Satellite Communication-at-Sea

Innovative New System Enables Automatic Switching from C- to Ku-band on the Sea Tel 9797B VSAT Antenna

Changes VSAT band in seconds, without the need for a trained technician

Switchable feedConcord, California - Cobham SATCOM has developed an innovative switchable feed kit that introduces sophisticated new capabilities for its established Sea Tel 9797B C- / Ku-band switchable VSAT antenna. The new, patent pending Sea Tel 97IMA Ku Switchable Feed Upgrade Kit eliminates the need to manually change feeds and re-balance the antenna by fully automating the process of transitioning the Sea Tel 9797B from C-band service to Ku-band service at the touch of a button. The kit, which can be fitted to all existing Sea Tel 9797B antennas and chosen for new deliveries, blends precision engineering with advanced Sea Tel IMA electronics, resulting in a substantial technology and capabilities upgrade.


The Sea Tel 9797B VSAT antenna is generally deployed in high-end, customised VSAT networks for large, specialist vessels such as cruise ships, research ships,  jack-up rigs and FPSOs. Its ability to switch between C- and Ku-band without degradation of service offers much needed flexibility and redundancy for service providers and users. It enables better availability of service in high-precipitation regions such as the tropics or the Arctic. Likewise, a cruise ship sailing out of Ku-band coverage, can continue to provide bandwidth for passengers by switching to C-band VSAT services. Though already convenient, the ability to switch bands automatically with the Sea Tel 97IMA Ku Switchable Feed Upgrade Kit removes the need for a technician to visit the vessel, which improves convenience and saves time, money and resources.


Cobham SATCOM engineers have designed an innovative method to make automatic band switching possible on the Sea Tel 9797B. The Sea Tel 97IMA Ku Switchable Feed Upgrade Kit adds a permanently installed Ku-band feed along with a moveable sub-reflector, which swings into position on an electric motor when switching is initiated either manually or by remote access. The Ku-band feed illuminates the sub-reflector, which bounces the signal down to the main reflector. The process requires high precision, achieved through the use of a precision mechanical stop and limit switches, to ensure no loss of signal or degradation of service. 


"Though uniquely designed for simple switching from C- to Ku-band, prior to the development of our new kit, switching between bands on the Sea Tel 9797B required a trained technician to manually change feeds, connect the wave guide plumbing, change wiring and re-balance the antenna, which takes at least half a day," explains Pete Blaney, Chief Engineer, Cobham SATCOM. "Now, without the need for human intervention and considering that a vessel may change VSAT bands semi-regularly, our new solution will provide significant cost savings during the lifetime of the antenna, whilst increasing the amount of opportunities when the switching capability can be implemented to ensure availability of VSAT services."


Watch Pete Blaney, Chief Engineer, Cobham SATCOM describing the Sea Tel 97IMA Ku Switchable Feed Upgrade Kit here:


Click to watch our Video


About Cobham

Cobham protects lives and livelihoods with its differentiated technology and know-how, operating with a deep insight to customer needs and agility. The Group offers an innovative range of technologies and services to solve challenging problems across commercial, defence and security markets, from deep space to the depths of the ocean. It has market leading positions in air-to-air refuelling; aviation services; audio, video and data communications, including satellite communications; defence electronics; life support and mission equipment. The most important thing Cobham builds is trust.


About Cobham SATCOM

Cobham SATCOM develops, manufactures, sells and supports satellite and radio communication terminals and earth stations for land, marine and airborne applications. With the ever increasing demand for communication, our products and services are used to satisfy the needs of a wide variety of commercial, governmental and recreational applications.


Cobham SATCOM uses state-of-the-art technologies to design affordable, highly reliable high performance systems that have decreased over time in terms of size, weight and power consumption. Our products enable people to stay in touch under the most challenging and demanding conditions. When traditional communication technologies fail, Cobham SATCOM's products will keep providing our customers with high quality voice, data, and multimedia communications.


Our product designs have evolved tremendously during their decades in service in use around the world in a variety of domains and environments. We market under the AVIATOR, EXPLORER, SAILOR® and Sea Tel brands. Please refer to our websites for our list of global distributors and partners. Cobham SATCOM has design, development and manufacturing facilities in Denmark, South Africa and the USA.


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Jens Ewerling
Global Business Manager, Maritime VSAT
+45 3955 8200


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