DirecTV recently announced the company would no longer be buying geosynchronous satellites. Worldwide video services have relied heavily on satellites for more than 30 years. Broadcasters and content producers have been able to relay real-time events to a global audience via satellite but now the internet is providing an inexpensive alternative. GEO systems are seeing competion from LEO and MEO systems but the vast majority of traffic worldwide is still GEO – what is the future?
As leader of the firm’s Transportation and Space Group in Washington, D.C., Dara’s practice involves representation of satellite operators, aerospace manufacturers, launch services providers, communications companies, banks, private equity firms and hedge funds in debt and equity offerings, project, structured and vendor financings, mergers & acquisitions, financial restructurings and in negotiating commercial contracts. He also advises on regulatory, sanctions, anti-corruption, national security and export control matters.
PRIMARY FOCUS & EXPERIENCE
Mr. Panahy’s practice focuses on representing clients involved in the aerospace and communications industries. His experience includes representing satellite operators, aerospace manufacturers, launch services providers, communications companies, banks, private equity firms and hedge funds in numerous financings involving public offerings, high yield debt, investment grade bonds, project and vendor financings, mergers & acquisitions, financial restructuring and reorganizations and in negotiating project contracts. He also counsels clients on domestic and international regulatory and trade matters, including licensing of communications systems, economic sanctions, regulation of foreign direct investment, anti-bribery and corrupt practices, national security and export control laws and regulations and risk management.Mike Antonovich
Mike Antonovich joined Eutelsat Americas as CEO in April 2017. He has over 30 years of experience in the satellite and telecommunications industry executive. He began his career at ESPN as a broadcast engineer and held a number of sales and marketing functions during a lengthy career at PanAmSat, including leading PanAmSat’s global sales team. He has more recently been CEO of Genesis Networks, Senior Vice President for the Americas for ATEME and Senior Vice President Global Sales for Global Media Links in Japan.Dr. Rajeev Gopal
Dr. Gopal is responsible for resilient/protected communications, LEO, HTS, AI/ML and cyber-related programs within Hughes DISD. He was involved in the design of the OneWeb LEO broadband system that completed its first two-way data transfer in 2019 summer. He earlier served as Network System Engineering lead for Transformational Satellite (TSAT) space segment and was on the SPACEWAY® 3 (with onboard Layer 2 packet processing) architecture and Mobile Satellite systems (Thuraya, ICO, LEO Teledesic), development teams. He was the chief architect and software manager for the SPACEWAY, a $1.8B development, Network Operations Control Center (NOCC).
Dr. Gopal serves on the editorial board of Wiley’s International Journal of Satellite Communications and Networking (IJSCN) and is a member of IEEE 5G World Forum and AIAA ICSSC technical program committees. As a member of the US President’s NSTAC Satellite Task Force 2009, he co-authored the report on commercial satellite communications and cybersecurity.
He received a BE (Hons.) in Electrical Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS), Pilani, India and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Vanderbilt University; has published more than 40 technical papers on topics ranging from satellites, software, AI, machine learning, network management, and life science applications; and holds 8 patents on satellite systems.Eric Jensen
Eric Jensen is the Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing for Boeing Satellite Systems International, Inc. (BBSI), a team that delivers connectivity to the global marketplace by overseeing the strategy, integration and execution of Boeing’s commercial satellite business.Eric is responsible for the revenue growth of the organization, including pipeline management, product definition, branding and marketing activities for space and ground offerings.
Prior to his role, Eric was Director of Sales for the Boeing Commercial Satellite Services (BCSS) organization. As the business capture lead for the group, Eric oversaw the delivery of satellite capacity to government and commercial customers. In 2018, a year after his appointment, the BCSS team created 10X year-over-year revenue growth and returned to profitability for the first time in over five years.
Previously, Eric led business growth activities for Boeing’s small satellite organizationwithin the Phantom Works division. Here, Eric was responsible for delivering Boeing’s newestsatellite to commercial users. This role necessitated innovative approaches to collaboration among financiers, insurance brokers, regulators, launch vehicle providers, and start-upcustomers, resulting in the expansion of Boeing’s offering scope and access to higher marginelements of the value chain.
Eric joined the company in 2007 as a mechanical engineer in Phantom Works, contributing in various capacities to autonomous space vehicles, human-rated spacecraft, earth-observation satellites and interplanetary missions. He received a Master of Business Administration from the University of California Los Angeles, a Master of Science from the University of Southern California, and Bachelor of Science from Washington University in St. Louis.
Kevin Steen is president and chief executive officer of VT iDirect, a global leader in IP-based satellite communications. Steen joined VT iDirect in 2010 and has served as a key member of VT iDirect’s leadership team, where he has been responsible for charting the company’s strategic growth across sales, operations and business development. Steen has led a major effort across VT iDirect and its global partner base to advance the role of satellite technology in the end-to-end telecom network; identify new market opportunities for satellite communications, and collaborate with VT iDirect’s ecosystem to co-develop industry-leading technology.
Steen has more than 20 years of experience in technology business development and operating executive positions. Prior to joining VT iDirect, he was Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions at SAP Americas, where he participated in strategic M&A activities.
Steen holds an MBA from Northeastern University and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Denver. He sits on several boards in a financial and operations advisory capacity.Richard (Ric) A. VanderMeulen
Richard (Ric) A. VanderMeulen is Vice President, Space & Satellite Broadband at Viasat the world’s largest operator of Satellite Communication Capacity. In this position since 2009, VanderMeulen is engaged in Viasat’s efforts serving government and commercial markets with broadband, fixed and mobile Satellite Communication Services, Satcom Ground Segment solutions, and Satcom Customer Premise Equipment solutions.
Bringing both engineering and business expertise during his more than 30 years in the Satellite Communications industry, Mr. VanderMeulen has held senior general manager and program manager positions at Viasat, The Boeing Company, and Rockwell Collins. Before the formation of Government Systems Division, VanderMeulen was Vice President General Manager Government Satcom. He was responsible for all Viasat’s government Satcom programs.
He joined Viasat in 2001. Previously, he served as Director, Business Development for Boeing’s Space and Communication Group new ventures. Mr. VanderMeulen began his business career with Rockwell Collins as a design engineer and eventually as a business leader responsible for design completion and transitioned to production of multiple Satcom Systems including Milstar, SMART-T, SCAMP, and others.
Ric was born in Detroit, Michigan. He attended the University of Virginia and graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science.