Sunday, June 28, 2015

OneWeb Advances its Vision for Ku-band LEO Constellation

OneWeb, the venture planning to build, deploy and operate a low earth orbit (“LEO”) Ku-band satellite constellation, announced $500 million in funding from  Airbus, Bharti Enterprises, Hughes Network Systems, (Hughes), a subsidiary of EchoStar Corp., Intelsat, Qualcomm, The Coca-Cola Company, Totalplay, a Grupo Salinas Company, owned by Ricardo B. Salinas, and Richard Branson's Virgin Group.

"The dream of fully bridging the digital divide is on track to be a reality in 2019,” said Greg Wyler, founder of OneWeb. “Together with our committed and visionary founding shareholders we have the key elements in place: regulatory, technology, launches, satellites, as well as commercial operators in over 50 countries and territories. We are committed to solving one of the world’s biggest problems – enabling affordable broadband Internet access for everyone. We are excited about the next phase, which will involve working with countries, telecom operators and aid organizations to help them realize their goals of open and ubiquitous access.”

Some highlights on the OneWeb plan:

  • OneWeb aims to launch a constellation of 648 small, low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to provide global broadband and mobile telephone services.
  • The system will bring more than 10 Tbps of new capacity to rural areas around the globe.
  • OneWeb’s User Terminals will provide high-speed connectivity with no change in latency during satellite handovers to ensure excellent voice quality, gaming and web experience. The terminals can operate with optionally included solar panels, battery packs, and WiFi/LTE/3G and 2G radios to provide coverage directly to cell phones, tablets and laptops.
  • OneWeb's microsatellites will use onboard GPS sensors and ground-tracking measurements to know their position within meters. The satellites will be able maneuver to avoid obstacles.  They will automatically de-orbit at end-of-life to minimize the space junk problem.
  • OneWeb has developed a “Progressive Pitch” technology that enables it to use satellite spectrum in the most efficient way by gradually and slightly tilting the satellites as they approach the equator to make sure they never cause, or receive, interference from GEO satellites.
  • OneWeb has contracted Arianespace for 21 multi-satellite launches on Soyuz rockets beginning in 2017, plus options for five (5) additional Soyuz launches and three (3) Ariane 6 launches. 
  • OneWeb satellites will be launched into a near polar orbit at an altitude of 500 kilometers before raising themselves to their operational orbit.
  • OneWeb satellites will weigh less than 150kg.
  •  Virgin Galactic has been selected to provide 39 singlel-sat launches using it's LauncherOne smallsat launch vehicle.
  • Intelsat will partner with OneWeb to use OneWeb’s LEO platform, once established, to complement Intelsat’s geostationary orbit (“GEO”) satellite services, resulting in the first and only fully global, pole-to-pole high throughput satellite system. 
  • Intelsat will make a minority share investment of $25 million in OneWeb. 

http://www.oneweb.world/

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