Maritime industry standard
Parabolic reflector antennas, also known as satellite dishes are the industry standard antenna type for maritime satellite communications. A key reason for this is that the parabolic shape of the reflector makes it easy to direct the radio signal, and on a mobile platform (i.e., a ship), this makes all the difference.
Parabolic antennas feature a parabolic dish and a small feed antenna. When transmitting information, the feed antenna converts a digital signal to radio and directs it at the parabolic dish, which then bounces the signal back up to the satellite. When receiving data, the dish bounces the radio signal to the feed antenna, which converts it to a digital signal and sends it further into the network.
To ensure a stable link to the satellite, maritime parabolic antennas must feature stabilisation, a powered, mechanical system that can counteract the movement of the vessel in six degrees of freedom. Without this, the parabolic shape of the antenna is not enough to ensure accuracy in pointing the antenna towards the satellite.
Parabolic antennas come in almost any size, from compact 60 cm VSAT through to 6 metre diameter ground station tracking systems. Parabolic antennas are classed as ‘high gain’ systems and have very low limitations on the amount of bandwidth they can transmit and receive, making them ideal for next generation networks that serve as a backbone to digital transformation and smart shipping.
Cobham SATCOM offers a complete range based on decades of experience in developing and maximising the potential of the parabolic design. All deliver a reliable, high bandwidth link to the satellite on all maritime frequencies, ensuring continuous availability of voice and data communications regardless of location and conditions.