Different market reports and dedicated media predict a big increase in On-The-Move (OTM) and On-The-Pause (OTP) applications over satellite, mainly due to the change in operations by government and defense agencies to cope with the new geopolitical events, environmental challenges and conflicts.
The large military deployments observed in the past in Iraq and Afghanistan are now being replaced by a scattering of smaller deployments and theaters around the world.
Peacekeeping and first responder operations are shorter and more agile. In addition to flexibility, there is the need to communicate anytime and anywhere to provide near real-time situational awareness and have information superiority over any adversaries.
First responders need to set up communications as quickly as possible in disaster areas to activate logistical support, sending out first reports and starting their emergency activities.
The multitude of sensors and multimedia services (video, data, voice) on board these OTM and OTP platforms have increased the need to support growing volumes of throughput over reliable satellite links.
Traditional narrow-band and legacy VSAT solutions find difficulties in coping with these new requirements. Disruptive VSAT technologies are taking over this market at a quick pace.
In regard to traditional Fixed Satellite Services (FSS) satellite capacity, the market research company Northern Sky Research (NSR) reports a growth rate of between 7 and 12 percent in the amount of shipments of Satellite Communication (SATCOM) systems for OTM and OTP applications.
The main market growth however can be seen in High Throughput Satellites (HTS), increasing from 25 to 53 percent over the coming years.
Although the new HTS constellations solve the throughput requirements, they increase the complexity of OTM and OTP applications as the satellite beams become smaller and traveling between the different beams requires sophisticated beam switching solutions.
Furthermore, satellite capacity planning becomes a headache when using legacy VSAT platforms and MF-TDMA waveforms on HTS satellites.
Current VSAT Technologies Are Not Always Adapted for OTM and OTP Applications
The increase in OTM and OTP communications over satellite presents a set of technical challenges that need to be addressed.
To develop an efficient OTM and OTP VSAT network requires a deep understanding of end-user government and defense operations, innovative technologies, new satellite constellations and a need to overcome various technical challenges.
In this article, seven technology challenges will be presented and then they will be matched with the disruptive and innovative technology on board the Newtec Dialog® VSAT platform in order to provide seamless, efficient and multiservice communications over satellite.
The Seven Technology Challenges
- Small antennas
- Increased throughput to cater for bandwidth hungry applications
- New constellations using GEO, LEO and MEO
- HTS satellites
- Moving platforms
- Seamless operations
- Future technologies (IoT, 5G, connected vehicles)
Read more about the Seven Technology Challenges in Milsat Magazine.