Intelsat EpicNG satellites delivering on performance promise

Artist's impression of an Intelsat EpicNG satellite.
Artist’s impression of an Intelsat EpicNG satellite.

Intelsat says its new EpicNG high throughput satellite (HTS) Ku-band platform is delivering a 165% to 330% increase in spectral efficiency with ground platforms and modem technologies.

It is also giving up to 300% improvement in throughput when using next-generation antenna technology.

Intelsat also says recent tests confirm that the Intelsat EpicNG platform is exceeding performance expectations when transmitting to and from a small flat-panel antenna designed for a new class of remotely-piloted aircraft.

Since late March 2016 Intelsat 29e, the first of the new EpicNG satellites, has been involved in extesive testing.

In all cases, customers and partners report that the platform is meeting and exceeding its performance and efficiency expectations across a range of applications.

Stephen Spengler, Chief Executive Officer, Intelsat, said: “Given the insatiable bandwidth demands of businesses operating around the world, we designed Intelsat EpicNG with our customers’ needs front and centre.

“Our design goal, focusing on efficiency and thus optimising the throughput to the individual network users, has delivered immediate operating efficiencies for our customers.

“The enterprise, mobility and wireless infrastructure sectors are using Intelsat EpicNG, in most cases with existing hardware, transitioning seamlessly onto our high-performance network.

“The bottom line is that our goals of higher performance, better economics, and simplified access are being proven in operational customer networks.  Intelsat EpicNG will support our customers as they expand their businesses into new applications and geographies to realise their long-term growth objectives.”

Its subsidiary, Intelsat General Corporation, recently performed tests with a government customer using a 6” by 6” Gilat airborne terminal with a flat-panel antenna, designed for a new generation of small Class III unmanned aircraft system (UAS).

The customer sent data from Gilat’s airborne antenna to the recently-launched Intelsat 29e satellite at a rate of 3.9 Mbps. This compares to an uplink rate of about 1.8 Mbps from the small antenna to a conventional Ku wideband satellite.

It says this link was effectively twice the rate of, and almost three times more efficient than, traditional widebeam satellites.

This bodes well for other aviation applications with larger Ku-band antennas.

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