The good, the bad and, more importantly, the solutions regarding satellite antennas were discussed at the recent APSAT Conference in Jakarta. That's also where Arralis, providers of millimeter wave technologies and products from Limerick, Ireland, announced their new Ka-band analogue phase shifters that enable true electronically steerable, low profile antenna to be offered to commercial and defense aircraft market.
Senior fleet operators, network providers and platform users at the recent APSAT Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, agreed that satellite antennas have been the weak point for satellite broadband. Until now, they blame a lack of innovation for ongoing issues with cost, size, poor aerodynamics, insufficient throughput and single satellite operation.
Arralis' compact, lightweight and aerodynamic Ka-band phased array antennas, have no stabilization requirements, are 400 percent smaller than their Ku-band counterparts and are made specifically with airliners, business jets, military aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles in mind.
The positive results of this antenna will open up the aircraft markets to high data rates and low latency satellite communications. The High Throughput Satellite (HTS) communications, of up to 2 Gbps, provide the wideband video streaming and full motion video capabilities that aviators desire. The capability will continuously track fast moving Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites where the analogue phase variation allows continuous electronic beam steering, and multiple simultaneous satellite tracking is possible. This new product for space, aerospace, transportable and on-the-move applications will benefit designers of aircraft with a simple, reliable and flat beam steering and continuous tracking antenna.
According to Gary Soul, the Arralis VP of Business Development said at the Farnborough Airshow they’ll be exhibiting the Ka-band antenna and highlighting how the Arralis new monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) phase-shifters have enabled this innovative development. They have in essence developed the technology that allows users to continuously track and communicate with Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) satellites in a form that can be easily integrated onto aircraft. Fleet operators, network providers and platform users should be very pleased with this innovative technology and the attendant economies of scale that volume production should allow.