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The milestone launch of the EchoStar® XVII satellite with JUPITER™ high-throughput technology on July 5, 2012 was a transitional moment for Hughes. Built by Space Systems/Loral and employing a multi-spot beam, bent-pipe Ka-band architecture, our new geostationary satellite boasts a capacity equivalent to approximately 80 conventional Ku-band satellites and an order of magnitude greater than that of our SPACEWAY® 3 satellite, the world’s first switch-in-the-sky, which enables single-hop, site-to-site connectivity.
Setting the stage for the introduction of HughesNet® Gen4 services less than three months later, it represents a major step forward in satellite communications technology, significantly optimizing the use of bandwidth and power with minimum latency.
A bird’s-eye view inside the JUPITER high-throughput system reveals an array of specialized ground components. Let’s talk about some of the most important ones.
Each JUPITER gateway provides multi-Gbps access to the Internet, and is designed with the latest Ka-band RF electronics, along with a flexible and highly reliable baseband subsystem to enable a range of IP services and applications. Each gateway operates in a frequency reuse scheme, and connects to multiple user spot beams, providing services to all the terminals in the beams. Utilizing the latest DVB-S2 ACM waveforms with enhanced LDPC coding schemes, the gateways are also programmable to enable a set of software-defined waveforms, as transport technology evolves for more efficient use of bandwidth and power, and flexible, “future-proof” capability.
The Network Management System
The JUPITER Network Managed System (NMS) is a fully redundant, highly automated, IPv6 subsystem that provides full remote access and control to each of the unmanned JUPITER gateways, many of which are co-located with SPACEWAY gateways.
The new Hughes terminals incorporate dual-protocol stacks for IPv4 or IPv6 operation, and run the latest Hughes F.A.S.T Web Acceleration software to enhance the user experience. The outdoor unit is highly integrated with the latest Microwave Monolithic Integrated Circuit (MMIC) technology, along with advanced passive microwave devices, for improved reliability and better performance. It is also lighter in weight, and facilitates easier, faster installation and commissioning. The terminals are deployed with many of the latest Hughes techniques and algorithms to optimize both transmit and receive performance in a Ka-band link.
More Capability for More Users
But what does all this mean to the customer? With over 100 Gbps of capacity, JUPITER technology is transformational, enabling better services at significantly higher speeds to more customers than ever before. The combination of the high-capacity JUPITER System, alongside the SPACEWAY 3 System with reprogrammable capacity coverage, provides for optimum nationwide service over the continental U.S., including the busy East Coast and West Coast population centers. This not only provides more features and choices for users, but also makes HughesNet service much more competitive in areas where DSL and wireless are commonly deployed today.
As the combined power of EchoStar XVII with JUPITER high-throughput technology and SPACEWAY 3 accelerates the growth of HughesNet Gen4 services in North America, it is also setting the stage for JUPITER technology expansion to other parts of the world. The JUPITER System, inclusive of its gateways, terminals, and NMS, has enormous international potential, as the emergence of Ka-band unfolds around the world. In addition, the technology can address other frequency bands, such as Ku-band, C-band, and X-band, and we expect to roll it out in the next few years in regions such as Russia/CIS and Latin America.
Throughout the development challenges, tight timeframes, and just plain hard work of these launches, the whole company, including engineering, operations, manufacturing, quality, program management, and sales and marketing, made significant contributions, continuing our long tradition of providing best-in-class products and services of the future.
Today, all that work is paying off. As a new-generation, Ka-band system platform that is propelling the world’s largest consumer satellite Internet service to even greater success, the JUPITER System design will be the driver for new Hughes products. We look forward with great enthusiasm and energy to serving the expanding consumer marketplace and its ever-growing demand for higher bandwidth, as well as new opportunities in the enterprise, government, and small/medium business markets.