TAMPA, Fla. — British startup Isotropic Systems announced successful field tests for its flat-panel antenna Nov. 2, after successfully connecting to SES satellites in multiple orbits simultaneously for the first time.
Isotropic Systems was able to link with multiple satellites in geostationary and medium Earth orbit at the same time, marking what it said was the first-ever demonstration of multi-orbit connectivity with a single multi-link terminal.
The first in a series of successful antenna trials occurred Oct. 22 from SES’s teleport in Manassas, Virginia.
The eight-year-old startup is also designing its multi-link antenna and optical beam-forming technology to simultaneously connect with satellites in highly elliptical and low Earth orbits.
It said it is continuing to trial the system’s capabilities ahead of commercial launch in the middle of 2022.
There is a growing trend among satellite operators to diversify their connectivity services with spacecraft in multiple orbits, and Isotropic Systems said it is seeing demand across a variety of markets for a solution that touts performance and cost benefits from using a single antenna.
“We have removed the major bottleneck holding back the expansion of the satellite sector for both commercial and defense communications,” Isotropic Systems CEO John Finney said in a statement.
“Users can finally connect to as many satellites as they want, when they want, wherever they want and that’s a game-changer for enterprise, aero, maritime, government and defense.”
Steve Collar, CEO of satellite fleet operator SES, said the successful trials pave the way for “a new level of multi-orbit service delivery” as it looks to integrate its GEO spacecraft with O3b mPower, its upgraded broadband constellation it aims to start deploying to MEO early next year.
SES is an investor in Isotropic Systems, which recently raised $37 million to complete its funding needs ahead of commercial launch.
Isotropic Systems has raised more than $100 million in total from investors and customers.[spacenews-ad]