Successful initial tests of Kymeta’s Ku-band flat-panel antenna for Intelsat could be encouraging news for its future aeronautical Ka-band Inmarsat GX mTenna.
Kymeta and Intelsat say they have successfully completed initial testing of the performance of Kymeta’s flat-panel antenna via Intelsat’s Ku-band global satellite network for both maritime and automotive applications.
In the automotive portion of the test, the team embedded Kymeta’s flat-panel antenna into the roof of an automobile and, over the course of 8,000 miles, proved that the company’s mTenna technology was able to automatically acquire and track satellite signals while on the move.
The Ku-band antenna was able to both transmit and receive signals with Intelsat Ku-band satellites.
Kymeta says it has also completed building and testing its first glass-on-glass, thin-film-transistor-based antennas, with receive and transmit on the same aperture.
Dr. Nathan Kundtz, Chief Executive Officer of Kymeta, said: “We’re excited about these significant milestones and what they mean for our customers. In partnership with Intelsat, we’re ushering in a new generation of mobile communications that is lower cost and higher bandwidth.”
Kymeta’s flat panel antennas simplify access to satellites by removing the need for mechanical components and by using software to electronically point, steer and acquire the satellite signal.
Honeywell Aerospace, Inmarsat and Kymeta announced in April 2015 that they are working together to design, create and test a new, higher-speed Ka-Band wireless antenna for business and commercial aircraft.
The smaller and more compact design will allow the antenna to be installed on a wider variety of aircraft, including smaller business aviation aircraft.
The flat-panel design is lighter and will reduce weight and drag on the aircraft, in turn reducing fuel and maintenance costs.
While the design of Kymeta’s Ka-band antenna will be significantly different to the Ku version, because of the difference in wavelength in use, the overall principle remains the same.
The small mTenna Ka-band terminal will bring connectivity to platforms that are too small for Honeywell’s JetWave fuselage- and tail-mounted antennas, including bizjets, small regional aircraft, private airplanes, and UAVs.
Kymeta says its electromagnetic metamaterial technology uses “a holographic approach to electronically acquire, steer, and lock a beam to any satellite, with no moving parts”. It uses Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD technology that can be switched on or off to help with the beam forming.
“Get Connected” hopes to publish an update on the progress of Kymeta’s Ka-band mTenna in a couple of weeks.
More information: Kymetacorp.com