The main trends in the development of marine satellite dishes
The increase in the volume of data transmitted from ships to shore means for shipowners and managers the need to upgrade satellite communication antennas to more powerful ones. Today, VSAT marine antennas have low power supplies of about eight watts or less in order to maintain their low weight. This is enough to connect the VSAT equipment operating in the transmission mode of the standard downstream ship traffic, but not enough to increase the upstream traffic transmitted from the ship to the satellite.
In order to adapt the equipment to higher data rates on the uplink, antenna manufacturers can install high power supplies, which leads to an increase in the total weight and size of the antennas. However, Cobham Satcom has developed a 20-watt power supply with the same dimensions and weight as the 8-watt one. The device was included in the high-power version of the Cobham Satcom Sailor 900 VSAT equipment.
“Some shipowners require more power from the uplink, so we need to pay attention to high-power power supplies for Sailor systems,” said Jens Jurling, Business Development Director for Marine Broadband Communication Systems. – Some customers want to have two to four megabits per second on the uplink, getting them on an eight-watt power supply, but they are limited by the capabilities of the equipment. If shipowners want to raise the Internet uplink, they will have to increase their power consumption. ”
For vessels with increased uplink channel requirements, such as research vessels, Cobham Satcom would previously offer an individual solution based on the Sea Tel antenna line. However, in order to reduce costs, such customers would like to receive a standard antenna. “We focused on the design of our antennas to meet the new standard and were able to take the next step to increase their power,” Mr. Yurling said. “We had to find solutions for the Sailor 900 antenna with a fully integrated twenty-watt power supply.”
Cobham Sailor 900 VSAT
The idea was realized in the second quarter of this year, when Cobham Satcom introduced the Ku-band antenna Sailor 900 VSAT High Power with a 20-watt power supply. This solution improves the frequency characteristics and, in general, Ku-band satellite communications, especially in the uplink channel (uplink from a ship to a satellite). The antenna system is factory tested, balanced, ready for installation to work in standard quality and requires only one cable between the antenna and the deck unit. The Sailor 900 operates across the entire Ku-band satellite communications and has been tested for high bandwidth services, including Intelsat EpicNG satellites. The system can be converted to Ka-band Inmarsat Fleet Xpress and Telenor Thor 7 services.
Mr. Yurling expects an increase in demand for high-power versions of antennas in the near future. “More and more shipowners are paying attention to how traffic leaving the ship increases,” he said. – We offer a kit for upgrading antenna systems in the direction of increasing their power, so many will be able to quickly feel the uplink acceleration. The upgrade can be done by a Sailor engineer and will require replacing the RF part and reconnecting the cables. This approach eliminates the need to replace the antenna itself. ”
Most Ku-band networks require the installation of a meter antenna similar to the Sailor 900, for which it is necessary to use a crane. However, as additional satellites with high bandwidth and using focused beams, manufacturers can offer 60-centimeter antennas for both Ku- and Ka-bands. Mr. Yurling expects growth in demand for 60-centimeter antennas of both ranges. “Based on the Ka-band antennas, we developed Ku-band antennas with a diameter of 60 cm. We revised the RF equipment and made it more compact. But operators cannot use 60 cm for the global Ku band. ”
Intellian Technologies introduced the Intellian v65 model in the 60-cent VSAT class of antennas. According to the President and Executive Director of the company, Eric Sung, this made it possible to increase productivity by providing the ship’s operators with the same global satellite services, but with a smaller antenna. “Improving system performance goes well with Ku-bandwidth,” he said. “With this new instrument, our partners — service providers — are able to offer new solutions that can sound out loud in the industry.” Marlink will be one of the first to offer Intellian v65 for use on a global network.