- Satellite Evolution
Comtech Telecommunications to supply SES with O3b mPOWER gateway and user terminals
Comtech Telecommunications is supplying gateway and user terminal antenna systems to SES for its second-generation O3b mPOWER Medium Earth Orbit (“MEO”) satellite constellation. These antenna solutions are part of Comtech’s Failsafe Communications product suite and were designed and will be manufactured at Comtech’s new technology center in Basingstoke, United Kingdom.
“We are pleased that SES has partnered with Comtech for our X/Y antenna products for critical telemetry, tracking and control facilities as well as customer data gateways and user terminals. These antenna systems, which were manufactured at our new technology center in the United Kingdom, provide unique technical and commercial advantages in support of non-geostationary constellations over traditional antenna products,” said Michael Porcelain, President and Chief Executive Officer of Comtech Telecommunications Corp.
“These next-generation gateway antennas are especially important for customers who want to land data at their own site whilst being able to tap into the differentiated O3b mPOWER connectivity services. For our government customers, this is especially attractive since we have a compelling offering with our low-latency, high-throughput services delivered in a secure environment as if they were using their own dedicated satellite network. This is made possible, in part, due to these gateways that are now more resilient, lighter and easier to install,” said Stewart Sanders, Executive Vice President of Technology and O3b mPOWER manager at SES.
Comtech’s antenna systems that can be used with the O3b mPOWER satellite constellation range in size from the 5.5-meter gateway intended for telemetry, tracking and control (TT&C) to 2.4-meter antennas for enterprise and government use. Compared with existing O3b gateways, Comtech’s dual-drive X/Y antennas offer huge advantages over traditional Azimuth/Elevation systems, to include precision tracking, multi-orbit support and easier installations. Comtech’s carbon fiber reflector is a light weight, rigid structure, and stable over extreme temperature ranges, which is critical for Ka-band surface accuracy. The lighter-weight reflector design utilizes smaller drive motors, experiences less component stress for longer life and lower power consumption during the constant trace/retrace operation needed for non-geostationary satellite tracking, resulting in overall lower capital and operational costs.
O3b mPOWER is the successor to SES’s first-generation O3b MEO constellation. The software-driven communications system is capable of delivering connectivity services from tens of megabits to multiple gigabits per second. It is scheduled for launch in the coming months and expected to be operational by end of calendar year 2022.
Comtech’s new 56,000 square foot facility in Basingstoke, United Kingdom is a modern technology center that is intended to support customer requirements for Failsafe Communications – critical communications infrastructure that people, business, and governments know they can rely on, no matter where they are – on land, at sea, or in the air – and no matter what’s going on outside – from armed conflict to natural disaster. The facility provides customers access to Comtech’s scalable manufacturing, improved QA, and improved material and integration workflow. Comtech’s antenna suite includes satellite tracking antennas ranging in size from sub-1-meter to 13-meters, as well as RF feeds, radomes and carbon fiber reflectors, for LEO, MEO and GEO applications at all frequency bands.