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GEO 2.0

GEO satellite has been with us since the dawn of the satellite age, and it’s easy for us to take it for granted. GEO 2.0 makes its contribution to the Eternal Orbit campaign by inviting today’s experts in geosynchronous orbit to discuss the future of this grandfather of satellite orbits. What’s new, what’s sexy and what is tried and true? Let’s find out together in GEO 2.0.

Episode 1: What's Next for the Grandfather of Satellite Orbits?

In the first episode of GEO 2.0, we hear from Mike Antonovich, CEO Commercial for U.S. Electrodynamics, Inc. Mike gives us a look at what may be in store for GEO’s future in the satellite industry from the perspective of an industry veteran.

Mike Antonovich is a globally recognized leader in the managed transmission service industry with over 30 years experience delivering high quality solutions and services to the world's leading media, enterprise and government clients. He currently serves as CEO Commercial for U.S. Electrodynamics, Inc. (USEI), a position he took on quite recently. Mike joined USEI after working as Senior Satellite Services Sales Specialist for Telstra, where he was responsible for growing Telstra's presence in the satellite communications marketplace. Before Telstra, he was VP of International Sales & Business Development at DataPath, where he worked in systems design and integration, global field services, and transportable Earth stations, among other areas. Mike served for 4 years as CEO of Eutelsat Americas, a position in which he was responsible for all activities for Eutelsat in the Americas and for supporting Americas-based clients on Eutelsat’s global capacity. He has served in a variety of other leadership roles throughout his career in the industry, including SVP of Global Sales at Media Global Links, SVP and GM for the Americas at ATEME, President & CEO of The SPACECONNECTION and EVP of Global Sales and Marketing at PanAmSat.

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Episode 2: The Future of GEO is Now!

In the second episode of GEO 2.0, we hear from Channasandra “Ravi” Ravishankar and Bhanu Durvasula from Hughes about how integrated constellation solutions, including GEO, are meeting the demands of the day and will meet challenges of the future. You’ll also hear more about where satellites in geosynchronous orbit are expanding the capabilities of their nearer Earth cousins.

Dr. Channasandra “Ravi” Ravishankar is Senior Vice President of Engineering at Hughes and leads end-to-end system design activities of GSO and NGSO satellite systems. He led the development of GMR-1 Mobile Satellite System air interfaces that adapts terrestrial 3GPP specifications over satellite – these air interfaces have been standardized in ETSI and ITU. He has contributed to 3GPP 5G NTN specifications in the area of mobility management. He was a keynote speaker at the International Communication Satellite Systems Conference (ICSSC) in 2022. He has served as Editor of IEEE Transactions on Communications journal and Guest Editor of IEEE Networks Magazine on “Integration of Satellite and 5G Networks.” He received his PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, USA. Prior to joining Hughes, he was with Comsat Laboratories, Clarksburg, Maryland, USA.


Bhanu Durvasula, Vice President of the International Division at Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), leads the company’s international product and operations team, responsible for product line management of satellite broadband systems. In his 30+ years at Hughes, Mr. Durvasula has held a variety of leadership roles in engineering and product development for solutions including, among others: cellular backhaul over satellite, Mobile Satellite Systems (MSS) ground networks; and point-tomultipoint wireless products for terrestrial cell backhaul and last mile access. Most recently, Mr. Durvasula’s efforts have been focused on satellite network technology for community Wi-Fi hotspot and cellular backhaul solutions in support of the company’s efforts to bring connectivity to unserved and underserved areas of the world. He holds several patents, both issued and pending. Mr. Durvasula earned a Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Consumers, businesses, governments and communities around the world benefit from the connected experiences enabled by Hughes technologies and services.

Episode 3: GEO Satellites Lowering the Temperature

Mark Twain once famously quipped, “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” Well, Pam Sullivan isn’t so sure about that!

In the third episode of GEO 2.0, SSPI’s Lou Zacharilla speaks with Pam Sullivan, Director of the Office of Geostationary Earth Orbit Observations at NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service. In this role, she oversees the development, acquisition, integration, installation, and acceptance of major system elements (spacecraft, instruments, launch services and ground systems) for the GOES-R Series satellites and NOAA’s next-generation geostationary satellites, Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO).

Pam Sullivan joined NOAA in May 2018. Previously, she managed the GOES-R Series Flight project for NASA, directing the development of the spacecraft, Instruments, and launch services for the four satellites in the GOES-R series. Sullivan has broad space flight development experience that includes serving as the Deputy Project Manager for the Joint Polar Satellite System Project, Program Manager for the National Polar Operational Environmental Satellite System Visible/Infrared Imager/Sounder System, and Manager of the James Webb Space Telescope Integrated Science Instrument Module, the Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera, and GOES-IM Imager and Sounder instruments.

GOES satellites are designated with a letter prior to launch. Once a GOES satellite has successfully reached geostationary orbit, it is renamed with a number. GOES-U, the final satellite in the series, is scheduled to launch in 2024.

Prior to starting her NASA career, Sullivan served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, training as a space shuttle flight controller and supporting military space experiments using the shuttle. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in astronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Episode 4: GEO 2.0 and the Outernet

What happens when the old and young meet and bring to the world best of breed connectivity – or collide in the chase for its rich market share, capital and the future? In an industry where terrestrial and orbital, once contestants in a bitter communications technology “religious war,” have found convergence and common ground around technologies such as 5G and soon 6G, and where deals such as Apple and Globalstar show the innovation that can occur with these platforms, the next question is, “When will there be true multi-layer connectivity that can readily connect EVERYTHING without complicating the customer experiences?”

Further, when will the 5 billion unconnected find the internet with ease and make the “Middle of Nowhere” no more? What do established, profitable GEO leaders, such as Hughes Network Systems, with its extraordinary new Jupiter-3 satellite now in orbit think about this and the future of connectivity and satellite industry investments? Can it work with upstarts?

In this episode of GEO 2.0, based on the September edition of the New York Space Business Roundtable, you’ll hear from Joe Bernabucci, Director of Strategy & Market Intelligence at Hughes, William Mudge, Vice President of Engineering Operations, USA at Speedcast and Steve Nixon, President and Co-Founder of SmallSat Alliance. They discuss if the Outernet is outer nuts and if GEO has entered a new era that will be even more potent than the first.

You can watch the original September 2023 edition of the New York Space Business Roundtable here: