Satcom Supplier To License Optical Beamforming Tech

Isotropic Systems antenna radome.
Credit: Isotropic Systems

Satellite communications (satcom) terminal supplier Isotropic Systems will license components of its optical multi-beamforming antenna technology to aerospace and defense companies to build products “capable of unleashing a new era of inflight connectivity.”

In a Mar. 4 release, Isotropic Systems reports that “early collaborative licensing discussions are underway” with unidentified aircraft manufacturers, satcom terminal developers and systems integrators to integrate its patented optical beamforming lens modules and chipsets.

The company says aerospace and defense system integrators that license its technology are working toward integrating the components in their terminal platforms this year, with tests planned in early 2021. Plans call for launching commercial antennas in 2021-22.

Isotropic Systems, based in Reading, England, says its compact satcom terminal platform conforms to an aircraft fuselage or radome and links with multiple satellites in multiple orbits while using far less power than other flat-panel or electronically steered antennas.

A beamforming antenna focuses a wireless signal in a specific direction instead of radiating the signal in all directions. The company’s technology is designed to help aviation users exploit high-throughput capacity from new low and medium Earth orbit satellites.

“Our optical multi-beam antennas provide customized high-performance connectivity seamlessly across multiple satellites and orbits at low power consumption, which delivers big advantages over single beam antennas to both commercial and government aircraft operators—from airlines to UAVs and every form of aircraft in between,” said John Finney, Isotropic Systems founder and CEO. 

Bill Carey

Based in Washington, DC, Bill covers avionics, air traffic management and aviation safety for Aviation Week. A former daily newspaper reporter, he has covered the commercial, business and military aviation segments as well as unmanned aircraft systems. Prior to joining Aviation Week in November 2017, he worked for Aviation International News and Avionics and Rotor & Wing magazines.