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April 22, 2013

Start-Up Developing Ka-band Antenna For Aircraft

Apr 22, 2013 Amy Svitak | Aviation Week & Space Technology Cloaking devices that render aircraft invisible to the naked eye remain in […]

Apr 22, 2013  Aviation Week & Space Technology

Cloaking devices that render aircraft invisible to the naked eye remain in the realm of science fiction, for now, but the metamaterials research on which they may be based could enhance inflight connectivity on business and regional jets and commercial airliners in the next couple of years.

Kymeta Corp., a Redmond, Wash.-based start-up backed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, is using metamaterials research to develop a new software-defined satellite aperture aimed at fixed, mobile and portable high-speed Ka-band broadband applications in the aeronautical, maritime and land-based markets.

A spinoff of Bellevue, Wash.-based patent-mining company Intellectual Ventures (IV), Kymeta was founded by Nathan Kundtz, a leading researcher in the field of metamaterials who has spent the past decade studying the technology. Along with Gates—Kymeta’s largest financial backer and a member of the board—co-investors Liberty Global and Lux Capital helped close a $12 million round of financing last summer to launch Kymeta after the company gained exclusive license from IV for satellite applications of metamaterial surface-antenna technology.

In addition to developing a laptop-sized portable satellite hot-spot device to access high-speed Internet service absent Wi-Fi or mobile broadband signals, Kymeta plans to leverage the coming wave of satellite-based Ka-band broadband with a new fuselage-hugging surface antenna that has no moving parts, is roughly the size of a pizza box and uses only a tiny fraction of the power typically needed for phased-array antennas.

Known as the Aero Antenna, the satellite receiver relies on microscopic synthetic structures carefully engineered to embody properties not found in nature that can be used to manipulate and bend incoming electromagnetic radiation, such as light or radio waves.

Kymeta Chairman and CEO Vern Fotheringham says the ultra-thin structure of the surface antenna’s waveguide is designed through a blend of circuit-board manufacturing, chip-fabrication and liquid crystal display techniques. In the case of the Aero Antenna, metamaterial surface elements are tuned to electronically point and steer a radio signal to low, medium or geostationary orbit, providing a continuous broadband link between satellite and aircraft.

ka-band broadband and kymeta antenna

Read more at Aviation Week Network

About Kymeta

The world’s demand for ubiquitous mobile connectivity is irrefutable. A global, mobile network is the answer to connecting people and places that have never been connected before.

Kymeta is making seamless, always-connected mobile communications possible with a unique hybrid approach that enables satellite and cellular networks to deliver a single, global, mobile network. End-to-end mobile communications are delivered with Kymeta K?LO™ connectivity services, and the world’s first and only electronically-steered, flat-panel satellite terminal that goes places traditional satellite dishes cannot. Backed by U.S. and international patents and licenses, the Kymeta KyWay™ terminal makes high-throughput, mobile communications possible in cars, trains, buses, trucks, boats, and much more.

If it moves, Kymeta keeps it connected.

For more information, visit kymetacorp.com and KALO.net.

Business Inquiries for Kymeta
Sam Christensen Marketing Kymeta
+1 425.658.8703
Media Inquiries for Kymeta
Melanie McBride Vice President, Content and PR The Summit Group
+1 801.990.8464