FLAT PANEL TECHNOLOGY
We are revolutionizing satellite communications with our cutting-edge active electronically scanned array technology.
THE INTELLIAN DIFFERENCE
Here at Intellian, our Flat Panel Series are proven, mass-market active electronically scanned arrays (AESA).
Intellian AESA designs are very scalable with high reliability and a product life cycle that customers can depend on. The scalability of Intellian’s architecture yields a portfolio that can quickly be adapted to meet a variety of market demands for years to come; from lower volume use cases with specific high performance requirements to cost-effective solutions with broad market appeal.
Other flat panels in the market are passive electronically scanned array (PESA) utilizing obsolete and constrained liquid crystal display (LCD) production technology that has not seen significant improvement in capabilities in over a decade.
ABOUT OUR AESA TECHNOLOGY
Our AESA Flat Panel Series user terminals (UT) all have the ability to rapidly steer and shape multiple antenna elements to create RF compliant beams electronically. The precise control over the direction, shape, and characteristics of the antenna beams is achieved using our bespoke vector-amplifier phased array chipset.
By electronically varying phase and amplitude parameters with our proprietary algorithm, Intellian's Flat Panel Series achieves dynamic beam steering and beam shaping without the need for physical movement of a mechanical gimbal.
In contrast, some PESA suffer from lower RF performance, poor pointing accuracy, and compromised performance across expected ambient temperature ranges, or require the use of a mechanical gimbal which limits agility in beam steering, increases the size and complexity of the user terminal, and reduces reliability.
The design of Intellian's Flat Panel Series is cost effective that enables better tracking of multiple satellites, making them ideal for OneWeb's LEO network satellite fleet. Intellian's customers enjoy the highest performing flat panel antenna on OneWeb's network, with higher reliability and reduced mechanical wear and tear. This leads to product longevity and lower cost of ownership over time.
Using today’s latest technology isn’t enough as it’s constantly evolving. And it’s often us at Intellian leading that evolution and redefining what’s possible, as we’ve seen so often with many other Intellian user terminals being world-firsts.
Uniquely at Intellian, as well as designing our own Flat Panel Series, we manufacture our own user terminals using our dedicated Surface Mount Technology production and final assembly lines at our factory in South Korea.
This gives Intellian the ability to maintain the highest quality, agility over production scalability and logistical control.
Fast beam switching
OneWeb’s satellites are all in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO), 1,200km above the Earth. The OneWeb constellation consists of 648 satellites with 16 beams per satellite that are moving at 26,000 kph. This requires the Intellian Flat Panel user terminals to properly point and track the satellite, switch satellite beams to new frequency every 11 seconds and perform satellite handovers every 3 minutes. Intellian's flat panels and RF converters are designed to quickly perform beam and satellite handover without any perceived interruption to customers. How fast are we able to switch satellites? Less than 350 microseconds! To put that into perspective, the average time it takes to blink your eyes is 350 milliseconds. That means Intellian's flat panels can switch between two satellites traveling at 26,000kph, 1,200km away in 1/1000th the time it takes to blink.
This also means when our flat panel is ready to handover connectivity from one satellite to the other, in less than 350 microseconds the user terminal stops connecting to the serving satellite and switches over to the new satellite. This transition is so fast that a user on the network won't even realize the switch has happened. With such fast beam switching and beam pointing, our mobility solution is far superior than what’s available today with PESA.
Satellite communications rely on line of sight (LOS) between the user terminal and the satellite for successful connectivity. But on a ship, LOS is not always possible. The bridge, funnels, sails, crane, or other infrastructure can cause a temporary, but known, blockage. On land, a nearby building, trees or water tower or cellular tower may be in the way, which can cause LOS blockage.
Intellian’s Flat Panel Series terminals are designed to deal with field of view blockage to the satellite. During the commissioning of the flat panel, the user can register the block zone into the terminal so that the antenna is aware and will coordinate with another co-located Intellian user terminal to mitigate the blockage. For maritime LOS blockage, such as a vessel infrastructure, the flat panel is programmed to be aware of potential blockage zone relative to the ship’s bow. While the vessel is under way, multiple terminals are coordinated dynamically to define at least one terminal, the one with the highest elevation and with clear LOS for the sailing heading and conditions, as the primary terminal.
Maritime parabolic antennas have tri-level stabilization which is a mechanical method designed to keep the reflector constantly pointing to the satellite for connectivity. The three aspects of tri-level stabilization are cross level, azimuth and elevation and each are controlled via motors, gears, and belts. These motors are constantly making small adjustments to keep the reflector stable as the vessel moves, experiencing all six degrees of motion (pitch, roll, yaw, heave, sway, and surge).
As with parabolic antennas, flat panels must also precisely point to the satellite for connectivity, but instead of mechanically moving the antenna, Intellian's flat panel antennas are pointed electronically.
Inside our maritime flat panel terminal, an array of over 1,000 beam-forming elements all work together in perfect harmony to form a precisely pointed beam. Each of these tiny chips are programmed to point the beam where the current satellite is and where the next approaching satellite will be. As the vessel moves, this array works in conjunction with our inertial navigation system (INS) and a complex software algorithm to electronically point the beam, resulting in an incredibly accurate cross level, azimuth and elevation tri-stabilization to ensure the highest possible performance.