ThinKom develops prototype for next-generation NGSO satellite user terminals


ThinKom Solutions, Inc., has unveiled a prototype low-cost, lightweight user terminal for the emerging multi-billion-dollar consumer and enterprise satellite communication markets. The ThinWave® Ku13 user terminal will be on display at the upcoming Satellite 2020 Conference in Washington, D.C., March 9-12.

ThinKom’s new user terminal design is a compact, lightweight unit that offers the spectral efficiency, beam agility and switching speeds to work efficiently on satellites in low-Earth orbit (LEO), medium-Earth orbit (MEO) and highly elliptical orbit (HEO).

The new user terminal is built on ThinKom’s patented CTS parallel plate flat-panel antenna technology, which has been field proven and deployed by government and commercial users across the globe. ThinKom has worked closely with a Tier 1 contract manufacturer to incorporate proven high-volume manufacturing processes and materials that have reduced manufacturing costs without compromising performance in terms of spectral efficiency, reliability and constellation interoperability.

The full-duplex antenna terminals boast 60 percent lower profile and 75 percent lighter weight as compared to traditional parabolic dishes of comparable performance. ThinKom’s user terminals reduce both installation costs and maintenance costs.

“Based on the very successful proof-of-concept project, we have launched Ku- and Ka-band product development efforts for both fixed and mobile NGSO user terminals,” said Bill Milroy, chief technology officer of ThinKom Solutions. “We are moving ahead aggressively in our development programs to take fullest advantage of these new satellites with a simple, low-cost, easy-to-deploy user terminal.”

The proliferation of new LEO, MEO and HEO satellite constellations coming into service over the next few years will open a host of new markets for satellite communications globally. Potential market segments and applications include business/enterprise, government/military communications, consumer broadband, cellular backhaul, Internet of Things (IoT), remote cable and DSL networks and Wi-Fi hotspots.

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