The array aperture of the antenna can conform to curved surfaces such as a train roof in order to bring consistent communications to intransit vehicles

Flat Satellite Antenna Enables High Throughput in Transit

Oct. 23, 2013
A low-profile, electronically steered, phased-array antenna recently completed operational testing that enabled high-data-rate communications at the Ku-band.

In recent years, there has been increased consumer demand for consistent high-throughput communications while consumers are on the move. As a result, there is a growing need for affordable applications for satellite communications on the move (SOTM) for trains, planes, yachts, and UAVS as well as distributed phased-array radar systems. To meet these demands, a flat, electronically steered antenna array recently proved that it can satisfy objectives in an operational test.

The antenna, which hails from Phasor Solutions, measures just 1 in. in height, covering a surface of 0.7 x 1 m. The company is hoping that it will be the first commercially available, affordable, electronically steerable antenna at the Ku-band. In testing, it supported a high-definition video transmission via Intelsat 905, successfully forming and auto-pointing the RF beam to acquire the signal emitted from the satellite and then demodulating the high-quality video. The beam is steerable over 70 deg. and is inertia-free. It allows for rapid scanning while overcoming the limitations of motorized parabolic reflector antennas and offering equivalent or greater gain.

The array aperture can conform to any curved surface, such as an aircraft fuselage or train roof. It also can be extended to provide any required gain. This aspect allows support for higher-date-rate links while minimizing satellite capacity demands and charges. In addition to the Ku-band, the technology is applicable at the X-, Ka-, or other bands. With the recent testing ahead of schedule, commercial launch of the antenna array is expected in 2014.

About the Author

Iliza Sokol | Associate Digital Editor

Iliza joined the Penton Media group in 2013 after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a BS in Advertising and Marketing Communications. Prior to joining the staff, she worked at NYLON Magazine and a ghostwriting firm based in New York.

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