VSAT connectivity can be achieved in a variety of ways depending on your situation and requirements, from a simple static setup to a more complex maritime or aeronautical self-tracking one.
The most frequent VSAT Antenna setups are:
The simplest form of a VSAT setup is a fixed parabolic antenna, usually with a diameter between 60 and 300cm, with an LNB (receiver) and BUC (transmitter).
This type of solution is ideal in a scenario where the antenna will not move and in use permanently.
Similar to the above this VSAT antenna setup will be used in a single location but is motorized so that the parabolic reflector can move and align itself with the satellite it needs to communicate with.
This can be useful if you need to use multiple satellites and you want to be able to switch between them.
Fly-Away/Carry-Away fixed or auto acquiring
If you need to be able to carry your VSAT system with you at all times you can opt for a Fly-Away or Man Pack. These versions usually consist of 2 or 3 bags or cases containing a complete VSAT system.
These units can be carried (even by one person) to wherever they need to be deployed.
These models exits in manual and auto-acquiring versions for ease of use. Parabola sizes available between 60cm and 1.2m.
Mobile auto-acquiring – Drive-Away
A typical application for an auto acquiring mobile setup would be the SNG (Satellite News Gathering) trucks used for transmitting live Video during events.
These units are mounted onto a mobile vehicle (car, pickup, minivan or truck) and can automatically acquire the pre-programmed satellite.
This, and all the above solutions are however for static use, meaning that the antenna will not automatically adjust when you or your vehicle moves. You will need to reacquire the satellite and stay in that position to be able to use the VSAT system.
For an in motion solution you will need to choose between:
Satellite on the Move
SOTM (Satellite-on-the-move) is used when you want to use a VSAT connection on a moving vehicle. There are two solutions, one based on Phased array antennas which do not have any moving parts and the other is a stabilized parabolic solution.
These antennas are somewhat different in design as their maritime counterparts due to the different type of motion they need to adjust to.
Maritime Stabilized VSAT
Maritime Stabilized antennas are specifically designed to following a ship’s motions while accurately stay pointed at a satellite. Depending on the type of vessel and its motion you might need to consider a 2-axis stabilized antenna or 3-axis stabilized antenna, the latter not to be confused with auto adjusting polarity.