Emerging TechnologiesOneWeb | SpaceX Satellite Constellation | Kymeta Flat panel VSAT antennas with no moving parts. | Ka-Band | Spaceway | O3b - Providing backbone links to the Other 3 billion | COMMStellation |
The satellites will operate in Ku-band. Each sate;lite will be capable of 6 Gbps throughput.
The user terminal on the ground will be phased array approximately 36x16cm (14x6")
Metamaterials Surface Antenna Technology (MSA-T) enables wide-angle, all-electronic beam steering from a proprietary, flat, light weight, PCB-like surface that can be mass-produced using affordable existing, lithography techniques for low-cost production.
The PCB-like circuit board is composed of several thousand sub-wavelength resonators that can be individually tuned. As RF energy propagates through the system, individual tunable elements can be activated to scatter a portion of this RF energy out of the guided mode. It is the pattern of activated tunable elements that determines the shape and direction of the radiated wave through the formation of a reconfigurable grating. Changing the pattern of activated elements changes the shape and direction of the beam.
In a recent demonstration, Kymeta successfully closed a link with a Ka-band DTH satellite transporting high definition TV signals using a 15" x 17" x 1cm panel, powered by only a USB cable drawing less than 3 Watts of power to drive the beamforming antenna. Closing the link with the satellite demonstrated real world high efficiency and good polarization fidelity.
The first products are scheduled to roll out in first quarter of 2015.
See kymetacorp.com for more information and developments
As Ka-band maritime terminals become a reality, it is likely that there will be several providers offering competitive, multi-regional, and quasi-global service, capitalizing on the affordable, direct-to-home, Ka-Band satellite Internet networks like Tooway, Hughesnet, Wild Blue and Yonder.
Inmarsat's biggest challenge might be breaking out of the "most expensive" mold with their huge capital expense of building a dedicated, global system from scratch.
Whatever happens, I believe that affordable, Ka-Band to small maritime terminals is in our near future.
The 16 satellites orbit around the equator, about 5000 miles above the earth using steerable spotbeams that remain pointed at certain areas as the satellite moves across the sky. Compared to the high latency of geostationary satellites at 22, 300 miles above the earth, the MEO satellites are four times closer and should have very low latency. The system supports scalable data rates from 1Mb to 10Mb.
The $1.2B project is working toward a firm launch date of the first 8 satellites, somewhere in 2013.