Latest News

ThinKom, Comsat Validate High Speed Satellite Comms-on-the-Move

By | April 6, 2018

An SUV equipped with ThinKom’s phased array antenna. Photo: ThinKom.

ThinKom Solutions and Comsat recently partnered to complete a coast-to-coast expedition to test and validate a seamless end-to-end continuous high-speed satellite communication solution in a moving vehicle under a range of conditions.

ThinKom equipped the demonstration SUV with its roof-mounted ThinSat 300 phased array satellite antenna, plus a package of modems, routers, switches, power inverter and an operator interface inside the vehicle. Comsat was responsible for providing seamless connectivity for the journey through commercial Ku-band satellites and redundant 3G/4G LTE terrestrial networks.

The ThinSat 300 antenna is 4.3 inches high and can be mounted on a standard roof rack, ThinKom stated. Total weight, including the radome, is 120 lbs. The vehicle-mounted antenna enables IP networks, streaming video and Voice-Over-IP (VOIP) applications without stopping to deploy a fixed satellite terminal or waiting for a blockage recovery.

The week-long trek took place between March 3 and March 10. It started at Manhattan Beach, California, and ended in Washington, D.C., and 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.

During the 5,000-mile 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.

“Throughout the trip, the ThinSat 300 supported broadcast-quality communication links at highway speeds and in off-road terrain,” said Darin Anderson, director of international business development at ThinKom. “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.”