Friday, September 29, 2006

Delphi SkyFi 3 Users Guide

Here is a link to the SkyFi 3 Users Guide.

Also, from the same site, here is a comparison guide for the SkyFi3:


The main site has additional information.

If you want to be notified when it is available, click here.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Secrets of Satellite Radio

Subtitle: What XM and Sirius Don't Talk about Very Much

On Page 26, Inside Radio provides propaganda and mis-information as well as some useful information about satellite radio.


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Derivative Shareholder Lawsuit Dismissed

Here's a recent Court Opinion that was stumbled across by Satellite Radio TechWorld. It involves a derivative shareholder lawsuit against Madison Dearborn and XM. In this opinion, the US Court of Appeals re-affirmed a lower court's decision to dismiss the lawsuit. Perhaps there are some legal minds here that would be interested in giving an interpretation.

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First European Mobile Satellite Radio Summit

Following up on the first European Summit on Mobile Satellite Radio held on September 21, 2006, Broadband TV News published a short article about the summit. There are now 3 companies looking to launch satellite radio services in Europe: Europa Max (formed following the collapse of Global Radio), WorldSpace, and Ondas. Video appeared to be a hot topic of the summit, with disagreement over the viability. Telematics is also expected to be a big part of the satellite radio services there.

If you are a member of Inside Satellite TV, there is another article there. Unfortunately, Satellite Radio TechWorld is not a member.

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Sirius Files for STA to Operate 2 Ku-Band Earth Stations

Sirius filed for special temporary authority to begin using the two Ku-band earth stations for which they applied for an application on September 21, 2006. It allows them to go ahead with it, until such time that the original application is granted.

12. Description Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. has filed to license two Ku-band earth stations in New York City, NewYork. In order to perform testing on the two earth stations, and to operate with the Sirius terrestrial network prior to the granting of the license, the applicant requests a SpecialTemporary Authority. The granting of the STA will permit Sirius Satellite Radio to meet operational obligations.

Update: Granted 10/03/2006

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Another Hierarchical Modulation Related Patent Application for Delphi

On September 28, 2006, Delphi had another hierarchical modulation related patent application published in a series of such applications:

United States Patent Application 20060215790
Kind Code A1

Dibiaso; Eric A. ; et al.

September 28, 2006

Method to demodulate amplitude offsets in a differential modulation system

Abstract
Where the additional data throughput is added using an amplitude offset or a combination of phase and amplitude offset, the legacy differential demodulator does not recover the amplitude information. The present invention provides a method for demodulating amplitude offsets in a differential modulation system in order to recover the amplitude information. The demodulated amplitude information may be used to recover the additional Level 2 data transmitted as an amplitude offset or combination phase and amplitude offset in a differential multiple phase shift keying (D-MPSK) transmission, such as across adjacent OFDM symbols and/or adjacent frequency subcarriers.

Inventors:
Dibiaso; Eric A.; (Kokomo, IN) ; Hiatt; Michael L. JR.; (Weatfield, IN) ; Walker; Glenn A.; (Greentown, IN)

Correspondence Name and Address:
DELPHI TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
M/C 480-410-202
PO BOX 5052
TROY
MI
48007
US

Serial No.: 088129
Series Code: 11
Filed: March 23, 2005
U.S. Current Class:375/330
U.S. Class at Publication:375/330
Intern'l Class: H04L 27/22 20060101 H04L027/22


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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Future of the Canadian Broadcasting System

In response to the Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2006-72, the CBC/Radio-Canada filed its comments on September 01, 2006, concerning the "future environment facing the Canadian broadcasting system". There are 26 references to satellite radio. Below is one excerpt. It also talks about the failure of digital radio (HD radio, more or less) to take hold in Canada.

Satellite radio – Early success in Canada

Satellite radio is a relatively new technology which offers 100 or more channels of specialized music and talk programming. Satellite radio has experienced rapid growth in the United States and is now growing quickly in Canada – with over 200,000 subscribers in less than a year of operation.

The primary driver for satellite radio has been receivers in automobiles but, as noted above, the Canadian satellite radio services are seeking to extend their reach by means of distribution by cable and DTH BDUs, as well as via mobile wireless carriers. This type of expansion of satellite radio distribution channels could put it in direct competition with pay audio. If satellite radio were to begin to carry some local programming it might also become more directly competitive with conventional over-the-air radio.

As a stand-alone subscription audio service, satellite radio is testing new waters in the Canadian market. Consequently, it is too early to tell what level of impact this new platform will achieve.


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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Bell South Makes another Plea

On September 19, 2006, Bell South made another plea to extend the buildout deadline for its WCS licenses. I'm glad to see that the FCC is in no hurry to grant Bell South's wish. The WCS Coalition demanded that the FCC make a decision by September. Just like with XM's attempted purchase of WCS Wireless, the FCC is taking its time.

Not much new here. Bell South stresses that they have tested pre-WiMax equipment and if the FCC gives them a little more time, then they will be able to implement true WiMax equipment. Note that neither Bell South nor any other WCS license holders have engage XM and Sirius in any discussions to resolve the repeater issues, despite XM's and Sirius' effort to engage the licenses holders over a month ago.

Enough is enough. It is time for the FCC to tell them, "Use it or lose it". Satellite radio could put this band of frequencies to use almost immediately.

