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MEO startup Methera plans “high density” HTS constellation - SpaceNews.com aug 2018
"In medium Earth orbit, the only system providing satellite broadband today is SES Networks’ constellation of 16 O3b satellites. A British startup with its own 16-satellite constellation idea wants to change that. Methera Global Communications estimates it needs $500 million to build and launch a constellation of satellites each equipped with 40 gigabits of capacity to beam down Ka-band connectivity to highly concentrated areas. If successful, Methera will launch its first spacecraft in 2022, with service starting that same year."

" “Instead of trying to put a thin veneer of coverage around the globe, what we’re doing is looking at a small number of targets where we will put lots of capacity,” [CEO Chris McIntosh] said. Methera’s 700-kilogram satellites — the same mass as the first-generation O3b satellites — will hone capacity on extremely specific locations, targeting a small number of high-value customers "

"But positioning the satellites in medium Earth orbit means customers of Methera’s system will need advanced antennas that can track the satellites as they move relative to the Earth’s surface. ... O3b faced the same challenge and, finding flat panel, electronically steerable antennas commercially unavailable, started service in 2014 with terminals using two dishes ensuring a constant link for uninterrupted service. ... Methera is focusing initially on parabolic antennas as well"

"Methera has a pending application with the U.K.’s telecom regulator Ofcom to license its low-latency satellite system, McIntosh said. The company has not applied for market access in the U.S. with the Federal Communications Commission because the U.S. is not an area of initial focus, he said. "

"16 satellites in 18,000-kilometer polar orbits — about 2,000 kilometers below the U.S. Air Force’s GPS satellites"
SpaceNews  Methera  UK  NGSO  MEO  satellite  broadband  O3b  antennas  Ofcom 
august 2018 by pierredv

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