Kymeta Plans Mass Production, September Demonstration with O3b
Vern Fotheringham, CEO of Kymeta. Photo: Kymeta
[Via Satellite 06-11-2014] Kymeta is now transitioning toward mass-producing its meta-material-based antennas. Speaking at the Washington Business Space Roundtable event, Vern Fotheringham, CEO of Kymeta, announced a partnership with Sharp that will enable the company to begin the large-scale production of its antenna products.
“We’ve entered into a strategic relationship that will be able to see these antennas manufactured on existing assembly lines that can build millions and millions of them very cost effectively,” said Fotheringham. “So that will be our phase two of this company as we go from the hundreds, to the thousands, to the tens of thousands and then immediately jump up to the ability to address markets that require and demand of us millions of unit volumes.”
Fotheringham added that initial product rollouts will likely take place at SATELLITE 2015. Mass production is scheduled to begin in Q3 or Q4 of 2017. The first commercially available antennas will be in Ka-band but, in general, the technology is agnostic to spectrum. Fotheringham explained that the antennas work for any frequency greater than 10 GHz, or X-band and above. Based on the nature of the antenna, the higher the frequency, the more efficient it becomes. He mentioned it would be possible to consider some “postage-stamp-sized antennas” in the future.
Kymeta’s portable Ka-band satellite terminal is roughly the size of a large laptop. The company is continuing to test out its technology with commercial partners this year. One of the metamaterial antenna’s top value propositions is that it eliminates the need to move in order to track satellites. The three modes of application today are beam lock, instantaneous switching and continuous tracking, the latter of which is scheduled for a demonstration this September with O3b Networks.
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