Cobham SATCOM has revealed an innovative new solution that can significantly reduce the cost and simplify the installation and management of Inmarsat Global Xpress (GX) networks using multiple Ka-Band antennas. Multiple antennas are frequently used on board to overcome link losses caused by satellite blocking from the ship structure or other deck equipment.
Compatible with Cobham SATCOM’s technology-leading SAILOR 100 GX systems, the solution has already received Inmarsat type approval for use with the Inmarsat GX satellite systems. Supported by the unique single cable solution used on SAILOR antennas, Cobham SATCOM has overcome the need to add a 19” rack unit to operate a multiple antenna system, introducing potential installation savings in the region of US $10,000.
The solution helps to enable higher uptime and quality of service for end-users of SAILOR GX antennas connected to Fleet Xpress. It can integrate two SAILOR 100 GX antennas (ADU) on a single SAILOR GX modem unit (GMU) while ensuring seamless switching between them according to availability of a stable link based on orientation of the vessel, and to SAILOR FleetBroadband for operational continuity also when out of Ka-band coverage.
In addition to the cost benefits, Cobham SATCOM’s new solution introduces a simplified way to configure and manage antennas for specific blocking zones on board and therefore ensure service availability should the current operational antenna be blocked by the vessel’s superstructure. The solution not only reduces installation costs and enhances the end-user experience by ensuring access to operational and entertainment-based IP applications and voice calling, but also helps to reduce overall lifecycle costs dues to simplified servicing and management.
Cobham SATCOM already offers hardware solutions to support its satellite service provider partners when configuring and installing multiple Ku, Ka and C-band SAILOR and Sea Tel VSAT and TVRO antennas.
“Multiple antenna installations can be complex to plan, install, commission and manage. While we have worked closely with the industry to simplify the process for existing satellite networks and frequencies, the same blocking issues persist for Global Xpress. The SAILOR GX Antenna Diversity Solution meets a specific demand in the market as it is a simple and highly cost-effective way for service providers to optimise Fleet Xpress and secure the most reliable service for the end-users,” said Jens Ewerling, Director, Maritime Broadband, Cobham SATCOM.
“Inmarsat welcomes innovations from its long-term hardware partners that aim to simplify the installation and management of Fleet Xpress services, especially in the more challenging operational environments, where reliability and higher quality of service are critical,” says Ronald Spithout, President, Inmarsat Maritime. “We congratulate Cobham SATCOM on its Antenna Diversity Solution and are delighted on its type approval.”