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  • Satellite Evolution

Orbit delivers GX30 30cm terminal for testing on Inmarsat global Xpress and MIL-KA networks

Inmarsat Government, the leading provider of secure, global, mission-critical telecommunications to the US government, Orbit Communications Systems Ltd., a leading provider of airborne communications solutions, and Boeing Commercial Satellite Services today announced that the Orbit GX30 multi-purpose terminal (MPT) demonstration system has successfully completed the first phase of testing with government users over Inmarsat Global Xpress (GX) and high-capacity, global military Ka-band. This follows the delivery of the Orbit GX46 MPT 46cm antenna systems that have been in production since 2020.

GX is the world’s first and only, globally available, seamless mobile wideband service. In US government service since July 2014, GX has established itself as the gold standard for reliable communication across land, sea and air domains for assured mobile connectivity.

Boeing’s managed network service and secure commanding of the Inmarsat high-capacity, global military Ka-band (HCX) system provides US government users with global 'centre of the beam' connectivity. Using hosted payloads on the Inmarsat 5 satellites, Boeing provides users 100-740MHz of steerable, bi-directional spot beam capacity. This allows for both manual steering and closed-loop steering to always keep the designated user or platform in the centre of the beam with the highest possible radiated power.

The GX30 terminal delivered a 126Mbps+ forward link and a 29Mbps+ return link. The MPT terminal is designed to maintain uninterrupted connectivity to the network during all flight phases.

GX30 is a modular, multi-role terminal that operates in both the GX commercial and military Ka-band utilizing a 30cm antenna. The fully integrated three Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) terminal consists of a RF antenna assembly (which includes all RF components), a Ka-band Power Supply Unit (KPSU) and a Modem Unit including Inmarsat’s G-MODMAN for Global Xpress service and the Boeing WC5000 for Mil-Ka high throughput applications, making it one of the easiest to install and service tail-mount terminals available.

The GX30 groundbreaking compact terminal design has the lowest weight on tail (less than 10kg) and lowest power consumption of any 30cm terminal on the market today. It was developed for installation in a range of business jets, military aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It complies with industry regulations and standards including MIL-STD-188-164C, RTCA DO-160G, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

The transmit performance of the terminal is best in class and its lightweight, small-footprint enables worldwide connectivity, supporting the full Ka frequency band. It has been built to be compatible with the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) system, thus making it an ideal choice for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. Furthermore, the terminal supports high return data link rates making it the optimal choice for users and missions, where sending large amounts of data from the aircraft is a critical aspect of the connectivity solution.

Daniel Eshchar, CEO of Orbit, said: “Orbit offers a complete range of airborne satellite communications terminals that maximize flexibility and enable future scalability. Built to fulfil the ‘everywhere, all-the-time’ coverage requirements of both the military and commercial airborne users, the GX30 MPT provides the best-in-class transmit performance under the harshest environmental conditions.”

Avi Shukrun, Vice President R&D of Orbit, said: “The state-of-the art GX30 30 cm antenna systems’ innovative technology is based on groundbreaking recent developments. The antenna’s compact system design exceeds the requirements and saves on operational costs by excelling in performance.”

Steve Gizinski, President of Inmarsat Government, said:” Our partnership with Orbit enables Inmarsat Government to respond rapidly to market needs with fully qualified wideband terminals. We look forward to the GX30 joining our terminal offerings with its best-in-class performance, size, weight and power. This terminal opens up new market segments for Inmarsat Government. It is a game changer for those that demand the very best in connectivity in one of the most difficult aero applications.”

Jeof McAllister, Vice President, Boeing Commercial Satellite Services, said: “The capability of the Orbit terminal with the Inmarsat GX and HCX system coupled with Boeing’s managed network service and secure commanding system provides U.S. government users dedicated capacity and superior throughput. This combination delivers unparalleled mission flexibility for global operations, with two times the data rate and ‘center-of-the-beam’ capability in a compact package.”

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