Please select your home edition
Edition
Sailing Holidays 2019 - TOP

New satellite launches and cutting-edge innovation enhance global connectivity for superyachts

by Saltwater Stone 9 Aug 05:45 UTC
Inmarsat plans to triple the number of satellites servicing its flagship Ka-band Global Xpress (GX) network by 2023 © Inmarsat

Beamforming technology and rapid satellite deployment will dramatically increase network capacity and extend capabilities to cover the entire Arctic region.

Inmarsat has revealed plans to triple the number of satellites servicing its flagship Ka-band Global Xpress (GX) network, the high-capacity VSAT constellation behind its Fleet Xpress high-speed mobile broadband service, by 2023 to meet rapidly increasing user demand for data across the globe, including the Arctic region.

Inmarsat's GX fleet is currently composed of four satellites (GX1-4). The initial launches, the first of which is scheduled for this year, will see it augmented by three GX payloads (GX5, GX6A and GX6B) by 2021. A further three satellites (GX7-9) will launch by the end of 2023, while two more (GX10A and GX10B) are due for launch in 2022 to provide unprecedented coverage of the Arctic region.

With an increasing number of superyachts, megayachts and expedition vessels embarking on worldwide itineraries that include more remote regions, the extended GX network and transformed Fleet Xpress capacity meets the continuously rising demand for the provision of guaranteed global bandwidth for crew communications, weather routing, real-time business updates, personal messaging and recreation.

Targeted Capacity

The launches represent a huge leap in total network capacity, far beyond the level suggested by the number of satellites. GX5, GX6A and GX6B concentrate on increasing capacity in high-traffic areas, with GX5 servicing growing demand in the EMEA region. GX6A and GX6B feature both L-band and Ka-band payloads, adding depth to the GX service while supporting a new generation of capabilities for the 5G era, from advanced global safety and very low-cost mobile services to high-definition streaming.

But it is the GX7, GX8 and GX9 satellites which represent the biggest step for Fleet Xpress. Constructed and launched in less than two years, each satellite will deliver approximately twice the capacity of the current GX network. This astounding leap in technology is achieved through dynamic beamforming, a technique by which the satellite can create thousands of independent beams of different sizes, bandwidth and power, each of which can be repositioned across the globe in real time to track demand. This remarkable technology allows the available bandwidth to be intelligently allocated to each user as required and, importantly for existing customers, is fully backwards-compatible with existing terminals.

Conquering the Arctic

All of Inmarsat's satellites to date have been geostationary, orbiting above the equator and keeping a fixed station above the Earth's surface. A stable location makes them easy for ground terminals to track, but coverage cannot extend to the poles owing to the vanishingly low angle of transmission.

The new GX10A and GX10B satellites will solve this for the Arctic. Launched into a highly elliptical orbit (HEO), the two new satellites will ensure continuous coverage of the northern polar region above latitude 65 degreesN. Using a similar multi-beam technology to the GX7-9 satellites, they will integrate seamlessly with the rest of the network and existing terminals.

Peter Broadhurst, Senior Vice President, Yachting and Passenger, Inmarsat said: "The investment in the new satellites represents the latest milestone for Fleet Xpress, ensuring a significant advancement in the global capabilities, capacity and agility of the service for current and future Inmarsat customers. We are committed to staying ahead of our customers' demands and providing the connectivity needed by superyacht and expedition cruise owners and operators now and into the future."

For further information, visit Inmarsat.com

Related Articles

80 Seconds with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston episode 6
What is his greatest fear at sea? With Sir Robin Knox-Johnston having undertaken multiple voyages around the world, what is his greatest fear at sea? Posted today at 11:00 am
Baltic Rally wrap up at the end of a superb cruise
A group of strangers gathered in Rostock, Germany to start out on their Baltic adventure Difficult to believe that 45 days ago a group of strangers with 15 yachts between them, ranging from 40-75 feet in length, all gathered in Rostock, Germany to start out on their Baltic adventure. Posted today at 7:49 am
BoatUS offers updated Hurricane Preparation Guide
Who else wants to protect their boat from hurricane damage? If you want to know how to best protect recreational boats from damage in a hurricane, ask the experts who've been tasked with cleaning up the mess for nearly 40 years. Posted on 22 Aug
Marine heatwaves a bigger threat to coral reefs
With effects that go beyond coral bleaching New research reveals marine heatwaves are a much bigger threat to coral reefs than previously thought, with effects that go beyond coral bleaching. Posted on 22 Aug
How to burst bubbles in epoxy
Simple tricks, and what to watch out for If you're finding that you've got bubbles when pouring clear casting epoxy here are some simple techniques to help resolve the problem. Posted on 21 Aug
See the Caribbean, differently with Sunsail
Explore the deserted coves and lush rain forests of Antigua Explore the deserted coves and lush rain forests of Antigua. Loved by sailors, for its steady trade winds, safe harbours and beauty, choose to sail the calmer Caribbean Sea, or head North East for the wilder, more challenging Atlantic ocean. Posted on 19 Aug
Make your yachting dreams a reality
By joining Sunsail Ownership or The Moorings Yacht Ownership Programme With new fleet options and over 20 destinations to choose from, make your yachting dreams a reality at the Southampton International Boat Show by joining Sunsail Ownership or The Moorings Yacht Ownership Programme. Posted on 18 Aug
Trained team freed an entangled humpback whale
Removing ropes that had hog-tied the whale between its mouth and tail The entangled whale was first reported just before noon Thursday, August 8, by Todd's Extreme Fishing. He stayed with the whale to monitor its location until the Makah Tribe and U.S. Coast Guard arrived to take over the watch. Posted on 17 Aug
The BBC REEL spotlights Peter Café Sport in Horta
A delightful interview with OCC Honorary Member José Henrique Azevedo "The post office 930 miles from the mainland" features a delightful interview with OCC Honorary Member José Henrique Azevedo, PO for Horta since 2007. Posted on 17 Aug
First autonomous circumnavigation of Antarctica
Saildrone survives freezing temperatures, 15m waves, 130km/h winds A seven-meter (23-foot) long, wind-powered unmanned surface vehicle (USV) called a saildrone has become the first unmanned system to circumnavigate Antarctica. Posted on 17 Aug
Sailing Holidays 2019 - BOTTOMVaikobi 2019 - Footer 3Zhik 2018 Dongfeng 728x90 BOTTOM