SES, Thales Reach Record Speed via Integrated GEO/MEO Network

SES and Thales have taken inflight connectivity to a new level, successfully demonstrating uninterrupted access to high-throughput broadband applications for the first time over a platform supporting multi-orbit interoperability, switching seamlessly between SES´s geostationary (GEO) and O3b medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite beams, the company said.

The demo flight from Melbourne, Florida to the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua saw dozens of switches successfully completed between GEO and MEO beams, and between multiple MEO satellites within a beam, using the Hughes JUPITER(TM) Aeronautical system high performance airborne modem system, SES and Thales has announced.

Engineers aboard the test flight were able to simultaneously use a broad range of bandwidth-hungry services demonstrating rates in excess of 265 Mbps via the Thales FlytLIVE connectivity network featuring the Hughes JUPITER System and a Hughes ModMan integrated with the ThinKom Ka2517 phased-array airborne antenna.

Leveraging the same high-powered, low-latency O3b MEO capacity that has already redefined connectivity at sea, the engineers were able to demonstrate quality and reliable delivery of 4K video streaming, super-fast social media networking, e-commerce transactions, audio conferencing, interactive gaming and web browsing on-board the Gulfstream G-III aircraft.

The seamless integration of SES´s satellite networks offers customers unprecedented redundancy, leveraging two diverse systems to ensure uninterrupted service: GEO for network resiliency and proven fibre-like high-performance from O3b MEO.

The O3b constellation of 20 MEO satellites is manufactured by Thales Alenia Space. SES expects upcoming GEO/MEO trials to deliver even higher connectivity speeds, a precursor of things to come for both commercial and business aviation as SES nears the scheduled 2021 launch of its O3b mPOWER system.

SES is the world´s satellite operator with over 70 satellites in two different orbits, Geostationary Orbit (GEO) and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO). It provides a diverse range of customers with global video distribution and data connectivity services through two business units: SES Video and SES Networks. Further information is available at: www.ses.com

Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global technology leader shaping the world of tomorrow today. The Group provides solutions, services and products to customers in the aeronautics, space, transport, digital identity and security, and defence markets. With 80,000 employees in 68 countries, Thales generated sales of €19 billion in 2018 (on a pro forma basis including Gemalto).