High Throughput Ku-band for Aero Applications

Recent advancements in high throughput Ku-band satellites will allow commercial Ku-band aeronautical mobile satellite systems (AMSS) to equal or exceed commercial Ka-band AMSS systems on cost and performance. The first example of this is Panasonic’s acquisition of capacity on Intelsat-29e satellite, the first satellite to use Intelsat’s Epic platform. This paper demonstrates that the key to the high throughput of Ka systems such as Inmarsat-5 is not the frequency of operation, but rather the use of spot beams. This means a Ku-band satellite using similarly sized spot beams can equal or exceed the performance of Ka-band satellites. Intelsat’s Epic platform takes full advantage of this fact.