Operating roughly just 1,000 kilometers above Earth in LEO, Lightspeed will be free from the long latency delays and capacity limitations that are inherent to satellites in geostationary and medium Earth orbits. In addition, Lightspeed satellites incorporate leading-edge technologies and features, including:
- Sophisticated phased array antennas on each satellite that are combined with advanced beam hopping technology to create approximately 135,000 beams that can dynamically focus multiple Gbps of capacity – an order of magnitude higher than any other system – into demand hot spots like remote communities, large airports or major sea ports;
- Nearly 1,200 high capacity optical links – four on each satellite – that combine to create a first-ever, highly resilient, flexible and secure space-based IP network, moving data across the network and around the world at the speed of light;
- Data processing in space, including full digital modulation and demodulation on the satellite, coupled with a revolutionary end-to-end network operating system, that improves link performance and gives customers unprecedented flexibility for routing traffic across the globe, eliminating gateway hops for the fastest, most secure, end-to-end delivery of data; and
- A patent-pending architecture for the constellation of satellites, which features satellites operating in both polar and inclined orbital planes. This results in true pole-to-pole global coverage, concentrating capacity in areas where it is most needed to maximize network efficiency and achieve superior unit cost economics.
Telesat is developing affordable end-user terminals, with a range of antennas and modems optimized for each of the market verticals Lightspeed will serve. In addition, Lightspeed leverages industry-wide network interface standards to enable simple, seamless integration with customers’ terrestrial networks, without the need to integrate proprietary hardware or software.