Kymeta and OneWeb move ahead with flat panel terminal for satellite internet service

Engineers test Kymeta’s u8 antenna system with OneWeb’s satellite service in France. (OneWeb via YouTube)

Kymeta Corp., the antenna venture backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, has signed onto a joint development agreement with OneWeb to develop a flat-panel user terminal for OneWeb’s global satellite internet network.

The plan calls for modifying Kymeta’s u8 antenna system for fixed-terminal applications on land, with an eye toward supporting additional applications including mobile service in land-based and maritime settings.

Today’s announcement comes just weeks after Redmond, Wash.-based Kymeta and OneWeb reported a successful test of Kymeta’s u8 technology, which takes advantage of an exotic category of electronics known as metamaterials. The technology makes it possible to “steer” an antenna electronically rather than physically moving it.

OneWeb is one of several ventures that is creating satellite constellations in low Earth orbit, or LEO, to broaden access to broadband internet service. SpaceX’s Starlink service is furthest along, but OneWeb is planning to begin limited service in the Arctic within the next few months. The plan calls for Kymeta’s terminals to enter the market as an option by the third quarter of 2022.

“Kymeta’s pioneering u8 does not require mechanical components to steer toward a satellite, and when paired with our LEO network will provide governments, businesses and communities with high-throughput and low-latency communication services at competitive prices,” Michele Franci, OneWeb’s chief of delivery and operations, said today in a news release. “This partnership is a welcome addition to our overall product strategy, offering another great choice for OneWeb’s customers, and contributes to strengthening our vision to provide seamless, resilient mobile connectivity where and when it’s needed most.”

See also  RBC Signals teams up with Inmarsat to boost Internet of Things connectivity

Kymeta’s system is designed to work with OneWeb’s LEO network as well as other satellite networks that make use of constellations in geosynchronous orbits.

Neville Meijers, Kymeta’s chief strategy and marketing officer, said the new agreement formalizes “our collaborative efforts and commitment to bring to market an innovative electronically steered antenna that is turnkey and compatible with OneWeb’s rapidly expanding LEO network.”

Both Kymeta and OneWeb work with other partners as well. Kymeta, for example, has been collaborating with Kepler Communications on its satellite data network for smart devices, while OneWeb has just signed another joint development agreement with GDC Advanced Technology to develop a data terminal for in-flight connectivity.

Related Posts

Tech founder who took space trip with William Shatner dies in N.J. plane crash

Glen de Vries peers out from Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital space capsule after touchdown in October. (Blue Origin Photo) A month after taking a suborbital space…

BlackSky makes a deal to sell satellite imagery to NASA — and makes its first quarterly report

One of BlackSky’s Earth observation satellites is readied for launch. (Rocket Lab Photo) BlackSky Technology says it has secured a five-year, sole-source blanket purchase agreement with NASA…

Jeff Bezos says he’s spending more on his Earth Fund than on Blue Origin space shots

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and Blue Origin, talks about the link between space and Earth’s welfare with moderator Adi Ignatius at a forum at Washington…

Orbite’s plans for space training complex get a boost from famed French designer Philippe Starck

Orbite customers and instructors take a zero-G airplane flight during spaceflight training. (Orbite Photo) The French designer who created the look for Virgin Galactic, Spaceport America and…

Rocket Lab launches two more Earth observation satellites for BlackSky — and tracks a falling rocket

Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle rises from its New Zealand launch pad. (Rocket Lab via YouTube) BlackSky’s Earth-watching constellation has grown by two satellites, thanks to Rocket…

NASA begins DART mission to practice pushing away an asteroid, with an extra push from Aerojet

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launches NASA’s DART asteroid probe from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. (NASA via YouTube) A space probe the size of a school…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *