Viasat Inc., a global communications company, today announced that its solid-state, fully-electronic phased array flat panel antenna has been selected by SES Networks for the O3b mPOWER satellite communications (satcom) system. The Viasat flat panel antenna will be used for a new generation of customer edge terminals for multiple applications on the O3b network.
Viasat’s flat panel antenna technology leverages years of commercial innovation and research and development (R&D) investment. The antenna offers a compact, lightweight solution for fixed and mobile broadband terminals. It is scalable, customisable and will enable SES Networks to target various types of users with different broadband connectivity needs.
“O3b mPOWER is designed to provide connectivity for application-aware services on a global scale,” said John-Paul Hemingway, executive vice president of Product, Marketing and Strategy for SES Networks. “We’ve had a long-standing relationship with Viasat, and recognise that with their advancements in terminal technology, we can introduce the latest innovations and greatest cost-efficiencies across multiple market segments at great scale.”
“As part of Viasat’s commitment to broadband satellite services we have made some significant advancements in ground infrastructure and terminal technologies,” said Kevin Harkenrider, president, Commercial Networks at Viasat. “We look forward to being an integral part of SES’ O3b mPOWER ecosystem and believe our flat panel technology will help create compelling end-to-end experiences for SES Networks and its end-users.”
Viasat’s fully-electronic flat panel antenna has the ability to dynamically steer beams—without any moving parts—and rapidly follow a satellite’s position, allowing seamless handover between satellites in a non-Geostationary Satellite Orbit (NGSO) constellation. The antenna also features advancements in spectrum usage; dynamic interference mitigation to and from other satellites; enhanced processing power; and the ability to perform on-the-fly reconfiguration of antenna characteristics to enable end-terminals to support and communicate within a hybrid satcom system of NGSO and Geostationary Satellite (GEO) systems.
The Viasat phased array is based on proprietary flat panel core technology, inclusive of a new radio frequency (RF) integrated circuit and a modular approach that enables multiple types of user terminals—from residential broadband and in-flight Wi-Fi to connected car and backhaul applications—to keep pace with growing broadband connectivity demands. The current phased array uses a dual-beam flat panel antenna system operating in the full Ka- frequency band with an ability to be customised for Ku-band applications. The development of the Viasat phased array is in part supported by the European Space Agency (ESA), through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Viasat and ESA announced in November 2017.