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Sirius Files for Licence for Two Domestic Ku-band Earth Stations

On September 21, Sirius applied for a license to operate two domestic Ku-band satellite earth stations out of New York City in order to service their clients. The satellite earth stations will operate in the 11700-12200 MHz and the 14000-14500 MHz frequency bands using Vertex/RSI model KXK 7.2 meter antennae. The intended use is for digital audio and data. This appears to be similar to the recently filed Nissan application. The application describes it as follows:

Description: Sirius Satellite Radio, Inc. seeks to license two domestic Ku-band earth stations in New York City, New York. The earth stations will transmit and receive digital carriers and provide broadcast operations to Sirius Satellite Radio's clients.


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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Sirius Receives Certification on the Stiletto Vehicle Kit

As mentioned in the previous post, Wistron NeWeb also received certification today for the Sirius Stiletto Vehicle kit. The preliminary manual may be viewed here. And, if one would like to see it, here are some photos.

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Breaking News:Stiletto Receives Certification!

Wistron NeWeb received certification today for the Stiletto. There are two manuals: Part1 and Part2. Here are some photos.

The car kit also received certification.


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First European Mobile Satellite Radio Summit

Don't miss the first European Mobile Satellite Radio Summit to be held September 21, 2006 in London:

DARS (Digital Audio Radio Satellite) is shaping up to be a huge success in North America, with some analysts talking of subscriber numbers for established services Sirius and XM Radio as “bigger than cable TV”. The first shoots of interest are beginning to show over Europe, with a half-dozen projects in the early planning stage. Of course, there’s also WorldSpace, already on air and now with published sat-radio plans for Italy and Spain and Germany in its sights.

You can register here.

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Sirius Receives Re-Certification for the Streamer Lite

Wistron NeWeb received re-certification for the Sirius Streamer Lite receiver this morning. The preliminary manual can be found here. Where there's one, there's usually more to follow.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Sirius Receives Certification on Stiletto Home Kit

Wistron NeWeb received certification on the Sirius Stiletto vehicle kit today. Links to follow.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Stiletto to Use Yahoo! Music Engine

Orbitcast picked up on the Stiletto Home Kit manual filed to the FCC by Wistron NeWeb and found perhaps the most important part of the FCC filing. It confirms the rumors that the Sirius Stiletto will indeed use the Yahoo! Music engine.

Yahoo! Music Engine in Sirius Stiletto Manual [Orbitcast]

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Who Reads Satellite Radio TechWorld

This blog was started as an experiment. It has now taken on a life of its own. I would like to thank all our readers for their support. In particular, I would like the thank my fellow bloggers for their support and kind words. I will be eternally grateful for one seasoned blogger that helped revamp the site and provided many tips on operating and analyzing the blog. The blog is better for it.

Satellite Radio TechWorld is a very niche blog. One isn't likely to find such content anywhere else. I never expected that such a narrowly focused site would generate the readership levels depicted in the charts below, especially for such a new site. However, the information is very relevant to any participation in satellite radio. It is information that shareholders need to know on a timely basis.

The following charts depict the results of this "experiment". It shows from where Satellite Radio TechWorld readership is coming and in what numbers:







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In-the-Glass Satellite Radio Antenna

On September 14, 2006, AGC Automotive had the following patent application published for an In-the-Glass satellite radio antenna. AGC currently supplies products to many of the OEMs.


United States Patent Application 20060202898
Kind Code A1
Li; Qian ; et al. September 14, 2006

DUAL-LAYER PLANAR ANTENNA

Abstract

An antenna for receiving an RF signal from a satellite is preferably integrated with a window of a vehicle. The window preferably includes a first nonconductive pane and a second nonconductive pane laminated together with a PVB adhesive layer. A first conductive layer is disposed on one of the surfaces of the nonconductive panes and a second conductive layer is disposed on another of the surfaces of the nonconductive panes. The second conductive layer includes a main slot extending thereinto. The main slot defines a feed line region and ground plane regions. The second conductive layer also includes stub slots extending into the ground plane regions for antenna impedance matching and providing the antenna with a circular polarization.


Inventors: Li; Qian; (Ann Arbor, MI) ; Villarroel; Wladimiro; (Worthington, OH)
Correspondence Name and Address:
    HOWARD & HOWARD ATTORNEYS, P.C.
THE PINEHURST OFFICE CENTER, SUITE #101
39400 WOODWARD AVENUE
BLOOMFIELD HILLS
MI
48304-5151
US
Assignee Name and Adress: AGC Automotive Americas R&D, Inc.

Serial No.: 077609
Series Code: 11
Filed: March 11, 2005

U.S. Current Class: 343/713
U.S. Class at Publication: 343/713
Intern'l Class: H01Q 1/32 20060101 H01Q001/32


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They note the the antenna can also be used to transmit. One has to wonder it there is an application in mind for transmitting. The following section is more descriptive of the invention:

[0027] Referring to the Figures, wherein like numerals indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views, an antenna is shown generally at 20 in FIG. 1. In the preferred embodiment, the antenna 20 is utilized to receive a circularly polarized radio frequency (RF) signal from a satellite. Specifically, the antenna 20 of the preferred embodiment may receive a circularly polarized RF signal produced by a Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (SDARS) provider, such as XM.RTM. Satellite Radio or SIRIUS.RTM. Satellite Radio. However, those skilled in the art realize that the antenna 20 may also be used to transmit the circularly polarized RF signal. Furthermore, the antenna 20 may be alternately configured to transmit or receive a desired elliptically polarized RF signal, including a linearly polarized RF signal.


