OneWeb is making use of drones from Danish start-up QuadSat in order to accelerate ground segment assessment. This is as it plans to bring part of its low Earth orbit broadband constellation online this year.
QuadSat’s quadcopters aid standardizes OneWeb’s gateway in Scanzano, Italy, and will now assess its antennas elsewhere. This is as the operative battles to launch primary commercial services in the upper part of the Northern Hemisphere, ahead of full services in 2022.
The drones imitate the satellites that gateways follow as they battle across the sky. This is with the help of calibrating and validate ground segment networks outside laboratory situations. This is in order to arrange them for services.
Standardizing gateways with drones are “much quicker” than the conventional approach of using a visible geostationary (GEO) satellite. This is according to Michele Franci, who is OneWeb’s chief of delivery and operations.
Franci says that beyond north or south a gateway is the riskier. It can also be to discover an appropriate GEO satellite to latch onto. This is due to how low they seem on the horizon further than 50 degrees from the equator.
Outdoors of the lab, illustrating gateways can also be done by placing beacons on top of poles. However, he says that the disruptions made with this technique can be tricky to manage.
With more than 40 gateways being built globally, each with 15 to 30 antennas that require to be standardized and analyzed. Franci says that the biggest benefit of making use of drones is speed.
“In our case, I would say it has cut the time to do antenna [assessments] by half if not more,” Franci says.
With no drones, he says it might take two or three weeks in order to accomplish these antenna depictions.
Sunil Bharti Mittal is OneWeb’s executive chairman. He says on 8th September that the operative intends to launch amenities in 30-60 days. This is as it upgrades distributor contracts worldwide in order to sell its capability.
According to Franci, six of OneWeb’s strategic 42-45 gateways are presently in operation.
Prior to launching commercial services above the 50th parallel north, he says OneWeb requires just one more operating gateway, in Greenland. That is in an “advanced stage of construction.”