Charting the Course: How Advances in Satellite Terminals Are Fueling the Global Rise of Satellite Applications

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Charting the Course: How Advances in Satellite Terminals Are Fueling the Global Rise of Satellite Applications

Emergence of Low-Cost ESAs and RIS Antennas in the SatCom Market

Satellite Communication (SatCom) terminals have long been one of the more challenging aspects of establishing a satellite-based communications network for end users. Progress has been made in reducing the costs and Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) for the land-fixed segment, with the advent of mass-produced, low-cost, and phased array antennas from SpaceX and Amazon. These terminals, however, fail to service other more specialized segments such as aviation, maritime, and land mobile as effectively due to the high energy demands of Electronically Steered Antennas (ESAs) on the power supply capabilities of vehicles. This problem is exacerbated with the inclusion of multi-orbit functionality. As a result, the SWaP and terminal cost often suffer and act as a barrier to access for many wanting global, always-on connectivity via satellite.

Recent developments in the SatCom terminal industry, including Reticulate Micro’s introduction of low-energy, ruggedized multi-orbit VALOR terminals, Greenerwave’s advancements in Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (RISs) antenna arrays for fixed and mobile segments, and Intelsat’s collaboration with Case New Holland (CNH) to deliver Smart Farm connectivity in Brazil using ruggedized multi-orbit terminals and the Flex Move network, signify a notable shift in capabilities and costs for mobile applications.

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