Top honors for ThinKom for its “array of arrays”

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Leading antenna developer ThinKom Solutions has been awarded the top honors for “Satellite Technology of the Year”. Its phased array solution garnered the high profile award from Via Satellite magazine, who also named the company one of the top 10 hottest businesses in the satellite industry.

STOTY Award presentation
Bill Milroy, CTO of ThinKom Solutions, (left) accepts the Satellite Technology of the Year Award from Scott Chase, publisher emeritus of Via Satellite. Photo: ThinKom

Chief Technical Officer Bill Milroy received the award at the SATELLITE 2020 Awards Luncheon. Speaking at the ceremony, he said,

“It’s an honor to be recognized alongside these impressive companies nominated for the Satellite Technology of the Year Award. Together we’re collectively working to meet the challenges to bring to market innovative technologies, products and services that keep the satellite industry vibrant and growing each year.”

Why was ThinKom selected?

The product that attracted the attention of the judges over at SATELLITE was the company’s revolutionary “array of arrays” concept, a multi-beam land-based gateway capable of providing connectivity to LEO and MEO satellite constellations.

ThinKom array of arrays
The ThinKom solution is small but powerful. Photo: ThinKom

The concept uses tightly arranged VICTS antennas (Variably inclined continuous transverse stub-2 antennas, if you prefer), and lots of them, to provide a more focused, high powered antenna. The result is the formation of antenna beams that are as powerful as parabolic dishes up to 7m in size.

The multiple antennas work in harmony and can track several satellites at once. The small antennas can see satellites from five to 90 degrees elevation, and the whole unit is so lightweight and low profile, it’s bound to be of huge benefit to aviation.

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Mark Holmes, editorial director of Via Satellite, commented,

“There were a number of tremendous nominees, but we believe ThinKom’s multi-beamed phased-array solution, was a significant advance, not just for the antenna industry, but the satellite industry as a whole.

“With satellite operators becoming more demanding than ever, the onus will be on the likes of ThinKom to come up with the antenna tech to power the new generation of satellites. The company has been a strong performer, and winning Satellite Technology of the Year is a reflection of the regard in which they are held by both Via Satellite and the entire industry.”

A great year for ThinKom

Receiving this award in recognition of the innovation of the company is just one marker of its success over the past year. As well as developing its VICTS phased-array technology, the company also achieved full commercialization of its Ka-band antenna for IFC and has completed inflight testing of mixed MEO/LEO Ka-band connectivity.

Earlier this year, its Ka-band antenna radome achieved a near-zero drag value in a flight test onboard a range of regional US jets. The test jets included a Boeing 717, two models of Embraer E-jet and all variants of the CRJ.

It’s an award to a deserving winner, and some welcome good news in these uncertain times. We look forward to seeing what 2020 will bring for this ambitious Californian company.

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