SES Government Solutions (SES GS) and Isotropic Systems have signed a contract for next-generation multi-beam antenna technologies for the US Military.

The two companies are under a two-phased antenna evaluation contract with the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), in partnership with the US Army Research Engineering Team.

Under the contract, collaborative tests of Isotropic Systems’ multi-beam terminal over SES’s O3b Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) constellation will be carried out.

SES Government Solutions president and CEO Pete Hoene said: “As we get ready for the launch of our O3b mPOWER MEO constellation and SES-17 GEO satellite late next year, it is vital that we work with the US Government to better understand their requirements, and to partner with companies like Isotropic Systems to help us meet those needs.

“The Isotropic antenna will deliver high throughput, at low latency over a MEO constellation with simultaneous resilient GEO capacity.

“This will be a game-changer for the US Army. These collaborative trials with the US Army Research Engineering Team and the airforce bring commercial ingenuity to the men and women in uniform and the US Government as a whole.”

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The US Air Force and US Army will evaluate an optical beamforming antenna prototype developed by Isotropic Systems.

The two organisations will verify whether the prototype can establish a link with two satellite constellations at GEO and MEO at the same time.

According to the US military, such a capability will allow the armed forces to provide at the tactical edge data.

The first phase over-the-air (OTA) is expected to wrap up by the end of this year while phase two will finish early next year.