SES, ThinKom, and Hughes Develop Multi-Orbit Resilient Connectivity for Critical Airborne Missions

SES, ThinKom, and Hughes Develop Multi-Orbit Resilient Connectivity for Critical Airborne Missions

SES, ThinKom, and Hughes have demonstrated a revolutionary high-performance multi-orbit service capable of supporting multiple solutions for government airborne missions, the companies announced. The open architecture ThinKom ThinAir Ka2517 airborne satcom terminal was successfully demonstrated over SES's Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and Geostationary (GEO) satellite networks during testing at ThinKom's Hawthorne, CA, facilities and on an aircraft in Mojave, CA. The architecture included the Hughes Network Systems software-defined ruggedized HM400 airborne modem to enable roaming across the satellites. The testing validated the formal release of the latest ThinAir Ka2517 software, interfacing with the Hughes HM400 modem for MEO and GEO operations.

The latest generation Ka2517 antenna is designed for full commercial Ka-band and mil-Ka band satellites operating over 17.7 – 21.2 GHz (forward link) and 27.5 - 31 GHz (return link), providing governments and the military with broad airborne communications capabilities.

The Ka2517 is based on ThinKom's field-proven patented VICTS (Variable Inclination Continuous Transverse Stub) phased-array technology, that has proven its unparalleled spectral efficiency and reliability with installations on over 1,600 commercial aircraft or more than 33 million operating hours, over eight years of service. The Ka2517 is operational on SES's GEO satellite services and the innovative high-throughput SES-17 satellite. The antennas have also been providing continuous service on U.S. government aircraft for five years, and boast a very low profile, minimizing drag and increasing time on station. The new demonstrated MEO and GEO capability enables industry-leading performance and multi-orbit resiliency for critical mission success, especially in contested environments.

"As the industry shifts towards a multi-orbit model to boost performance and resiliency, ThinKom is leading the way with a flexible open architecture platform to support connectivity from every orbit to every mission," said Bill Milroy, ThinKom's co-founder and Chief Technical Officer. "We are proud to be flying in continuous service on U.S. government aircraft since 2018 and look forward to extending that partnership with the next generation of ThinAir solutions."

"The demonstrated architecture leveraging the phased-array antenna and open-standards modem has the versatility to interoperate with satellites in GEO and non-geostationary (NGSO) orbits, ensuring global connectivity that meets the governments' Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) requirements for multi-orbit operations," said Will Tong, Vice President of Strategic Government Initiatives and head of the Aero ISR market at SES. "This demo showcases that through our partners' and SES's innovative satellite technology, such as the O3b mPOWER system, we can address the rapidly growing sensor needs and future-proof tomorrow's fleets of C2/ISR aircraft programs, enabling manned and unmanned ISR and C2 high-workload missions."

"The success of the Joint All Domain Command and Control mission depends on secure, resilient and reliable high-bandwidth satellite communications," said Rick Lober, vice president and general manager of Hughes Defense and Government Systems Division. "In cooperation with SES, ThinKom and others, Hughes continues to deliver innovative software defined modem technology for missions around the globe, ensuring comprehensive, efficient service delivery for our warfighters."

At the start of the operation, SES's O3b mPOWER MEO system featuring thousands of high-performance, low-latency steerable spot beams, will provide truly uncontended seamless connectivity service for sending and receiving high-volume data and unlock full access to real-time information, high-resolution images and video for government airborne missions.

Click here to learn more about the Medium Earth Orbit (MEO).

Publisher: SatNow
Tags:-  Global

GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations


Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013