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SES Networks Selects Viasat Phased Array Flat Panel Antenna for O3b mPower

By James Walsh | March 12, 2018
Rendition of new O3b mPower network. Photo: SES.

Rendition of new O3b mPower network. Photo: SES.

SES Networks has selected Viasat’s solid-state, fully electronic phased array flat panel antenna for the O3b mPower satellite communications system. The Viasat flat panel antenna will be used for a new generation of customer edge terminals for multiple applications on the O3b network.

Viasat’s fully electronic flat panel antenna has the ability to dynamically steer beams — without any moving parts — and rapidly follow a satellite’s position, allowing seamless handover between satellites in a non-Geostationary Satellite Orbit (NGSO) constellation. The antenna also features advancements in spectrum usage; dynamic interference mitigation to and from other satellites; enhanced processing power; and the ability to perform on-the-fly reconfiguration of antenna characteristics to enable end-terminals to support and communicate within a hybrid satcom system of NGSO and Geostationary Satellite (GEO) systems, according to the company.

The Viasat phased array is based on proprietary flat panel core technology, inclusive of a new Radio Frequency (RF) integrated circuit and a modular approach that enables multiple types of user terminals — from residential broadband and in-flight Wi-Fi to connected car and backhaul applications — to keep pace with growing broadband connectivity demands. The current phased array uses a dual-beam flat panel antenna system operating in the full Ka- frequency band with an ability to be customized for Ku-band applications. The development of the Viasat phased array is in part supported by the European Space Agency (ESA), through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Viasat and ESA announced in November 2017.