Satellite  |  2023-09-15

OneWeb Launches New Foldable Terminal for Military Ops and Emergency Response

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

Manufactured by Inster (Oesia Group), it weighs just 11.8kg and has a low profile and foldable antenna design.

Global low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications network, OneWeb, announces today the launch of a new fully person-portable, lightweight user terminal (UT), that fits easily into a backpack, enabling new connectivity capabilities for military operations and emergency response teams working in areas beyond the bounds of traditional terrestrial networks and direct to the tactical edge.

The FoldSat LEo Ku OW Mil terminal is OneWeb’s first fully ruggedized user terminal. The small terminal is self-aligning and easy to deploy and optimised for operation over the OneWeb Ku-Band LEO satellite constellation for communications on the pause. Manufactured by Inster (Oesia Group), it weighs just 11.8kg and has a low profile and foldable antenna design. The Wi-Fi access point can provide connectivity up to 100 metres.

Air Vice-Marshal (Retired) Chris Moore, VP Defence and Security at OneWeb, says: “Maritime, air or land forces operating at the tactical edge require high quality connectivity in all environmental conditions.  

“In highly dynamic situations, the ability to access information wherever and whenever it’s needed provides competitive advantage coupled with person-portability - when wheels, tracks and rotor blades are not an option, making this terminal a real game changer. The pizza box sized FoldSat LEo user terminal, is lightweight, quick and efficient to deploy, yet still provides high speed, resilient connectivity, an ideal portable solution for those in the most testing of locations.”

The new terminal can operate via a multi-option external power source; mains, battery, solar or vehicle battery, while still delivering high-speed, low latency performance connectivity. Ideal for real-time data transfer, video and voice services, the FoldSat LEo is well suited to perform under the toughest environmental and operating conditions.

With a throughput of up to 195 Mbps download and 32 Mbps upload speeds, it features external GNSS input for GPS denied environments. The FoldSat LEo terminal also slides into a backpack folded for increased portability for command & control, situational awareness or even just welfare needs which make it ideal for land, air, maritime or Special Operations Forces, humanitarian and disaster relief, and emergency services, 

“Movability is a vital aspect of missions where no other satcom, cellular or terrestrial-based networks are available,” adds Moore. “With our global network constellation and ground infrastructure, these new user terminals in OneWeb’s product line are well placed to support critical comms to the tactical edge.”

The FoldSat Leo is available in two models - military grade in Tactical Green colour and commercial grade in White - the new terminal measures 452L x 374W x 114H mm in folded portable form, and 855L x 374W x 57H mm unfolded when operational.

The terminal comes with built-in Wi-Fi 6 capability, a military grade AC/DC unit, tripod and a set of optional extras (transit case, batteries, bespoke backpack). It is designed in compliance with MIL-STD 810H and MIL-STD 461G standards.