Telesat commits to satellite antenna supplier
August 5, 2021
By Chris Forrester
Ottawa-based satellite operator Telesat has teamed with ThinKom Solutions to collaborate on the development of antennas for Telesat’s upcoming Lightspeed fleet of Low Earth Orbiting broadband satellites. Telesat is talking up downlink speeds of 830 Mb/s.
The two companies will work together to facilitate operations of the ThinKom Ka2517 antennas on the fully integrated 298 satellite and ground network, which is expected to begin services in 2023. The efforts under the agreement will include integration of the Ka2517 as a complete aeronautical User Terminal solution, followed by formal type approval of the Ka2517 on the Telesat Lightspeed network.
Based on the high performance and efficiency of the Ka2517 antennas and Telesat’s advanced LEO satellite network, downlink speeds are expected to reach up to 830 Mb/s and uplink speeds up to 200 Mb/s to a single aircraft.
The Ka2517 antennas have already been successfully tested on Telesat’s Phase 1 LEO satellite, validating tracking of the LEO satellite, extremely high spectral efficiencies, and ultra-low latency of 20-40 msec. Additional testing will be conducted to validate both intra- and inter-satellite handovers on the Ka2517 terminal when the Telesat Lightspeed satellites are in orbit.
“The collaboration agreement between ThinKom and Telesat will ensure a streamlined path for Ka2517 antennas already in service as well as new installations to operate seamlessly over Telesat’s LEO network,” said Bill Milroy, Chairman and CTO of ThinKom Solutions. “Our proven VICTS aero antenna technology, combined with the Telesat Lightspeed optical laser-linked global coverage, low latency, high throughput and reconfigurable dynamic beam flexibility, will provide a low-risk, cost-competitive ‘overnight upgrade’ solution for airlines serving both global and regional routes, including high-latitude polar areas.”