Inmarsat has approved another new-generation satellite communications antenna as installations of its Fleet Xpress connectivity surpasses 8,000 vessels
Intellian earned approval from Inmarsat for its new GX100NX antenna, with a 1-m diameter dish, for Global Xpress (GX) Ka-band communications following testing at its facilities in Ålesund, Norway and successful sea trials.
The GX100NX antenna supports 2.5 GHz Ka wideband networks and is supplied with a 5-W block up-converter (BUC) as standard. Vessel owners have options to upgrade to a high-power 10-W BUC for higher capacity and higher speed communications with Inmarsat’s GX constellation.
Inmarsat provides GX connectivity to ships through its Fleet Xpress (FX) service that also includes FleetBroadband L-band back-up to Ka-band.
Inmarsat Maritime president Ronald Spithout said GX100NX antennas will enable improvements to FX services in terms of bandwidth and connectivity speed to ships.
“We look forward to continuously improving our service to meet the growing connectivity demands of the global maritime economy,” said Mr Spithout.
“Our FX platform has been installed on more than 8,000 vessels,” he continued. “It is much more than a VSAT connectivity pipe, due to fast-growing value-added services such as Fleet Data, Fleet Edge and Fleet Secure, and the rapid development of our application provider ecosystem.”
The GX100NX antenna has a modular design and comes with a single cable to transfer power and signal to the below-deck terminal equipment and new AptusNX software to enable fast commissioning and maintenance.
A below-deck unit integrates the antenna control unit, GX modem and mediator function for dual-antenna configuration in a single unit.
Extensive sea trials demonstrated GX100NX has significant advances over previous GX100 antenna models, including faster satellite acquisition and a 1 dB (25%) signal increase.
Intellian chief executive Eric Sung said these advantages using the NX technology include improved bandwidth and network efficiency for ships.
Inmarsat is expanding the GX constellation from four satellites to 12 by 2024. Its latest addition, GX5, was launched in November 2019 and positioned to cover Europe, Africa and the Middle East. It is due to be commissioned later this year to deliver twice the capacity of the entire existing GX fleet of four spacecraft combined.
Other GX satellites will be installed into geostationary orbit to boost capacity in Asia/Pacific and the Americas, plus two payloads will be commissioned to provide Ka-band coverage over the Arctic.
Intellian has recently gained approval for its v85NX and v100NX antennas over IntelsatOne Flex Ku-band VSAT service.