Flat Panel ESAs vs. ThinKom’s VICTS – A Challenge in the Air

 In In the News, LEO/MEO/GEO, ThinAir

Alan Gottlieb, editor of Satellite Mobility World, recently interviewed our CTO, Bill Milroy, to explore the differences between ThinKom VICTs antennas and electronically steered arrays (ESAs). Below are a few excerpts from the Q&A:

We wanted to understand the logic behind [ThinKom’s] VICTS design and how it compares with conventional flat-panel ESAs.

SMW: Since the ThinKom antenna is mechanically driven, isn’t it less reliable than electronically steed antennas?
Bill Milroy: While this assumption may be true with a conventional, mechanically stabilized parabolic dish or horn-array antenna, it’s not true with the ThinKom VICTS.

The VICTS contains no motors, pulleys, gears or belts to fail. Instead, “stub” discs are rotated to direct the beams using magnetic induction, the same principle used to propel trains along at ultra-high speeds efficiently.

SMW: In both GEO and LEO aero applications, isn’t a flat-panel ESA with multiple-beam capability essential to achieve uninterrupted transmission?
Bill Milroy: On the contrary, in both GSO and NGSO beam switching scenarios, the ThinKom antenna switches from beam to beam in the 100-900 millisecond range …

Read the full article on Satellite Mobility World and learn more about VICTS below.

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