Advanced Television

Greenerwave’s ‘intelligent mirrors’ for satellites

March 14, 2023

Greenerwave, a deep-tech French start-up specialising in shaping electromagnetic waves, says it is revolutionising satellite communications thanks to a unique solution that boosts the potential of both mega-LEO constellations and geostationary satellites.

Greenerwave’s technology, based on intelligent reflectors, maintains a low-latency broadband connection between a moving (LEO) or geostationary satellite and a flat mobile antenna. Agnostic to protocol, easy to install, cheap and energy efficient, this solution could in time free up land-based infrastructures and put an end to white spots.

Its development has been financed by the DGA (Direction générale de l’armement, France’s Government defence procurement and technology agency), and these developments directly address new challenges relating to security, connected health and self-driving cars.

“While satellites have revolutionised our capacity to communicate across the world, low earth orbit (LEO) satellites are a breakthrough technological and industrial innovation for satellite-based communications. But they still need to be fully exploited and made widely accessible,” says Greenerwave.

The company adds: “Unlike geostationary satellites, which are very costly and only cover a fixed part of the globe with limited capacities and significant latency, LEO satellites represent the future of telecom infrastructures. They make it possible to shift to a group of mass-produced satellites covering the entire globe. Capable of evolving, they can also use broader frequency bands outside the range of conventional antennae. What’s more, future connected usages will require an uninterrupted connection regardless of how users travel (in aircraft, boats and cars) or their geographical situation. This problem is still unresolved, both for LEO and GEO satellites.”

Greenerwave says: “Traditional antennae (satellite dishes) are incapable of tracking moving LEO satellites or providing a continuous connection when travelling. Intelligent antennae are therefore required. But these solutions are very costly and energy intensive, and hence ill-suited to the mass market. This is precisely the problem that Greenerwave is addressing. The French deep-tech business is developing flat antennae capable of directing waves to a specific device, such as an antenna or a satellite, by adjusting to its position in real time. Using relatively simple electronics, the costs and energy consumption are five times lower!”

“This,” says the business, “is a promising solution to optimise and generalise new connected usages.”

Launched in 2018, Greenerwave’s work quickly caught the attention of the DGA, which saw it as a breakthrough solution compared with conventional intelligent antennae. The DGA financed a preliminary project to develop an emission module in the Ka Band at a connection on the GEO Athena-Fidus satellite. This was followed by a second project designed to develop a product for use on the battlefield or on drones.



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