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Satnews Daily
January 6th, 2016

Panasonic Avionics + Kymeta Think Flat... Will Serve Maritime Market w/Revolutionary Flat Panel Antenna 

Broadly defined, electromagnetic metamaterials result from arranging man-made materials in such a way that they produce an electromagnetic response not found in nature. On the mTenna suite of products, tunable elements are arranged in a precisely calculated pattern. Radio frequency (RF) energy is scattered when the elements are activated holographically generating a beam. The direction of the beam is defined by the specific elements that are electronically activated—a design that allows for both continuous and instantaneous changes in direction. Electromagnetic metamaterial technology uses a holographic approach to electronically acquire, steer, and lock a beam to any satellite, with no moving parts.

[Satnews] Panasonic Avionics Corporation and Kymeta Corporation have announced a landmark agreement that brings innovative, high-performance antenna technology to several unique maritime markets. Under terms of the agreement, Panasonic will order a significant volume of Kymeta’s flat panel antennas and use Kymeta mTenna technology to manufacture and distribute maritime terminals for vessels around the world. The antennas are expected to go through prototype testing this year and be commercially available in 2017.

Unlike traditional maritime antennas, which weigh several hundred kilograms, require weeks of vessel downtime to install, and use mechanical components that can easily break and are difficult to maintain, Kymeta’s technology enables electronically steered, lightweight, flat panel antennas that can acquire and track any satellite from any moving platform, anywhere in the world.

By combining Panasonic’s high-throughput satellite network with Kymeta’s lightweight antenna design that can be carried on-board by hand to be easily installed, the companies are giving maritime vessels anywhere in the world the ability to provide cost-effective, high-speed connectivity to passengers and crew alike.

Panasonic also will purchase and distribute a new technology from Kymeta that enables the combining of multiple apertures into one antenna. This combining technology will give customers a more powerful antenna that ultimately will provide faster and more efficient connectivity.

“This agreement is a perfect example of our commitment to bring broadband communications to a wide range of mobility markets,” said Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics. “We believe this exciting breakthrough technology will enable rapid growth in many market segments, and we look forward to working with Kymeta to set a new standard in connectivity for merchant vessels, yachts, river cruises and other vessels.”

“Kymeta’s goal is to use our mTenna technology to help realize the power of a truly connected future for any platform that moves around the world, and this agreement is another major milestone towards that goal,” said Dr. Nathan Kundtz, Chief Executive Officer of Kymeta. “We are excited to partner with Panasonic and help their maritime customers with higher speed internet connections for vessels anywhere in the world.”