Cenk Şen, CEO of Türksat, attended a webinar held by SEDEC Talks on 18 May. Assuming the role of moderator in the event, Şen revealed Türksat’s vision on the future of satellite technologies.
Emphasising that the operational environment is changing with the emerging technologies, Şen said: “Security and defence are very dynamic sectors. Their dimensions are changing and increasing as technology improves. The operational environment of Security and Defence has also been changing in the last few decades. Space and Cyberspace were added to operational environments because of the technological improvements achieved so far. Satellites have especially started to play an important role in the security and defence environment. Remote sensing satellites and communication satellites have been widely used for defence and security purposes like for strategic intelligence purposes and to support land, air and sea operations.”
Launchers are Also Improving
Şen, also spoke about the innovations in satellites and launchers: “Lately, satellites have gained extraordinary capabilities which have made them indispensable. Now satellites are smaller but have more capacity and a longer life span. For example, Low earth orbit satellites will be able to provide terabytes of data capacities with a little latency anywhere in the world. Remote sensing satellites can take photos with centimetre sensitive resolution. With flexible payloads, dynamic capacity and coverage management will be possible. We are witnessing game changing improvements not only in satellites but also in launchers/rockets too. Now launchers or rockets can carry more weight, multiple satellites at once, go higher, and they can even be reusable.”
Delivering the closing speech of the event, Şen underlined the synergies between defence and security sectors and satellite technologies: “Security and defence requirements and conditions are changing rapidly. The fast-changing environments create blurred areas which cause threats in the security and defence sectors. That’s why in the future, defence and security sectors will be more data-driven. They will be trying to accumulate data via different sensors and resources from the field or environment, and then they will process it to get decision support information. In order to have clear view of the environment, aerospace technology has been providing many tools. Because of their existent capabilities, satellites have taken on an important role in security and defence. They can be used by either as sensors -like remote sensing means- or communication infrastructure not only for sensors but also for streaming data.”
Disruptive Satellite Technologies
Şen went on to speak about disruptive new satellitetechnologies: “We have observed that the aerospace industry has been working on disruptive new technologies in order to get resilient communication. In the future new frequency bands, especially Q/V -higher than 30 Ghz- will be put into use; LEO constellations like Starlink and High Throughput satellites in GEO will provide a huge amount of bandwidth and mobility, and also will provide a resilient communication infrastructure for even IoTs. Flexible payloads will make satellites agile to respond to immediate requirements of defence and security sectors. Satellites’ size and manufacturing time are decreasing but their capacity is increasing and also launching technologies are improving and we can launch many satellites in a rocket within a short period. Because of these reasons, a decrease in unit service cost will be observed and satellite based solutions will be really good alternatives for defence and security sectors. All of these improvements will make satellites and aerospace means indispensable in terms of the security and defence sector.”