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Lifestyle Receiver/Transmitter

The USPTO published a Delphi application for a Lifestyle Receiver/Transmitter this past Thursday. It is difficult to say if this is something revolutionary or just an idea. It may be a sign of things to come. It appears to be a device that coordinates several other devices based on a unique ID, such as a phone number, now that they are portable.


United States Patent Application 20060205359
Kind Code A1
Brooks; Vincent L. September 14, 2006

Lifestyle receiver/transmitter for differentiated consumer product

Abstract

A receiver/transmitter for a consumer product having unique operational features, comprising: a microprocessor programmed to a numerical identifier associated with the consumer product; a housing for housing the microprocessor, the housing being separable from the consumer product; a data transferring component coupled to the microprocessor and configured for communicating with the consumer product; a receiver circuit disposed within the housing; a transmitter circuit disposed within the housing; wherein the microprocessor comprises programmable logic that enables a plurality of signals corresponding to the numerical identifier to be received and transmitted between the consumer product and the receiver/transmitter, wherein the consumer product comprises electrical components necessary to facilitate the receipt and transmission of the plurality of signals, wherein linear dimensions and configurations of the consumer product are not constrained by the microprocessor, the data transferring component, the receiver circuit and the transmitter circuit of the receiver/transmitter and the receiver/transmitter is a stand alone device not capable of providing any of the unique operational features of the consumer product.


Inventors: Brooks; Vincent L.; (Troy, MI)
Correspondence Name and Address:
    DELPHI TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
M/C 480-410-202
PO BOX 5052
TROY
MI
48007
US
Serial No.: 374693
Series Code: 11
Filed: March 14, 2006

U.S. Current Class: 455/73; 340/539.1; 455/344
U.S. Class at Publication: 455/073; 455/344; 340/539.1
Intern'l Class: H04B 1/38 20060101 H04B001/38; H05K 11/00 20060101 H05K011/00; G08B 1/08 20060101 G08B001/08



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Satellite radio is mentioned throughout the applications. Here are some pertinent sections:

[0029] Non-limiting examples of consumer products 12 include: personal digital assistants (PDAs); computer systems (e.g., laptops, desktops, servers, mainframes, etc); communication systems (e.g., phones, pagers, two way radios, cellular phones, voice over Internet protocol (VOIP), etc.); vehicle systems (e.g., audio entertainment, video entertainment, tracking devices, global positioning systems, Onstar, satellite digital audio radio systems (SDARS)); home entertainment systems (e.g., audio entertainment, video entertainment, cable television, satellite TV, satellite digital audio radio systems (SDARS)); and cameras or other video devices; hand held entertainment devices, any of which may be adapted to communicate with Internet service providers (ISPs) as well as be incorporated into a wearable item including but not limited to watches, headsets, necklaces, helmets, backpacks, belts, wallets etc.

[0030] Moreover, each of these consumer products can be configured to receive information (e.g., audio signals, video signals, etc.) and provide unique operational features associated with the particular function of the consumer product. For example, a satellite digital audio radio system (SDARS) is capable of receiving and providing audio content which is a non-limiting exemplary example of a unique operational feature of a consumer product comprising a satellite digital audio radio system. In yet another example a microphone and earpiece are also capable of receiving and providing audio content which is a non-limiting exemplary example of a unique operational feature of a consumer product comprising an earpiece and microphone. In yet another example, a satellite digital video system is capable of receiving and providing audio and video content which is a non-limiting exemplary example of a unique operational feature of a consumer product comprising a satellite digital video system alternatively the signal may be provided by cable or other wireless transmission. Other consumer products providing unique operational features associated with the use of the same include features necessary for using personal digital assistants (PDAs); computer systems (e.g., laptops, desktops, servers, mainframes, etc); communication systems (e.g., phones, pagers, two way radios, cellular phones, voice over Internet protocol (VOIP), etc.); vehicle systems (e.g., audio entertainment, video entertainment, tracking devices, global positioning systems, Onstar, satellite digital audio radio systems (SDARS)); home entertainment systems (e.g., audio entertainment, video entertainment, cable television, satellite TV, satellite digital audio radio systems (SDARS)); cameras or other video devices; and hand held entertainment devices wherein the operational features of the consumer product are not directly provided by the lifestyle receiver/transmitter.


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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Canadian Satellite Radio (XM Canada) Proposes Changes to How They Pay the Canadian Talent Development Contributions

On September 13, the CRTC issued a Public Notice on behalf of Canadian Satellite Radio that proposes a change to how the Canadian Talent Development (CTD) contributions are paid. By law, Canadian Satellite Radio and Sirius Canada are required to contribute a minimum of 5% of the gross revenue to CTD. XM Canada proposed the changes back on March 21, 2006.

The intended recipients of the contributions requested that Canadian Satelllite Radio propose these changes. The way the rules are written, they would not get credit it they pay more in the early years. Here is the public notice:

Application No. 2006-0300-5

Application by Canadian Satellite Radio Inc. relating to its satellite subscription radio service operating under the name XM Radio Canada.

The licensee proposes to amend its condition of licence relating to Canadian Talent Development which reads:

7. (a) During each broadcast year, the licensee shall contribute a minimum of 5% of gross revenues from its satellite subscription radio undertaking to eligible third parties directly connected to the development of Canadian musical and other artistic talent or other initiatives approved by the Commission. For purposes of this condition of licence, "eligible third parties" shall have the definition set out in Contributions by radio stations to Canadian talent development – A new approach, Public Notice CRTC 1995-196, 17 November 1995, as amended from time to time by the Commission.


with the following condition:


7. (a) The licensee shall contribute a minimum of 5% of gross revenues from its satellite subscription radio undertaking to eligible third parties directly connected to the development of Canadian musical and other artistic talent or other initiatives approved by the Commission. For purposes of this condition of licence, "eligible third parties" shall have the definition set out in Contributions by radio stations to Canadian talent development – A new approach, Public Notice CRTC 1995-196, 17 November 1995, as amended from time to time by the Commission.

