Article by ONBOARD Magazine
SATCOMS FOR EXPLORERS
New technologies are making high-speed, global data a reality. Intellian’s Matthew Humphreys reveals how to stay connected and ready for the future, wherever you roam
Plans change, itineraries will vary in the future but just how robust is your onboard connectivity to handle unknown decision in the future.
I plan to take my yacht further afield, perhaps north of the Arctic Circle or to fringe coverage areas in the Pacific. What can I do to make my connectivity as stable as possible?
The rule of thumb for satellite connectivity is that the larger the antenna, the better the coverage, so fit the biggest antenna for which you have space. Larger antennas collect more power from the satellite and focus it more effectively, giving a stronger, more stable signal – something of particular benefit in fringe reception areas.
A problem with my main VSAT connection would be disastrous for my business. How can I build redundancy into my connectivity?
Redundancy is key to maintaining connectivity, and adding one or more additional antennas is the simplest solution. A second antenna connected to a different network/provider can help avoid network issues or, if on the same network, overcome potential hardware problems. A comparatively lowcost option which is becoming increasingly popular is to install one of our compact v45C antennas, in addition to your main antenna. Climatic conditions can also cause poor connectivity. Heavy cloud and rain are the enemies of the high frequencies used for Ka and Ku band VSAT communication: lower frequency L-band and C-band solutions are more robust. Our v240C, v240M and v240MT antennas all support C-band, which as a lower frequency VSAT solution offers a compromise between speed and resilience. When VSAT is not available, our C700 Iridium Certus companion antenna will provide a reliable L-band backup connection, albeit at a lower speed. With its 12-patch solid state design it is exceptionally good at maintaining connectivity as the satellite nears the horizon, and with no moving parts needs no maintenance.
I’ve heard that several new MEO and LEO satellite constellations will soon become operational. How can I make sure my communications equipment is ready for future networks?
The coming months and years will see new LEO (Low Earth Orbit) and MEO (Medium Earth Orbit) VSAT satellite networks come into operation, with pole-to-pole coverage bringing high-speed connectivity to areas previously impossible to reach. For this reason, it is essential that any satcoms solution for adventure cruising can support multiple orbits and bands. Our NX series antennas work across GEO, MEO and LEO networks, and can be easily modified between the Ku and Ka bands to suit your network of choice. Because LEO and MEO satellites are constantly moving relative to the antenna, dual VSAT antennas are required to ensure continuous connectivity – while one antenna is tracking the satellite in use, the other can seek out the next one ready for handover.
How can I dynamically choose the best connection?
from multiple networks and multiple bands? The NX antennas support future LEO and MEO networks and are already provided with a mediator for auto switching between dual antennas. Our v240M and v240MT dual and tri-band antennas take this to the next level. This is enabled through our Intelligent Mediator, which on a v240MT system will facilitate automatic switching between C, Ku and Ka Band networks operating on any orbit, providing both premium performance and total redundancy. The Intelligent Mediator can manage up to eight antennas, so with multiple v240MT antennas offers up to 24 connectivity options without any additional RF switching.
What can I expect if I need technical support from Intellian?
Our global partners and support centres ensure that help is never far away, and we also offer expert remote support via our AptusNX remote diagnostic software. Intellian is well known for outstanding customer service – don’t hesitate to get in touch.
For more details visit www.intelliantech.com