SES, Isotropic Systems partner on multi-orbit antennas
November 2, 2021
By Chris Forrester
SES, with Isotropic Systems, has tested a new, versatile antenna which the pair say will be a “game changer” as far as multi-satellite (and multi-orbit) connectivity is concerned.
The antenna has proven to successfully connect with SES’s satellites in their geostationary orbit as well as simultaneously connecting with an O3b satellite in medium earth orbit (MEO).
Currently users are reliant on legacy ground antennas which only connect to a single network at a time. This industry breakthrough enables satellite end-users to combine the best attributes of all available networks achieving superior network uptime and application performance. Isotropic’s deep tech solution multiplies the performance of single antenna solutions to transform the global appeal of satellite connectivity, ensuring critical defense communications infrastructure and delivering multiple broadband access that are highly reliable, says an announcement.
SES and Isotropic give some examples:
• NATO and other international forces will finally be able to converge the most advanced military and secure commercial satellites, ensuring total mission assurance around the world.
• In the sky, aircraft pilots will be able to connect to the optimal satellites for navigation and ground communications, while passengers in the cabin can connect to entirely separate satellites in different orbits to access live television, super-fast broadband, and enhanced entertainment options with streaming and gaming.
• On the ground, the entire land transport sector will achieve ubiquitous, super-fast, always-on internet access, allowing people to work as if they were in the office even if they are riding on a train or bus, while remote locations can finally access high-speed broadband.
• At sea, ships can be tracked across the oceans, accelerating digital transformation for the shipping industry and super-fast internet will transform the experience for cruise ship passengers.
“We have removed the major bottleneck holding back the expansion of the satellite sector for both commercial and defense communications. Users can finally connect to as many satellites as they want, when they want, wherever they want and that’s a game-changer for enterprise, aero, maritime, government and defense,” said John Finney, founder and CEO of Isotropic Systems. “This test proves space is now open, as we mesh networks together in a way that is unparalleled, without compromise. We have delivered on our vision to combine the full performance of multiple antennas into one multi-link, solid state, software defined terminal without any restrictions.”
“The success of these multi-orbit antenna trials opens the door to a new level of multi-orbit service delivery, as we integrate our geostationary satellites with our second-generation low-latency, high-throughput O3b mPOWER system to provide seamless services for our customers,” said Steve Collar, CEO of SES. “Isotropic’s unique architecture enables our customers to be connected to multiple simultaneous beams from both GEO and MEO satellites, enabling us to deliver industry-defining performance and orbital resilience services. It is a game changer for resilient, secure, global networks built on SES’s state-of-the-art fleet.”
Mike Rudd, Head of Telecommunications Strategy at the UK Space Agency, said: “This is a significant breakthrough that will put UK technology developed by Isotropic Systems at the heart of meeting the unprecedented demand for global connectivity. It’s a great example of the innovation found within the UK’s growing space sector and has been made possible by our leading investments in telecommunications research through the European Space Agency.”