Furthermore, the licensee has requested the following conditions of licence:

1. In each year, Canadian Satellite Radio be permitted to contribute more than 5% of gross subscription revenues towards its Canadian Talent Development as approved by the Commission.

2. Any overpayment (i.e. Payment of more than 5% of gross subscription revenues in a given year) of Canadian Talent Development funds in a given year shall be applied towards the entire CTD contribution over the license term so that by the end of that term, Canadian Satellite Radio shall have to contribute no more than 5% of gross subscription revenue towards Canadian Talent Development.

3. That "a given year" reflect the August 31 year end and not the service’s launch date, to prevent further confusion.

The applicant has stated that it wishes to make contributions to Canadian Talent Development (CTD) earlier in the six-year licence term. The applicant also states that it is not seeking a reduction in the total amount to be contributed to CTD but would like to be eligible to make overpayments earlier in the licence term that would be considered as part of the 5% overall gross revenue/contribution. The applicant argues that this flexibility will allow it to "enhance (its) ability to support Canadian artists."

The applicant contends that "in the first 1-3 years as (they) build (their) revenues, the amount of (their) contributions" will be small and the intended recipients may not receive financial support for several years. The applicant says that the intended recipients have applied to the applicant to request an amended condition of licence to permit the above.

The deadline for submission of interventions/comments is 18 October 2006.

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Sirius Launch Application Accepted for Filing Public Notice

Sirius' application to launch and operate its geostationary satellite was Accepted for Filing. The Public Notice was issued today.

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Sirius Receives Three New Certifications

This could be breaking news. The Stiletto Home Kit received certification today. The external pictures are available here. One can also view the prelimary manual here. It was incorrectly reported before that the Home Kit had the FM modulator. The manual clearly indicates that it is the radio that has the FM modulator. Sorry for the confusion.

In addition, the new StarMate 3 received certification, as well as the new Stratus. The StarMate preliminary manual is here and the Stratus manual is here. Photo are available here and here.

All great news for Sirius!

Update:
Examining the internal photos, it is clear that the Stratus and StarMate 3 use an internal FM loop antenna, like the Ki Ryung receivers. There does not seem to be any special wire or technique to enhance the reception of the FM signal. The StarMate 3 does seem to push the limit more than the Ki Ryung radios, so reception for these could be better than the Sportster 4, for example. However, our conclusion is that the FM reception will not likely be very good. If you are buying this for yourself or as a gift and FM modulation is the only option, plan on using the FM Direct Adaptor option.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Blame It on Satellite Radio

Yesterday, September 13, 2006, Cellutec, a WCS license holder, filed for an extension of time to build out their system. The deadline for substantial service is July 2007. The reasons cited are as follows:

This request stems from and is necessitated by documented findings that DARS repeaters operating with an EIRP above 2kW cause blanketing interference to WCS facilities. Until the Commission decides the technical parameters within which DARS terrestrial repeaters may operate, the technical development of WCS facilities cannot be completed. Therefore, until the DARS repeater matter is resolved, WCS licensees with authorization to serve the continental United States are effectively unable to construct their facilities and implement their licensed services.

The interesting part is that Cellutec operates out of Guam. This is almost comical. And then they throw in that it is a small, woman owned business. It is difficult to grasp the relevance there, but I have to give them credit for trying.

They do recognize later in the document that there are no repeaters there, but since rules regarding satellite radio repeaters have hindered the development of equipment useful for this spectrum, they should be given a break.

Nearly all the WCS license holders have filed for an extension. Even WCS Wireless has filed for an extension, the company that XM attempted to acquire. They all complain about the rules regarding repeaters. Both XM and Sirius have tried to initiate discussions on the subject in the past. None of the WCS license holders has ever--to our knowledge--participated in these discussions. XM complained about this at one time. Just about one month ago, XM and Sirius attempted to start the discussions again. There has not been one word from any of the WCS license holders.

The WCS license holders got their license for almost nothing. They have warehoused these licenses for nearly 10 years. XM offered WCS Wireless multiples of the amount of money that the WCS licenses holders paid. XM and Sirius have created great value to the public with the spectrum they acquired and did so at an enormous price. The WCS license holders have created nothing of value. The public has been cheated by the WCS license holders. It is time for the FCC to say, "Use it or lose it."

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

XM Files Most Comprehensive Emergency Alerts System Document Yet

On September 12, 2006, XM filed the most comprehensive document yet on its current and planned emergency alert system plans. If you are interested at all in XM's Emergency Alert System, this is a must read document. Satellite Radio TechWorld is still evaluating the contents, but here are some of the more interesting comments:
  1. "By early 2007, XM is planning to provide in its second-generation XM2Go receivers (such as the Pioneer Inno and Samsung Helix) the ability to enable subscribers to choose to be alerted when a state or local EAS alert is being transmitted over an Instant Traffic, Weather & Alert channel." It will use the tune select feature.
  2. XM is still working on crank and battery powered receivers.
  3. XM is currently working with FEMA to upgrade the EAS distribution structure. By the end of 2006/early 2007, XM plans to provide a "communications vehicle" for Presidental Level EAS messsages to XM customized receivers at approximately 100 sites.
  4. "XM also envisions becoming a primary backbone for delivery of the Presidential Level EAS message, not just to the PEPs, but to all participants in the EAS."

