Microwave Journal
www.microwavejournal.com/articles/30486-thinkom-phased-array-aero-antennas-ready-now-for-low-earth-orbit-satellites

ThinKom Phased-Array Aero Antennas Ready Now for Low-Earth Orbit Satellites

June 6, 2018

ThinKom Solutions Inc. has announced that its phased-array antennas are fully interoperable with the next generation of low-earth orbit (LEO) and mid-earth orbit (MEO) networks as well as geostationary (GEO) satellites.

Agility tests have shown that the company’s antenna design achieves switching speeds of less than 800 ms. This has been determined by LEO and MEO service providers to be more than sufficient for beam switching among the fast-moving satellites with virtually no interruption in connectivity.

“ThinKom’s patented phased-array architecture provides rapid switching speeds without the limitations of electronic scanning antennas in terms of instantaneous bandwidth, low-look-angle performance, power consumption and aperture efficiency,” said Bill Milroy, chairman and chief technical officer of ThinKom Solutions.

“The new LEO and MEO satellite networks currently under development have the potential to disrupt the SATCOM market with inexpensive bandwidth and offer unique benefits in terms of latency, coverage, throughput and redundancy,” said Milroy. “At the same time, GEO high-throughput satellites (HTS) represent proven lower-risk technology but have limitations in terms of high-latitude coverage, lower spectral efficiencies and latency. This presents a dilemma for companies facing multi-year planning cycles for SATCOM terminal selection.”

“Our position is that users and sellers of aeronautical satellite connectivity should not have to make an either-or choice,” said Milroy. “Our antenna technology has the versatility to support an integrated multi-constellation solution offering gap-free pole-to-pole coverage with automatic beam switching, rapid outage recovery and network optimization for different geographical regions.”

ThinKom’s antennas are field-proven with nearly 750 installed units currently flying over 3,000 flights per day. They have more than 2.5 million hours of accrued service time and are consistently achieving 98 percent availability rates. In addition, the extremely low-profile antenna radome virtually eliminates aerodynamic drag, dramatically reducing fuel usage when flying with the SATCOM antenna.

ThinKom will showcase its Ku- and Ka-Band phased-array antenna technology at the 2018 Global Connected Aircraft Summit in San Diego, June 4-6. Milroy will speak in the Hardware and Technology panel on Tuesday afternoon, June 5.