Show Preview: What to Expect at SATELLITE 2019

For the second year in a row, ATLAS Space Operations is excited to be exhibiting at SATELLITE 2019, running May 6 through May 9, in Washington, D.C., and this year’s show is shaping up to be a good one.

The SATELLITE 2019 show is unique in that it brings together commercial and government entities, from broad to technical operations, in one place. In D.C., governmental perspectives tend to dominate space conversations, but this show brings together the full spectrum of satellite technologies and use cases; satellite-related issues, like governance; and emerging issues like situational awareness and space debris.

As our goal at the show is to reach the broadest audience in our market, we’re looking forward to joining these conversations. Some topics we plan to be talking about in the ATLAS booth (#2142) include Internet of Things (IoT) in space; cybersecurity; space situational awareness; resiliency and scalable, secure computing; and, of course, our bread and butter: cloud-based satcom technology. We recently announced a new agreement to develop our LINKS platform with the Department of Defense, so we’re looking forward to chatting with attendees about that, too.

Some other cool stuff I’m excited for:

  • With the Intelsat 29e being destroyed and declared a total loss, and the Indian anti-satellite demonstration raising concerns about both intentional and unintentional space debris, I want to learn other industry leaders’ thoughts on the issue of debris while at the show. ATLAS has a role to play in mitigating space debris, and it’s an area of growth we have our sights trained on.
  • The SATELLITE Lunar Ball on Monday celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, which paved the way for future space exploration and the commercial human spaceflight missions being planned today. I distinctly remember playing outside with my friends as a kid, and my dad calling me into the house to watch this on the TV. I thought it was inconvenient at the time (we were in the middle of a game!), but now there’s almost no way to put into words how incredible it was to see Neal Armstrong walk on the moon.
  • Startup Space, a competition where entrepreneurs pitch their business and technology ideas to a panel of notable space professionals, investors, thought leaders and fellow entrepreneurs, is on Tuesday. My colleague Sean Casey is one of the judges, and I’m looking forward to hearing his thoughts on the contestants and how the judges chose the winner.
  • Also on Tuesday, there’s a session [NMB1] about IoT, mobility and using satellites. At ATLAS, we have been addressing this as a member of Planet M, a Michigan-based partnership of mobility organizations, communities, educational institutions, research and development, and government agencies working together to develop and deploy the mobility technologies driving the future. We’re there as part of a grant the state awarded to demonstrate the use of satellites and provide an umbrella system for monitoring drones. We’ve done this before with the U.S. Army and Air Force, and we’re excited now to do it with the commercial sector, so this session will be particularly informative for our company.
  • This year, I’m noticing that large, traditional aerospace companies that have historically been skeptical about small sats and nanosats are now investing in them, which is a great validation of some of ATLAS’ work.

Something important for all attendees to keep in mind as they arrive at the show: This is a once-a-year opportunity to take in panels and educational sessions hosted by some of the brightest minds in the industry, and interact with people you wouldn’t normally meet; create opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t exist; and come back with knowledge you didn’t have before.

Every conference is a learning opportunity, and you should come away from every show having learned something that surprises you – so if there’s something of interest to you on the agenda, make time in your schedule to see it.

Come see us in D.C. at booth 2142!

Mike Carey is co-founder and chief strategy officer of ATLAS Space Communications. Carey can be reached at

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