Sounds like XM is really stepping up to the plate on public safety.





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OT: Sea Launch Prepares for the Launch of Thuraya D3

Sea Launch applied for an experimental license to test the Thuraya D3 satellite prior to sailing to the equatorial launch site and encapsulation, The satellite is a Space Systems Loral satellite. Testing is schedule between 01/01/2007 and 07/01/2007. Most likely, it will be the first launch of 2007.

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XM No Longer Under the Influence

XM gives up its trademark application for "Under the Influence". Probably a wise decision. Meanwhile, Dialed In receives registration and Julive is published for opposition.

Status: Abandoned-Failure To Respond Or Late ResponseDate of Status

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Videotron Applies to CRTC to Allow Broadcasting of Satellite Radio on Digital Cable

On August 03, 2006, Videotron applied to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the equivalent of the FCC, to allow the distribution of the two satellite radio services on digital cable. The reason for the request was given as follows:

Videotron submitted that the digital distribution of these services will result in a number of advantages for the Canadian broadcasting system. According to Videotron, not only will it enhance the choice and diversity of audio programming available to Canadians, but it will serve as a springboard and source of revenue for Canadian musicians, particularly those who are new and upcoming. Videotron argued that distribution of satellite radio services by Class 1 BDUs could also incite existing analog subscribers to subscribe to digital services. Videotron also remarked that other satellite radio services are frequently distributed in the United States. Videotron maintained that, if Canadian distributors cannot offer a comparable service, then consumers will abandon the Canadian distribution system to obtain U.S. satellite services.

The public has until October 03, 2006 to comment. It is already being opposed by the Canadian Conderence of the Arts on--you guess it--Canadian content regulations.

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Title 47 Part 25 Section 144 Requirements for Satellite Radio

These are the requirements that the FCC will examine before determining whether or not to approve Sirius' application to launch a new satellite. The only obstacle is the interoperable radio requirement. The FCC dinged XM over this but approved XM's replacement satellites just the same. It should be noted that it took the FCC over two years to approve Sirius' request to change from geostationary satellites to the non geostationary constellation they use today; however, the FCC very quickly issued a special temporary authority for Sirius to do so. If there is an interest, I can publish that process.


TITLE 47--TELECOMMUNICATION

CHAPTER I--FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS
COMMISSION (CONTINUED)

PART 25--SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS--Table of Contents

Subpart B--Applications and Licenses

Sec. 25.144 Licensing provisions for the 2.3 GHz satellite digital audio radio service.

(a) Qualification Requirements:

(1) Satellite CD Radio, Primosphere Limited Partnership, Digital
Satellite Broadcasting Corporation, and American Mobile Radio
Corporation are the applicants eligible for licensing in the satellite
digital audio radio service.

(2) General Requirements: Each application for a system
authorization in the satellite digital audio radio service in the 2310-
2360 MHz band shall describe in detail the proposed satellite digital
audio radio system, setting forth all pertinent technical and
operational aspects of the system, and the technical, legal, and
financial qualifications of the applicant. In particular, applicants
must file information demonstrating compliance with Sec. 25.114 and all
of the requirements of this section.

(3) Technical Qualifications: In addition to the information
specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, each applicant shall:

(i) Demonstrate that its system will, at a minimum, service the 48
contiguous states of the United States (full CONUS);

(ii) Certify that its satellite DARS system includes a receiver that
will permit end users to access all licensed satellite DARS systems that
are operational or under construction; and

(iii) Identify the compression rate it will use to transmit audio
programming. If applicable, the applicant shall identify the compression
rate it will use to transmit services that are ancillary to satellite
DARS.

(b) Milestone requirements. Each applicant for system authorization
in the satellite digital audio radio service must demonstrate within 10
days after a required implementation milestone as specified in the
system authorization, and on the basis of the documentation contained in
its application, certify to the Commission by affidavit that the
milestone has been met or notify the Commission by letter that it has
not been met. At its discretion, the Commission may require the
submission of additional information (supported by affidavit of a person
or persons with knowledge thereof) to demonstrate that the milestone has
been met. The satellite DARS milestones are as follows, based on the
date of authorization:

(1) One year: Complete contracting for construction of first space
station or begin space station construction;

(2) Two years: If applied for, complete contracting for construction
of second space station or begin second space station construction;

(3) Four years: In orbit operation of at least one space station;
and

(4) Six years: Full operation of the satellite system.

(c) Reporting requirements. All licensees of satellite digital audio
radio service systems shall, on June 30 of each year, file a report with the
International Bureau and the Commission's Laurel, Maryland field office
containing the following information:

(1) Status of space station construction and anticipated launch
date, including any major problems or delay encountered;

(2) A listing of any non-scheduled space station outages for more
than thirty minutes and the cause(s) of such outages; and

(3) Identification of any space station(s) not available for service
or otherwise not performing to specifications, the cause(s) of these
difficulties, and the date any space station was taken out of service or
the malfunction identified.

(d) The license term for each digital audio radio service satellite
shall commence when the satellite is launched and put into operation and
the term will run for eight years.


