CARLSBAD, Calif., November 17, 2020 — Viasat Inc. (Nasdaq: VSAT), a global communications company, today announced that its solid-state, fully-electronic phased array flat panel antenna, selected by SES for the O3b mPOWER satellite communications (satcom) system, has entered the Test Readiness Review (TRR) stage of the program. TRR is the final stage of testing to verify compliance with the antenna’s performance requirements. Viasat expects the first phased array prototype for the O3b mPOWER network to be delivered to SES early next year.
Viasat’s modular phased array antenna design is scalable, customizable and will be offered in multiple sizes, enabling it to be utilized for both fixed and mobile broadband applications. For SES’s O3b mPOWER Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) system, the phased array antenna will operate over the full ITU Ka-band spectrum. A different version of the antenna can be made to operate on Ku-band.
Viasat’s phased array has the ability to dynamically steer beams for rapid, accurate satellite position tracking and seamless handover between satellites in the O3b mPOWER network; and can perform on-the-fly reconfiguration of antenna characteristics to enable end-terminals to communicate in a hybrid MEO-to-GEO (Geostationary) environment.
“Back in 2018 Viasat became a partner in our O3b mPOWER innovation ecosystem. Now with Viasat entering the final testing phase of its phased array terminal technology, we are another step closer to providing advanced levels of connectivity on a global scale,” said Stewart Sanders, Executive Vice President, O3b mPOWER Programme Lead at SES. “The flexibility designed into the Viasat phased array antenna will enable our current O3b constellation of 20 MEO satellites and next-generation O3b mPOWER system to bring reliable, high- speed broadband communications for our government, enterprise and mobility customers.”
Dave Ryan, president, Space and Commercial Networks at Viasat added, “Viasat’s flat panel antenna represents significant advancements in scalable phased array terminal technologies. It leverages years of investment in research and development and commercial innovation. Entering the final TRR phase of the program, we can help SES achieve their goals to leverage a multi-orbit, multi-frequency, high-throughput, flexible and open architecture satcom system.”
Senior engineers from Viasat and SES discussed the phased array technology and O3b use cases during the 10th annual Advanced Satellite Multimedia Systems (ASMS) conference, which was held virtually, on October 21, 2020.