OneWeb and SatixFy UK plan to add a digital technology pathway payload with a full digital payload into OneWeb’s launch schedule during 2021, the companies announced Monday. The technology is designed so that satellites with a higher level of flexibility can support peaks in demand without oversizing the constellation. OneWeb launched its first satellites in February 2019 and will shortly start a regular launch program to deliver global commercial broadband services at the end of 2021.
The companies said the digital-transparent payload will demonstrate full Beam Hopping capability in both forward and return Links. It will include an on-board processing subsystem capable of running independent links on the user and gateway links on the ground with different capacities. Electronically steered multi-beam antenna with true time delay beam-forming, capable of pointing and switching multiple beams to multiple directions simultaneously are an additional major feature.
“This leading-edge satellite will be fully operational and is a great opportunity to showcase what can be delivered with our payload technology,” OneWeb CTO Massimiliano Ladovaz said. “The improved performance, greater efficiency and targeted capacity, together with sophisticated ground infrastructure, puts us at the forefront of LEO communications network services.”