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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Stiletto Pre-Orders Suspended

As reported by OrbitCast, retailers have been ordered to suspend Stiletto pre-orders. One has to wonder if this is part of the FCC crackdown on satellite radio. Part 15 Subpart A below seems to prohibit the operation or marketing of devices that are not in compliance with the rules. Perhaps now the FCC is taking a hard line on satellite radio. The use of WiFi (or an FM modulator) makes it an intentional radiator.

It could also be that they want to keep certain details secret as XM did with their recent re-certifications. They are allowed to keep certain things secret--such as internal and external photos-- for 45 days or until they start marketing the product. They can also file for a 45 day extension. Once they start marketing the product, they must notify the FCC. The FCC will then make this information available to the public.

Section 15.1 Scope of this Part.

(a) This Part sets out the regulations under which an intentional, unintentional, or incidental radiator may be operated without an individual license. It also contains the technical specifications, administrative requirements and other conditions relating to the marketing of Part 15 devices.

(b) The operation of an intentional or unintentional radiator that is not in accordance with the
regulations in this Part must be licensed pursuant to the provisions of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, unless otherwise exempted from the licensing requirements elsewhere in this Chapter.

(c) Unless specifically exempted, the operation or marketing of an intentional or unintentional radiator that is not in compliance with the administrative and technical provisions in this Part, including prior Commission authorization or verification, as appropriate, is prohibited under Section 302 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Subpart I of Part 2 of this Chapter. The equipment authorization and verification procedures are detailed in Subpart J of Part 2 of this Chapter.

Retailers Told to Suspend SIRIUS Stiletto Pre-Orders
[Orbitcast]

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Delphi's Hierarchical Modulation Patent Applications

With Delphi's recent two applications concerning Hierarchical Modulation and Sirius' discussion of their Overlay Modudation technique, I thought it might be worthwhile to take a look at Delphi's applications. Delphi seems to have staked out its territory here. Both XM and Sirius will have difficulty steering clear of these applications. Sirius has stated that their engineers were developing the technology. XM hasn't indicated anything other than that they are working on it.

European Patent Office links are used where available, since more information is available there.

20060198452-Method to minimize degradation in a D-MPSK hierarchical modulation system
Status: Docketed New Case - Ready for Examination

20060193407-Method and system using preamble detection to demodulate a phase shift key carrier signal
Status: Docketed New Case - Ready for Examination

20060045140-Method for variable performance in communication systems
Status: Docketed New Case - Ready for Examination

20050143004-Method to optimize hierarchical modulation for a diversity system
Status: Docketed New Case - Ready for Examination

20050141627-Method to create hierarchical modulation in OFDM
Status: Non Final Action Mailed

20050117669-Method to increase performance of secondary data in a hierarchical modulation scheme
Status: Docketed New Case - Ready for Examination

20050113040-Method to minimize compatibility error in hierarchical modulation using variable phase
Status: Final Rejection Mailed. Delphi has filed a request for continued examination (It's not over yet).

20050111581-Method to inject hierarchical data onto single carrier stream
Status: Docketed New Case - Ready for Examination

20050111580-Method to minimize compatibility error in hierarchical modulation
Status: Non Final Action Mailed

20050111579-Method to increase performance of secondary data in a hierarchical modulation scheme
Status: Response to Non-Final Office Action Entered and Forwarded to Examiner

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XM Files Comment to the FCC on the Emergency Alert System

Today, XM filed a 17 page notice to the FCC concerning the emergency alert system (Docket 04-296). It's mostly the same information put out before. XM will broadcast national emergency alerts on all channels and state and local alerts on the appropriate channels. If you haven't read a similar filing before, it is worth the read to understand the capabilities on XM's system.


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Radio Shack Patent Application: Communication between a Wireless Network and Satellite Radio

On September 07, Radio Shack had this patent application published for communications between a wireless network and a satellite radio:


United States Patent Application 20060199529
Kind Code A1
Myers; Stephen R. September 7, 2006

Apparatus and method for effecting commmunication between a wireless and a satellite radio receiver

Abstract

An apparatus for effecting communication between a wireless network and a coupled satellite radio receiver includes: (a) a wireless receiver for receiving at least one local signal associated with the wireless network; (b) a coupler for coupling the satellite radio receiver with the apparatus; and (c) a controller coupled with the wireless receiver and with the coupler. The control unit cooperates with the wireless receiver to ascertain presence of a local signal. The controller cooperates with the wireless receiver and the satellite radio receiver to ascertain whether a satellite signal received by the satellite receiver has a predetermined relationship with the local signal. When the satellite signal has the predetermined relationship with the local signal, the controller and the satellite radio receiver cooperate to provide signaling to the satellite radio receiver using the local signal.


Inventors: Myers; Stephen R.; (Allen, TX)
Correspondence Name and Address:
    LAW OFFICE OF DONALD D. MONDUL
3060 Bonsai Drive
Plano
TX
75093
US
Assignee Name and Adress: RadioShack Corporation

Serial No.: 413664
Series Code: 11
Filed: April 29, 2006

U.S. Current Class: 455/3.01; 455/552.1
U.S. Class at Publication: 455/003.01; 455/552.1
Intern'l Class: H04H 1/00 20060101 H04H001/00; H04M 1/00 20060101 H04M001/00



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Delphi Patent Application: Hierarchical Modulation

Here's yet another Delphi patent application published today for hierarchical modulation for satellite radio.


