite will shortly be bringing significantly more capacity to these areas and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2019. Kacific received a Better Satellite World Award in 2018. Click here to learn more about Kacific.

Episode 3: Crisis Connectivity Charter

In this episode, we hear from Simon Gray, Aarti Holla and David Meltzer on behalf of the Crisis Connectivity Charter.

The Crisis Connectivity Charter is a mechanism created between the satellite industry and the wider humanitarian community, which is designed to make satellite-based communications more readily available to humanitarians and affected communities thanks to pre-defined and pre-set solutions allowing immediate response at times of disaster. 

The Charter was developed by the EMEA Satellite Operator’s Association (ESOA) and the Global VSAT Forum (GVF) and their members, in coordination with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), led by the World Food Programme (WFP).  When activated by the ETC, the Charter aims to foster more efficient cooperation between the satellite industry, local governments, non-government organizations (NGOs) and the broader humanitarian community in the initial stages of a disaster, allowing for better communication planning, increased connectivity and support for emergency responses. Click here to learn more about the Crisis Connectivity Charter.