Mar 2, 2021

Rocket Lab reveals reusable rocket for satellite deployment

Rocket Lab
William Smith
2 min
Its new Neutron rocket is capable of transporting larger payloads for commercial and government customers, as well as potential interplanetary missions
Its new Neutron rocket is capable of transporting larger payloads for commercial and government customers, as well as potential interplanetary missions...

Long Beach, California-based aerospace firm Rocket Lab has unveiled the successor to its Electron rocket.

The company, which specialises in the launching of small satellites into orbit, launched the first commercial flight of its Electron rocket in November 2018, which according to the company has since become the second most frequently launched vehicle in the US.

The Electron was designed to provide access to orbit for satellites weighing up to 300kg. That tallied with wider industry efforts to open up the frontier of space to much smaller businesses, which previously had little hope of overcoming the huge costs involved. 

A reusable rocket

Its new Neutron rocket is said to be capable of transporting larger payloads for commercial and government customers, as well as potential interplanetary missions. Crucially, the Neutron will feature a reusable first stage designed to land on an ocean platform, bringing costs down for customers.

Peter Beck, Rocket Lab founder and CEO said: “We’ve listened to our customers and the message is clear - biggest doesn’t always mean best when it comes to constellation deployment. Efficiently building the mega constellations of the future requires launching multiple satellites in batches to different orbital planes. It’s a requirement that all too often sees large launch vehicles fly with payloads well below their full lift capacity, which is an incredibly expensive and inefficient way to build out a satellite constellation.”

Established by New Zealand entrepreneur Peter Beck in his home country, Rocket Lab moved to Huntington Beach, California in 2013. The company said it was looking for another US location to build a factory for manufacture of the Neutron Rocket.

Deploying mega-constellations

Numerous companies are pursuing constellations of smaller satellites, with the likes of OneWeb and Starlink aiming to provide global broadband coverage.

“Neutron’s 8-ton lift capacity will make it ideally sized to deploy satellites in batches to specific orbital planes, creating a more targeted and streamlined approach to building out mega constellations,” said Beck.

(Image: Rocket Lab)

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Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

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