Skip to main content

Raysat Granted Permission for Mobile Earth Terminal Operation

Raysat Antenna Systems LLC was granted authority to operate as many as 400 technical identical mobile earth terminals (METs) in the continental United States. The METs will be mounted on vehicles and used while in motion to provide Land Mobile Satellite Service (LMSS) in the standard Ku-band frequencies (14.0-14.5 GHz and 11.7-12.2 GHz) while communicating with fixed satellite service (FSS) satellites in geostationary orbit.

Unlike some mobile DBS antennas, the Raysat METs will use a phased-array antenna developed by Raysat. GPS signals are used to determine the MET’s location and calculate the pointing direction to the target satellite. Antenna pointing is maintained with a three-axis gyroscope and automatic control of azimuth, elevation and polarization angles using received power levels while the MET is in motion.

The Raysat system is designed to mute the transmit carrier if the METs mechanically miss points by more than 0.5 degrees and if the satellite downlink signal is lost for any reason. The muting takes place within 100 milliseconds. It will not unmute until the pointing error is corrected or the intended satellite receive signal is re-acquired. The system has been tested under an experimental license since August 2005.

Raysat estimates the system will provide forward channel speeds of 1-14 Mbps and return channel speeds of 128-512 kbps. Potential users include local, state and federal government agencies and commercial enterprise customers. Applications include high-speed Internet access, VoIP, access to government and corporate intranets, VPNs, streaming video and audio, and file sharing. Due to the cost of the service and the antenna, Raysat does not see it as a consumer product.

Raysat proposes using existing FSS space stations Intelsat-Americas 7 at 129 degrees, Intelsat-Americas 8 at 89 degrees, AMC-4 at 101 degrees, AMC-5 at 79 degrees, AMC-6 at 72 degrees, SBS-6 at 74 degrees and Horizons-1 at 127 degrees. All orbital locations are West Longitude. Raysat also plans to use existing earth station hubs.

The FCC said that although Raysat’s proposed system is not eligible for routine licensing, it may still be authorized under the provision of Section 25.220 of the Commission’s rules, which allows non-routine earth stations to be authorized if the applicant proposes limiting the maximum power density of the signal input to the earth station’s antenna to a level calculated to protect adjacent satellites. Applicants for non-routine earth stations can also coordinate operation with the operators of all adjacent geostationary orbit satellites within six degrees of separation. Raysat did both.

The FCC Order and Authorization has additional information on the Raysat system and its operation.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.