Kymeta, the mobile connectivity company backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and OneWeb have announced the successful testing of the Kymeta u8 based LEO terminal with OneWeb’s LEO satellite constellation.
Kymeta and OneWeb performed a series of LEO satellite acquisition, tracking and throughput measurements in Toulouse, France. Kymeta plans to leverage these results in the definition of future-proof solutions that are fully integrated and compatible with the rapidly expanding OneWeb system.
The u8 is the first commercially available flat panel antenna to interoperate with the OneWeb satellite constellation. OneWeb is working with several new user terminal integrators like Kymeta to explore solutions that meet the needs of Government, Military, Enterprise, Maritime and first responder customers. The commercially available Kymeta u8 supports fixed and mobile services enabling choice and redundancy for satellite users, and has demonstrated interoperability with low Earth orbit (LEO) and geostationary (GEO) satellite constellations.
The u8 is the only electronically steered flat panel antenna currently available on the market that is compatible with both low Earth orbit (LEO) and geostationary (GEO) satellite constellations. The device supports fixed and mobile services enabling choice and redundancy for satellite users.
Commenting on the development, Valery Gineste Senior Director of Technology at OneWeb, said: “We are excited about the performance demonstrated in these early pilot test results and pleased to work with Kymeta as a trusted and knowledgeable partner. The u8 will offer another great choice for OneWeb’s end-customers, particularly those with constrained space requirements or who need communications on the move when OneWeb mobility services start to become available from the end of 2022.”
Neville Meijers, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Kymeta, added: “The collaboration with OneWeb supports Kymeta’s priority mobile markets, and our solution is a natural fit for OneWeb customer needs. Military, government, enterprise, and first responder markets require demanding, mission-critical communications, and we can deliver seamless mobile connectivity to those customers wherever they are in the world.”
The demonstrations in Toulouse showed full-duplex communications between the Kymeta u8 and OneWeb’s satellites. The single aperture antenna achieved downlink and uplink speeds of more than 200 Mbps down and more than 40Mbps up respectively over repeated testing.
The setup of the antenna and the operations for LEO acquisition and tracking were both rapid and easy. This resulted in the antenna being unboxed, deployed, and with an over the air link-up on OneWeb LEO satellites in times unmatched by existing setups. The adaptability of the software-driven u8 allows for the improvement of capabilities more flexibly and ubiquitously.