Kymeta Flat Panel Array Trial Successful

The concept of Superyachts devoid of ugly satellite communication domes moved a step further when trails on board the 65 metre superyacht White Rose of Drachs where declared successful.

The sea trials made over several months on the motor yacht, White Rose of Drachs, where undertaken by the by US based antenna Kymeta, and their exclusive superyacht distribution partner, e3 Systems.

Up-close views of the trial installation of the Kymeta KyWay™ terminals on board the yacht will be available when the yacht attends the Monaco Yacht Show September 27-30, 2017.

Kymeta and e3 Systems worked with the yacht’s owner, Captain Andrew Schofield the yacht’s Master, and the on board IT manager to perform the sea trial, having outfitted the yacht with four Kymeta KyWay terminals.

The terminals were tested with various MIR/CIR services from leading maritime satellite service providers, including Speedcast, which provided service in the Mediterranean.

Upon completion of sea trials and commercial release of yacht solutions, Kymeta terminals will be bundled with Kymeta’s KĀLO™ internet access services – powered by the IntelsatOne Flex for Maritime service. The terminals can also be outfitted with MIR/CIR services from service providers like Speedcast.

Multiple terminal configurations, were trialled ranging from single panel solutions to multiple panel solutions.

“We experienced a few practical installation issues, many of which already have been addressed by Kymeta, and we also realized that the network systems on yachts need to be designed and configured to work in tandem with the improved throughput that Kymeta solutions provide,” said Roger Horner, Managing Director at e3 Systems.

He added, “The flat panel beam steering of the antenna and its performance has been fantastic, and we are pleased that the issues found and communicated are already being addressed. Identifying and solving issues is what sea trialling is all about.”

The trials presented engineers with the opportunity to identify and replace various components – both hardware and software. As a software defined antenna technology, the terminals used at the trial were given improved and added functionality, remotely, which has never been possible before with traditional mechanically steered antennas.

The sea trials provided engineering teams with valuable insights for maritime installations. While some challenges were experienced during the trials, it was nt anything that could not overcome, and it is now clear that domeless vessels are a new reality for the yacht industry.

Håkan Olsson, Vice President of Maritime at Kymeta said “This is a major milestone for the maritime industry, where reliable, flat, lightweight satellite connectivity will open an entirely new world of communication capabilities.”

The sea trials allowed Captai Andrew Schofield, of White Rose of Drachs, to witness first hand the ease with which Kymeta communication solutions can be updated and managed – even while at sea. “One day while testing the Kymeta solutions at sea, the e3 Systems and Kymeta teams removed terminals, changed components, and reinstalled them within minutes,” said Schofield. “With conventional antennas, we would have been in the yard for a few days with a crane to achieve the same results. The quick installation of the Kymeta solution is a big time and money-saver.”

Schofield recognizes other benefits in addition to saved time and manpower. “We have been anticipating Kymeta technology since 2015 when we first saw conceptual animations of the technology,” said Schofield. “We are proud to be the first motor yacht to perform sea trials with Kymeta technology. We look forward to progressing from the current temporary trial installation to the finalised fully-integrated solution, which will rid the yacht of the current VSAT and TVRO domes. This will remove over five tons of weight from her super structure and provide the yacht with permanent access to the internet.”