COMSAT and ThinKom test high-speed satellite
The two organisations partnered up to complete an expedition that would test and validate a seamless end-to-end communication solution, in a moving vehicle and under a wide range of conditions.
The demonstration SUV was equipped with a roof-mounted ThinKom ThinSat 300 phased-array satellite antenna, plus a package of modems, routers, switches, power inverter and an easy-to-use operator interface inside the vehicle. COMSAT was responsible for providing seamless turnkey connectivity for the journey through commercial Ku-band satellites and redundant 3G/4G LTE terrestrial networks.
The ThinSat 300 antenna is just 4.3″ high and can be easily mounted on a standard roof rack. Total weight, including the radome, is 54 kg. Based on ThinKom’s patented phased-array technology, the vehicle-mounted antenna enables robust IP networks, streaming video and voice-over-IP applications without stopping to deploy a fixed satellite terminal or waiting for a blockage recovery.
During the expedition, ThinKom’s engineers conducted tests of the latest system software enhancements, which provide faster satellite acquisition and tracking, as well as additional modem interface protocols and modulation schemes. These improvements add up to greater operational efficiency and significant savings in time and money for end users, according to ThinKom.
The week-long trek took place 3–10 March. It started at Manhattan Beach, California, and ended in Washington, DC. The route included some of the most remote regions of the country, including Utah’s Bryce Canyon, Zion’s and Arches National Parks, Arapaho National Park in Colorado, the South Dakota Badlands, Great Plains, Daniel Boone National Park in Kentucky and the Outer Banks in the Carolinas.
“Throughout the trip, the ThinSat 300 supported broadcast-quality communication links, at highway speeds and in off-road terrain,” said ThinKom Director of International Business Development Darin Anderson.
“Importantly, the trip provided further validation of the efficiency of the ThinSat 300 antenna. The system delivered an average of 1:1 bit-to-hertz ratio on an extremely narrow MHz channel without spreading the signal. With other less-efficient antenna designs, this would have required substantially more bandwidth resulting in much higher operational costs.”
“Our strategic partnership brings together ThinKom’s unparalleled antenna technology and COMSAT’s world-class satellite and terrestrial network infrastructure,” said COMSAT Chief Strategy Officer Dylan Browne.
“This gives us the ability to offer our customers a truly global robust and reliable end-to-end, high-quality, satellite communication on-the-move solution for mission-critical applications such as broadcast news media, disaster relief, first response, homeland security, surveillance and security.”
The satellite demo vehicle will be positioned in the Washington, DC, area for the next few months to conduct private demonstrations.
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