Viasat, SES ready antennas for O3b/mPower
November 19, 2020
By Chris Forrester
Viasat of California is in the final test stages of its antenna development programme for SES and its Middle Earth orbiting satellites. Prototypes should be delivered early in 2021.
SES’ Stewart Sanders, EVP/O3b mPOWER Programme Lead at SES, in a statement said: “The flexibility designed into the Viasat phased array antenna will enable our current O3b constellation of 20 MEO satellites and next-generation O3b mPOWER system to bring reliable, high- speed broadband communications for our government, enterprise and mobility customers.
The Viasat-developed system entered the Test Readiness Review (TRR) stage of the program. TRR is the final stage of testing to verify compliance with the antenna’s performance requirements.
The phased array antenna is complex in that it can be scaled up (or down) and operate over the complete Ka-band satellite spectrum, and must steer its beams for rapid, accurate satellite positioning as the craft fly overhead.
Dave Ryan, president, Space and Commercial Networks at Viasat calls the new antenna a “significant advancement in scalable phased array terminal technologies” that “leverages years of investment in research and development and commercial innovation.”
Viasat is extending its own satellite coverage and is in the process of building and launching new Very High Throughput geostationary satellites over Europe and Africa, and the Asia/Pac region. It has frequently spoken of adding capacity via additional Low Earth Orbiting satellites.