11 December 2015 – Inmarsat today announced a new partnership with EM Solutions to develop the world’s first combined MilSatCom/Global Xpress (GX) maritime satcom terminal. The new terminal is scheduled to receive full Inmarsat accreditation during Q2 2016 and will be submitted for Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) certification.
The new terminal, which is initially being created for an Australian Government customer, will contain a number of innovative features, including tracking via monopulse technology and easy switching between GX and MilSatCom systems. The terminal will also be substantially lighter, lower cost and faster than any comparable MilSatCom device.
Andy Start, President, Inmarsat Global Government, said: “Today’s announcement is a further example of Inmarsat’s strategy of responding quickly and effectively to customer demands. In this instance, the Australian Government customer was looking to increase the operational capabilities of their satellite communications within significant budget constraints and the requirement to reduce the footprint of satellite equipment on-board its new vessels.
“We are seeing a growing understanding within government satcom circles of the important role that commercial satellite communications can play in augmenting existing MilSatCom capabilities. Partners, such as EM Solutions, play a vital role in helping us to develop new solutions, which are tailored specifically for government users.
Dr. Rowan Gilmore, CEO of EM Solutions said: “We are delighted to partner with Inmarsat to provide our new maritime terminal platform. We have been working on this product platform for a number of years and the opportunity presented itself to take a product through both Inmarsat GX certification and ultimately WGS certification to deliver a unique offering to an Australian Government customer.
“We believe this terminal will be the first jointly certified system to enable automatic switching between MilSatCom and Inmarsat GX satellite systems.”
Based on its land mobile terminal for the Ka-band, EM Solutions is also contracted to deliver a simultaneous X-band/Ka-band maritime terminal for another customer, which provided the baseline reference for the new programme in conjunction with Inmarsat.
EM Solutions has adopted an innovative approach to the development of its satellite terminals, adopting monopulse tracking techniques that provide exceptional accuracy and stability in addition to reducing the demand on motors and other moving parts, which minimises power, weight and operational stress.
As a specialised developer of RF components and subsystems for the Satcom industry, the new terminals will use EM Solution’s Diamond Series Ka Mulitband Block Up Converters, which utilise the latest in Gallium nitride (GaN) technology and cover both commercial and military Ka frequency bands in a highly efficient, single package.
This family of maritime terminals is known as the COBRA series and will be further developed for other capabilities in the near future.