- Satellite Evolution
Cobham SATCOM launches XTR – a next generation antenna platform to future-proof vessel connectivity
Cobham SATCOM, the market-leading provider of radio and satellite communications solutions to the maritime industry, has today announced the launch of its new SAILOR XTR™ antenna platform. The SAILOR 1000 XTR Ku is the first of a new generation of software-controlled antenna systems designed for quick deployment, operational reliability, simplicity, and best-in-class radio frequency (RF) performance.
Developed and designed by Cobham SATCOM, SAILOR XTR™ integrates the best of the SAILOR VSAT technology into a new platform with cutting-edge software and electronic capabilities that prepare it to operate in future satellite constellations in LEO, MEO, GEO and HEO orbits. The one-metre antenna has a new simplified and robust pedestal for better antenna performance and easier and simpler conversion between Ku- and Ka-bands.
SAILOR XTR™ is prepared for the internet of things. Built-in IoT data protocols such as Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT), Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and RESTful API could make SAILOR VSAT and SAILOR XTR™ antenna systems a self-reporting item in a typical satcom/IT solution, providing up-to-date detailed antenna information and enabling preventive maintenance. This helps to ensure uptime, boosts the efficiency of on-board IT systems and contributes to optimised vessel performance.
A new Ethernet port inside of every above-deck SAILOR XTR™ unit facilitates new connectivity options. Solution partners could use this to integrate third-party devices such as cellular transceivers and Wi-Fi access points. The additional data from these devices gets securely routed at up to 1Gbps to an Ethernet port on the SAILOR XTR™ Below Deck Unit. The antenna also comes with a new XTR Antenna System Control Module (ASCM) with a hardware encryption key chip mounted inside. The XTR ASCM is networked to all other modules and motors via a star network topology for speed of data exchange and reliability. Importantly, it only accepts Cobham-signed software, which makes it impossible for others to read out the private key, which is programmed into the key chip, thus protecting the antenna from potential cyber-attacks.
Additionally, the true one-cable solution on SAILOR XTR™ not only manages Rx, Tx and power over a single coax cable but can also transfer high-speed data from a third-party device which could be mounted inside of the antenna to below-deck. To ensure world-class uptime, the antenna platform also maintains Cobham SATCOM’s Rapid Deployment Technology. This ensures a fast, hassle-free rollout for ship owners and operators, as well as improved and extensive self-diagnostics for optimal performance and reliability.
Jens Ewerling, Product Manager, VSAT, at Cobham SATCOM, said: “Through the development of SAILOR XTR™, a reliable, agile and high performing VSAT solution, Cobham SATCOM has once again set the standard for the future of maritime satcom. In an era of unprecedented uncertainty and technological complexity, the new advanced science underpinning SAILOR XTR™ will drive greater simplicity for ship owners and operators while enhancing performance. This will ultimately give them more time to focus on business-critical issues, while handing them the data necessary to identify cost-effective solutions to address and analyse a myriad of complex issues; from transparency to environmental compliance and seafarer welfare.”
Cobham SATCOM has already successfully installed the first SAILOR 1000 XTR™ Ku on a vessel operating in rough Scandinavian waters. The installation was completed on the M/V Pearl Seaways with owner DFDS in attendance. This latest product launch follows the successful installation of more than 15,000 SAILOR VSAT antennas in the field over the last decade, with the company’s solutions long established on all vessel types, in all oceans.