Q 1.3 Give a timeline of evolution of satellite systems. The table highlights a sample of important milestones in the development of satellite systems, mainly (but not exclusively) related to satellite communications.

1926First  liquid  propellant  rocket  launched by  R H Goddard  in  the  USA
1942First successful  launch  of  a V-2 rocket in Germany, which technology led  to development  of satellite launchers
1945Arthur  Clarke  publishes  his  ideas  of geostationary  satellites  for  world- wide broadcast
1957Launch of first satelliteFormer Soviet Union
1958First  American  satellite  launchedFirst voice communication via satellite demonstratedUSA
1960First  communication  satellite  (passive) launchedFirst successful launch by DELTA Launch Vehicle     First remote sensing satellite TIROS-1 launchedUSA
1961Formal start of TELSTAR, RELAY, and SYNCOM Programs which led to the beginning of satellite communication as we know itUSA
1962First  active  communication  satellite  launchedTELSTAR and RELAY satellite launchedFirst trans-Atlantic live television broadcast (TELSTAR-1)RELAY satellite used for live trans-Atlantic  television broadcasts of important US eventsUSA
1963SYNCOM 1 and  2 launched to develop technology for geostationary orbitUSA
1964First  satellite  launched into  geostationary  orbit (SYNCOM-3)INTELSAT foundedUSA
1965First commercial geostationary satellite system launched (Early Bird: INTELSAT-1)Comsat, USA
1969Global coverage available through INTELSAT-III satellite seriesINTELSAT
1972First  domestic  satellite  system  operational  (ANIK)INTERSPUTNIK  foundedLandsat-1 (remote sensing) satellite launchedCanadaFormer USSRUSA
1974First U.S. domestic communications satellite (WESTAR)USA
1975First use of dual-polarization  (INTELSAT-IVA)Launch of first Indian satellite (Arya Bhatt)INTELSATIndian Space Research Organization (ISRO)
1975First  successful  wide-area direct  broadcast demonstrations ( 1 year duration, Satellite Instructional Television Experiment)USA/India
1975First body-stabilized operational communication satelliteRCA/USA
1976First mobile communications satellite launched (MARISAT)Indonesia, third country, launches domestic communication satellite system (PALAPA system)USAIndonesia
1976First demonstration of inter-satellite link using LES-8 satelliteUSA
1977A plan  for  direct-to-home  satellite  broadcasts assigned  by  the International Telecommunication  Union  (ITU)  in regions 1 and 3 (most of the world except  Americas).ITU
1977Mobile experiments conducted using ATS-6NASA, USA
1978Start of GPS introductionUSA
1979Inmarsat formationInternational Maritime Satellite Organization/IMO/UN
1980IMO decides to deploy satellite communications for maritime safetyUN
1981First re-useable launch vehicle flight  (American Space Shuttle)USA
1982Start of GLONASS introductionFormer Soviet Union
1982First civilian mobile satellite system introduced for maritime useInmarsat
1983ITU direct broadcast plan extended to region  2Beginning of Indian domestic satellite system INSATITUIndia
1984First direct-to-home broadcast system  operational Japan
1987Successful trials of land mobile communicationsInmarsat
1988Launch of Indian Remote Sensing Satellite–1 (IRS-1). [IRS constellation is world’s largest constellation of civilian remote sensing satellites.]ISRO
1987-89An architecture of LEO for mobile satellite communication proposedUniversity of Surrey, UK
1989-90Global  mobile  communication  commercial service extended  to land mobile and aeronautical  environmentsInmarsat
1990 First commercial satellite radio broadcast system filedCD Radio Inc., USA
1990First commercial non-GEO hand-held system announcedMotorola/Iridium
1990-91Commercial land and aeronautical mobile satellite services (MSS) introducedInmarsat
1990-92Several organizations/companies propose non-geostationary satellite systems for mobile communications – following Motorola.Various
1992GSM terrestrial mobile system introduced (Architecture used later as basis for mobile satellite systems)Europe
1992Major changes to mobile satellite frequency allocationITU (WARC 1992)
1993Announcement of first commercial little-LEO satellite system (with secure finance)Orbital Sciences Corporation – ORBCOMM system; USA
1994First non-GEO fixed satellite service system announced (However, the system failed to materialize)Teledesic Corporation; USA
1994-96Several regional ‘super-geostationary’ satellite systems announcedAgrani (Indian Consortium) ; APMT  (China/Thailand); ACes; Thuraya, etc.
1995GPS navigation system fully operational (Project start: 1973)GLONASS (Start of development 1976)US GovernmentFormer Soviet Union
1996Satellite paging services announcedInmarsat
1997Desktop-sized mobile terminals introducedInmarsat
1997First non-geostationary little-LEO satellite system introducedORBCOMM
1997Frequency allocation for non-GEO fixed systemWRC 1997
1997Launch of first batch of LEO satellite system for voice communications (so called ‘big-LEO’)Iridium
1997Launch of first batch of non-geostationary satellite system for low bit rate data communications (‘little-LEO’)ORBCOMM
1997Mobile experiments conducted using ACTSNASA
1997Navigation system : geostationary overlay capability availableInmarsat
1997-98Start of world-wide spot beam operation for MSSInmarsat
1998Introduction of  first big-LEO satellite systemIridium
1998Introduction of dual-mode satellite-terrestrial handsets (i.e., combined satellite and terrestrial handset)Iridium
1998Safety of life at sea (SOLAS) treaty introducedUN
1998Introduction of extensive on-board processing satellites for MSSIridium
1999-2000Serious financial difficulty experienced by new and proposed non-GEO MSS systemsIntroduction of GlobalstarIridiumGlobalstar
2000-05Consolidation of new mobile satellite system operators despite financial lossesVarious
2005Launch of Inmarsat 4 – first L band high throughput mobile satelliteInmarsat
2005Introduction of wide-band portable land mobile communication systemInmarsat
2006-2008Extension of portable broadband system to mobile platformsInmarsat
2008 onwardsGrowing trend of FSS satellite system usage in mobile environment (maritime/aeronautical)
2009-10Announcement of next generation systemsInmarsat, Iridium, Globalstar, ORBCOMM
2009LightSquared proposes ATC services in USA (Satellite-terrestrial hybrid system)LightSquared
2011Launch of Viasat-1 : Beginning of High Throughput Satellite fixed satellite service eraBuilt on Space Systems/Loral
2012ATC service license suspended in USA due to interference issues to GPSLightSquared
2012 -15Escalation of mobile usage in FSS band due to growing demandsWorldwide
2014Introduction of Ka band mobile broadbandInmarsat
2015Start of India’s Satellite-based augmentation system (GAGAN)Indian Government
2015Introduction of first medium Earth orbit satellite communication system  for space segment capacity leaseO3b, USA
2015Revival of dense (mega) LEO constellation concept through several announcement for global Internet provision
2015Roll out of world’s first Ka band civil mobile satellite systemInmarsat
2017LEO Next generation broadband L-band system  roll out beginsIridium
2017Space X an American company begins commercial use of first stage reusable launchersSpace X
2017-18Proposals for Internet provision to masses via dense constellation of low earth orbiting satellites report tangible progresse.g., One-Web (620 satellites/1120 km orbital altitude); Space-X (4425 satellites/1100-1300 km orbital altitude)