Broadcast 3241 Christopher Richins

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Guest:  Christopher Richins; Topics: Commercial satellite communications, ground stations, laser optical communications, national rocket launchers and more.

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We welcomed Christopher Richins, CEO of RBC Signals ( back to the show for news and updates with his company and satellite communications, ground stations, and laser optical communications.  We started our one segment 60 minute discussion with Christopher introducing us to RBC Signals.  Our guest talked about solving the problem of getting more data from satellites to ground station with low latency and low cost.  In just 3.5 year since RBC Signals was started, it has made great strides in accomplishing its goals with 2019 income growth projections surpassing 500% - a fact we discussed near the end of our show.  We talked about innovative ground station technology and development plus the RBC Signals sharing model.  He cited a newly built Artic Circle ground station as an example of the new, innovative ground station.  Don't miss what he said about it, the collaborative partners, and what they had to do to build an operating ground station in such a harsh environment. 

Christopher was asked about his mix of business with commercial, government and defense.  Don't miss what he said in reply to this question but also note what he said about future customer and market plans.  Note that collaborative partners include governments as well as commercial partners. 

Christopher had much to say about their work in developing laser optical communications and the demo project that was just launched on a Falcon 9 from Vandenberg.  Later in the discussion, our guest suggested that the laser optical communications, depending on how the demo project goes, could be operational later in 2019.  Much was said about laser optical communications and its advantages over traditional radio communications.  It was worth noting how much more secure the laser communications were over RF signals.  I asked Christopher if his company could support human spaceflight communications, even going out to Mars given that he earlier said they would be working with satellites in lunar orbit and even on the lunar surface.   

Listeners sent in many email questions.  One asked our guest about competition.  Here, we talked about the recent Amazon AWS Ground Station Announcement and how that will benefit RBC Signals.   Another listener inquired if and when there might be consumer applications for smartphone for satellite communications.  Several listeners asked about the cubesat potential.  Regarding cubesats, our guest said that the laser optical communications would be a big benefit.   In this context, our guest had much to say about democratizing space based infrastructure and how developing and improving space core infrastructure would make our lives better. 

I asked our guest about FCC regulations and the political nature of the FCC.  Don't miss what he said about FCC regs, politics, and foreign nation FCC equivalent organizations.  This opened the door for a discussion about multinational cooperation and partnerships, ground station resource allocation and partnering to share resources.  Our guest took this opportunity to talk about the excellent 4th quarter results for RBC Signals and what this will mean for income growth projections for 2019.  We talked about these company economics at length as we got closer to the end of our program.

Listener Ralph asked our guest about hacking and security.  Don't miss what Christopher had to say about security, encryption, the bad guys and their total security effort with their global partners.  He reminded us that RF can be intercepted but that laser optical, once it is commercialized, will be much more secure.  Another listener, Cathy, asked about ground stations over the oceans.   Don't miss what our guest said about covering the oceans for getting satellite data back to Earth.  Other topics that were discussed before the end of our program included time line projections for certain things to develop plus Christopher talked about the coming trends in satellite communications and just how rapidly the field was expanding and developing.  He freely talked about the company 2019 income projections of 500% or more.  Wow!

Please post your comments for this show on TSS blog.  You can reach our guest through me or his company website.    




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18 Dec 2018 Christopher Richins
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