At the recent SIA DoD Commercial SATCOM Workshop in Arlington, Virginia, we sat down with James Francis, Chief Executive Officer at Micro-Ant, LLC, to discuss the extraordinary and successful partnership the company has established with Inmarsat in the U.S. government market.
Micro-Ant designs, develops and manufactures custom antennas for land, maritime and aerospace applications operating within the Microwave Frequency Spectrum including UHF, L, S, C, X, Ku and Ka-bands. Micro-Ant produces thousands of wideband, polarization diverse Ka-band antennas each year that are type-approved to operate on the Inmarsat Global Xpress and military Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite networks. The company also produces a wide variety of passive and active L-band antennas, including omnis, volutes, arrays and adaptive beamforming arrays for tracking approved Inmarsat Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) systems.
During this video podcast, Mr Francis highlights some of Micro-Ant’s latest innovations via its partnership with Inmarsat. He notes at the onset of the discussion that Micro-Ant “solves antenna problems.” With that said, and in regards to its partnership with Inmarsat, he shares that the company was the first to provide Global Xpress ground terminal antennas (65cm and 1m) that are widely deployed today. Building on this success, other recent innovations include the development of a wideband flat antenna that is quick and easy to deploy over the Global Xpress commercial network and is interoperable with military satellite systems to ensure always-on connectivity for end users. The company also recently unveiled a purposely-developed polarization and switching wideband antenna that covers the full Ka-band frequencies (17.7GHz to 31GHz).
In addition to Micro-Ant’s Ka-band antenna capabilities, Mr. Francis also discusses his company’s rapid innovation in L-band, such as creating a high-speed antenna used on Inmarsat Alphasat satellite – delivering 10Mbs per second up and down. And in the past year, Micro-Ant developed the same type of antenna that steers the beam electronically for communications on-the-move platforms, whether aircraft, ship or land vehicle.
Mr. Francis notes: “Government is looking for lower-cost, higher performing antennas that operate in unique ways. With Inmarsat’s capabilities, we can deliver very high data rates with our L-band antennas. We also foresee a great demand for communications-on-the-move Ka-band antennas both in commercial and military frequencies.” He goes on to state that Inmarsat is the most advanced company in this regard, with its worldwide coverage and plans to keep launching new satellites with more power and capabilities – both in L-band and Ka-band – that this is an ideal match and partnership for Micro-Ant.
Inmarsat services are made available globally to the U.S. government via best-in-class partners. Inmarsat type-approved satellite terminal solutions made by our trusted value-added manufacturer partners, like Micro-Ant, form part of the high performance and all-time assured quality provided by Inmarsat services. By combining the expertise of our industry partners, who have been at the forefront of satellite communications-related technology and innovation for several decades, as well as input from our U.S. government customers, we continue to rapidly develop next-generation commercial capabilities built for users in all domains.