Currently, billions of individuals in every major world region— and billions of dollars worth of commerce—are supported by satellite-based broadcasting and telecommunications. VSAT, short for very small aperture terminal, are earthbound stations used in satellite communications of data, voice, and video signals, excluding broadcast television. The Global VSAT Forum (GVF), a non-profit, international association, was founded in 1998 to represent globally the interests of VSAT system and service providers, as well as end users, and to promote the technology and the services it supports. Headquartered in London, with a regional office in Washington, D.C. and global affiliates, the GVF is an independent, non-partisan organization with more than 200 members from every major region of the world. It has become the single voice of the global satellite communications industry.
David Hartshorn has been GVF’s Secretary General since its inception. He leads its efforts to facilitate the provision of satellite-based communications solutions throughout all nations of the world; works closely to support policymakers at the national, regional, and global levels as they formulate satellite regulatory frameworks; and is responsible for creating greater awareness of the commercial, economic, political, and technological advantages that satellite-based communications provide.
Apogeo Spatial’s contributing writer Matteo Luccio asked Hartshorn to explain his vision for a much tighter collaboration between the satellite communications and Earth observation (EO) communities to assist first responders in disasters.