United States Patent Application 20060198452
Kind Code A1
Dibiaso; Eric A. ; et al. September 7, 2006

Method to minimize degradation in a D-MPSK hierarchical modulation system

Abstract

The present invention provides a method to minimize degradation in a D-MPSK hierarchical modulation system by adding additional data throughput (i.e., secondary information) as an offset to the primary signal transmitted by a SDARS terrestrial repeater. The present invention provides techniques for adding the additional throughput as Level 2 data by transmitting offset phase and/or amplitude information across adjacent OFDM symbols and/or adjacent frequency subcarriers.


Inventors: Dibiaso; Eric A.; (Kokomo, IN) ; Walker; Glenn A.; (Greentown, IN) ; Hiatt; Michael L. JR.; (Westfield, IN)
Correspondence Name and Address:
    DELPHI TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
M/C 480-410-202
PO BOX 5052
TROY
MI
48007
US
Serial No.: 069254
Series Code: 11
Filed: March 1, 2005
U.S. Current Class: 375/260; 375/308
U.S. Class at Publication: 375/260; 375/308
Intern'l Class: H04K 1/10 20060101 H04K001/10; H04L 27/20 20060101 H04L027/20


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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Nissan Receives License to Transmit/Receive Digital Video, Audio, and Data

On September 05, 2006, the FCC granted Nissan a satellite earth station license to transmit and receive digital video, audio, and data in the Ku Band. The uplink is at 14000-14500 MHz. The downlink is at 11700-12200 MHz. It is too early to tell if this has anything to do with satellite radio. The frequencies are more compatible with Sirius than XM, but it may just be routine communications to satellites. My guess is that it has something to do with the arrangement with XM. They will operate the Vertex 2.4m DPVK antenna from their Rutherford, Smyrna, TN location. Any other guesses as to what they might be up to?

Update:
There's not much out there on this. It is clear that this has nothing to do directly with the broadcast of satellite radio nor the communication to the satellite radio provider satellites. However, this is precisely the data one would expect Nissan to communicate to a satellite provider if they offered bandwidth to Nissan. I see no evidence that XM uses anything on the above frequencies. Sirius on the other hand does operate an 8.1M Vertex antenna operating in these frequencies at their Vernon, NJ facility. Just this past August, Sirius applied for a licence to operate a 7.6 M Andrew antenna in the same frequencies. I don't think any of this is related to the above application by Nissan. In fact, the stated reason by Sirius was to use it as a hub for delivering audio programming to the terrestrial network. My guess is that if it has anything at all to do with satellite radio, it is for delivering content to XM and that XM made bandwidth commitments to Nissan as part of the deal. As of yet, there is no proof that any of this has to do with satellite radio.

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OT: Sea Launch Files for Experimental License to Test New Skies Satellite

On September 06, 2006, Sea Launch filed an experimental license application to test the BSS New Skies satellite prior to sailing to the equatorial launch site. The proposed period of operation is between September 21, 2006 and March 21, 2007. This is likely the next satellite to be launched after XM's XM-4 satellite, scheduled for October.

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Sirius' Geostationary Satellite Launch Details

A few more details about the launch became available. The construction start date for the satellite is given as May 31, 2006, which we can assume has already started. The completion date is given as September 1, 2008. In the other document, it was given as 4Q 2008. Perhaps they were giving themselves a little margin. The launch date is given between October 1, 2008 and December 1, 2008. The estimated date of placement into service is February 15, 2009.

The "Reason for orbital location selection" was:

This oribital location provides high elevation angles to all of CONUS, which is very important fo the link between the satellite and the user terminals in the CONUS. The high elevation anlge minimizes the risk of signal blockage due to buildings and foliage.

Tech Data


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XM Trademark Application - The Virus

Mark Image
Word Mark THE VIRUS
Goods and Services IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Entertainment services, namely, an on-going radio program for broadcasting via satellite digital audio radio services and over the Internet
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Design Search Code
Serial Number 78962453
Filing Date August 29, 2006
Current Filing Basis 1B
Original Filing Basis 1B
Owner (APPLICANT) XM Satellite Radio Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE 1500 Eckington Place, N.E. Washington D.C. 20002
Attorney of Record Patrick J. Jennings
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE


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Monday, September 04, 2006

Breaking News: Sirius Requests Authority to Launch Geostationary Satellite

On September 01, 2006, Sirius requested authority from the FCC to launch its geostationary satellite:

"Sirius hereby requests authority to launch and operate Sirius FM-5, a geostationary satellite, to provide satellite digital audio radio services to our subscribers and to Sirius Canada's subscribers in the 48 contiguous states and Canada."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Status: Filed - awaiting fee verification

Technical Highlights:

