Satellite service provider OneWeb and chipmaker SatixFy UK today announced plans to add a new "digital pathway payload" that will improve satellite communications flexibility and reduce light pollution from the partners' growing number of satellites.
"This leading-edge satellite will be fully operational and is a great opportunity to showcase what can be delivered with our payload technology," said Massimiliano Ladovaz, OneWeb chief technical officer, in a statement. "The improved performance, greater efficiency and targeted capacity, together with sophisticated ground infrastructure, puts us at the forefront of LEO communications network services."
The solution's new on-board processing subsystem will operate ground-based user and gateway links independently. The solution also will feature an electronically steered multi-beam antenna whose capacity for time-delay beam forming means it can simultaneously point and switch multiple beams in multiple directions.
Finally, the satellites' beam hopping, for both forward and return paths, will allow the operator to meet customers' changing bandwidth or geographical needs, function on both Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geo-Stationary Earth Orbit (GEO) simultaneously, maintain make-or-break connectivity between rising and setting satellites and seamlessly transfer between mobile devices, beams and satellites.
"Beam-hopping systems offer higher usable throughput by focusing the system resources where they are most needed at a time," said the eight authors of Satellite Communications in the 5G Era.
In addition to being more cost-effective for OneWeb and its customers, the so-called "digital-transparent payload" means fewer satellites cluttering the skies, making life easier for astronomers and others.
OneWeb will celebrate the one-year anniversary of its first satellite launch next month and expects to begin a regular launch program for global commercial broadband services based, in part, on these new technologies, at the end of 2021, the operator said in the release.
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