I recently had a chance to sit with Ron Lockerby of Thrane & Thrane to learn about what was new with the company’s satellite product line which serves a diverse set of markets such as maritime, aeronautical and land mobile. With a total of 600 people in the company and 60% of those being engineers you can expect engineering to be a strong-suit of the organization.
Thrane & Thrane’s maritime products consist of the SAILOR line which is OEMed by Northrop Grumman’s Sperry Marine unit and the product line consists of VHF, MF/HF, Inmarsat C terminals, complete GMDSS systems including LRIT and SSAS solutions, and a full range of maritime satcom products including Iridium, Mini-M, Fleet, FleetBroadBand, VSAT and satellite TV.
Lockerby spent some time focusing on the company’s Explorer 325 which is a compact voice and broadband solution for vehicles. The BGAN (broadband global area network) solution consists of a transceiver, an IP handset and a roof mountable antenna with magnetic mounts and weighs less than three pounds is 13 inches in diameter and can transmit and receive 300 kbps in a best-effort manner.
The system can be set up in 15 minutes as it auto-finds the satellite and it further runs off 12 or 24 volts and can stream 128kbps– but I get the feeling most users won’t be getting one so they can listen to Pandora radio in remote locations. Another plus is the built-in SIP server and voice quality can range between 4 kbps to 64 kbps assuming an elevation greater than 45 degrees.
The L-Band unit is resistant to rain and sandstorms making it ideal for military applications and there are no roaming charges.
Much of what the company is focusing on has to do with providing smaller and lighter antennas such as the Aviator 200 (pictured), an IP-based system which is used on the Predator Drone. With 200 kbps data transfer speed and built-in WiFi and a small low-gain antenna, the unit is suitable for government and civilian applications.
Other solutions the company employs consist of mobile products allowing satellite and traditional 3G networks to blend allowing vehicles to be in constant contact with the home base while always using the most reliable technology to connect the vehicle to the network.
Recently TMCnet’s Calvin Azuri reported on Aircell’s Inmarsat SwiftBroadband solution available on the Gulfstream G150 and G200 which is powered by Thrane & Thrane.