  1. The satellite, like the others, will act as a bent pipe.
  2. Consequently, it will be compatible with current and next generation radios.
  3. The requested location is 96 W.L., roughly center of NA.
  4. Will serve co-terminous US and Canada.
  5. Only two of the four satellites will be used at any given time. All four will be used. (Perhaps they have changed their mind on how they will use the satellites. Maybe now they won't see a reduction in life for two of their satellites. Before, they seemed to indicate that they would have to shift two satellites around, which would have expended fuel, deceasing the life of the two satellites.)
  6. Will transmit at either 2322.29 MHz (Ch 1) or at 2330.21 (Ch 2) using 4.5 MHz bandwidth, using LHCP on the downlink.
  7. EIRP received at car -116.4 dBW; Flux density, -87.6 dBW/M^2.
  8. At a minimum, the satellite will transmit at 3 times during the day, "when one 'live' NGSO spacecraft rapidly recedes south of the border, and before the service link shifts to the "rising" satellite next in line". (This is the first recognition that Sirius has reception issues during this time.)
  9. The geostationary satellite as well as their present satellites will use an "overlay modulation" technique, which will add an additional 1.35 Mb/s throughput.
  10. This "overlay modulation" technique will be implemented next year with their existing satellites.
  11. Will improve reliability and service quality.
  12. Improves spatial diversity.
  13. Chicage cited as an area where the elevation angle currently drops below 25 degrees less than an hour, 3 times a day. The GSO will improve the elevation to about 40 degrees. (The GSO is good news for Chicagoland. This is an area where numerous subscribers have noted reception issues.)
  14. It will be one of the most powerful satellites ever constructed, with end of life power capability of more than 20 KW, with a fifteen year service life.
  15. Includes a 9 M unfurlable mesh antenna.
  16. Launch mass 5,850 Kg total; fuel 3,050 Kg; payload, 560 Kg; satellite bus, 2,070 Kg.
  17. Will reduce the need for additional repeaters.
  18. Their existing ground spare (FM-4) will continue to serve as a spare for the NGSO satellites. It won't be launched unless there is a failure. Will take at least 6 months to launch, if needed.
  19. FM-5 can operate as a true "hot spare" to backup all other satellites.
  20. Correction: Construction is scheduled to be completed in 4Q2008.

The biggest news is the 30% increase in throughput. It won't happen until next year. Presumably, this will be required for back seat video. If that is the case, one could surmise that back seat video would not be available until next year (2007) at the earliest.

Lots more details, but those are some of the highlights.

PDF links:

Narrative
Attachment A



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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Satellite Radio Comparisons

After poring over some of the test reports for some of the latter certification grants, I put together the following table to see how they stack up:

The margin is how close they are to the limit. The StarMate is bumping pretty close to the limit. There's not much room for error should the FCC decide to test the radio. The Sportster 4 and the Roady XT are about the same. Both have been backed off the limit by a significant margin. The AudioVox is a little closer to the limit than these two, while the Sportster 3 is even further away that the Sportster 4.

Not all radios are created equal. XM uses a special FM coupler, which one might assume would improve the reception. It is still unclear what method the StarMate is using. The Sportsters use an internal loop antenna.

I just hope the FCC doesn't reject the AudioVox application because of typos.

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Friday, September 01, 2006

Downloading Patents and Patent Applications

Ever wonder how to get copies of patent applications, complete with all the sketches. The Invent Blog has several good ideas for downloading copies. My favorite is Pat2Pdf. Best of all, it is free. Simply enter the patent or patent application publication number and click, "Fetch Patent". Once the processing is complete, follow the provided link. For example, for the Delphi patent application publication number below, one would enter 20060193407 and then press "Fetch Patent". To download the application, click on the link 20060193407, once the processing is complete.

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Delphi Patent Application: Method and System Using Preamble Detection to Demodulate a PSK Carrier Signal

This patent application appears to relate to the six or seven other Delphi patent applications related to hierarchical modulation.


United States Patent Application 20060193407
Kind Code A1
Dibiaso; Eric A. ; et al. August 31, 2006

Method and system using preamble detection to demodulate a phase shift key carrier signal

Abstract

A method for performing demodulation of a phase shift key carrier signal includes receiving a data stream extracted from the carrier signal, the data stream having a preamble, and detecting the presence of the preamble. A phase/frequency correction is provided if the preamble is detected.


Inventors: Dibiaso; Eric A.; (Kokomo, IN) ; Hiatt; Michael L. JR.; (Westfield, IN) ; Walker; Glenn A.; (Greentown, IN)
Correspondence Name and Address:
    DELPHI TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
M/C 480-410-202
PO BOX 5052
TROY
MI
48007
US
Serial No.: 068416
Series Code: 11
Filed: February 28, 2005

U.S. Current Class: 375/343
U.S. Class at Publication: 375/343
Intern'l Class: H04L 27/06 20060101 H04L027/06



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Delphi Patent Application: Satellite Receiver System

Delphi had the following application published this past Thursday:


United States Patent Application 20060194562
Kind Code A1
Marrah; Jeffrey J. ; et al. August 31, 2006

Satellite receiver system

Abstract

An SDARS receiver for use with at least two antennae, each of which receives bitstreams from a first satellite, bitstreams from a second satellite, and bitstreams from a terrestrial repeater, including demodulators configured to switch between demodulating bitstreams from the satellites and to switch between demodulating bitstreams from the terrestrial repeater, and a processor coupled to the demodulators, the processor being configured to switch the demodulators according to a variety of algorithms.


Inventors: Marrah; Jeffrey J.; (Kokomo, IN) ; Zhang; Shuping; (Kokomo, IN) ; Cramer; Douglas A.; (Westfield, IN) ; Diamond; Harry; (Tipton, IN)
Correspondence Name and Address:
    Ms. Kandace Brown;Delphi Technologies, Inc.
Lagal Staff, M/C 480-410-202
Troy
MI
48007-5052
US
Serial No.: 364320
Series Code: 11
Filed: February 28, 2006

U.S. Current Class: 455/334
U.S. Class at Publication: 455/334
Intern'l Class: H04B 1/16 20060101 H04B001/16



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XM Runs into Snag with XM PIX Trademark Registration

The Trademark Office has notified XM of prior registrations similar to XM PIX.

Current Status: A non-final action has been mailed. This is a letter from the examining attorney requesting additional information and/or making an initial refusal. However, no final determination as to the registrability of the mark has been made.

It is a non final action and XM has and opportunity to respond.

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