IRG is running a member blog series to highlight the interference mitigation activities of its members, and to hear from experts in the field as they offer their thoughts on the current state of interference. Earlier in the year we welcomed ETL Systems to the blog. This time we’re hearing from Alvaro Sanchez, Sales & Marketing Director at Integrasys.
1. Tell us a bit more about Integrasys
Integrasys is a specialist provider of satellite spectrum monitoring systems for the satellite, telecommunication, and broadcast industries. The main aim of our solutions is to enable fast but efficient installation and monitoring, which also helps to reduce both errors and any associated cost. The Integrasys mission is to build success from innovation, and we have been doing this for more than 28 years; in order to provide the best quality technology available in carrier monitoring systems and VSAT tools. We actually won the World Teleport Association Award for Most Innovative Technology at Satellite 2018 which only strengthens our mission statement!
2. What do you think the current state of interference is?
There definitely seems to be more discussion around interference, thanks in part to the hard work of IRG which has firmly put the topic at the top of the agenda. Having said this, there is more work to be done in terms of technological solutions to help us solve the problem and mitigate the disruptive effects of interference. We are very pleased to be a member of this organization and we believe we have input many ideas in the group. The group was originally focused on broadcast interference and then drifted to VSAT interference, now it is switching to proactive tools, which is actually what we build for our customers.
Interferences have a massive potential to increase, especially with future HTS deployments and Small Sat constellations. It’s going to be highly important that we put solutions in place to provide better accuracy and efficiency ahead of this.
On top of this, with 640 LEO satellites currently in orbit and another 9,000 due to launch in the next five years, we’re facing an increasingly congested space environment. This does, of course, mark an exciting time for the industry as consumers demand the ability to stay connected wherever they are. But it also means that LEO and MEO operators will need to be able to constantly monitor entire fleets on a 24/7 basis. The satellite industry must put better measures in place in order to ensure the SLAs and the highest Quality of Service.
3. What would you say has been the most positive recent advancement in interference mitigation technology?
Without any doubt Integrasys’ own solutions are very positive advancements in interference mitigation technology and that is why they have been named multiple times as ‘Most Innovative Technologies’.
Our Alusat, Always Up solution has also been awarded the Best Ground Technology Award at the VSAT Global event, and was labelled a disruptive innovation. Alusat automates RF health checks at the Network Operating Centre without the need to travel to sites and it can also remotely recover terminals that are out of service, perhaps after a disaster. This means a significant cost saving for networks, especially given that Alusat and Satmotion Pocket, our other preventative solution, can cost-effectively share the same hardware.
Satmotion Pocket simplifies the commissioning process by measuring the Copol, Xpol and Adjacent Satellite Interference (ASI) and feeding this back to the installer in such a manner that non-satellite experts can understand.
4. How are you working to reduce satellite interference?
Integrasys has been working on several new solutions for LEO/MEO operators which have dynamic thresholds for effectively monitoring their carriers and services in preparation for the expansion of these constellations. Our Controlsat HTS topology is another cost-effective solution where we centralise the operation in the main Network Operating Centre (NOC) and spread other less costly systems around the user beams (or in this new constellation case, around several 100s of small gateways).
VSATs are notorious causes of interference and are responsible for a high percentage of all cases. Many of our solutions are enabling VSAT operators to ensure an error-free service, and some, like Satmotion Pocket, are able to be used by even non-satellite professionals due to its simplicity. Satmotion Pocket is compatible with most of the largest VSAT manufacturers and enables an installer to setup and deploy a VSAT correctly without interacting with the NOC.
5. What do you think are the most interesting innovations in the industry right now?
Satellite has come under threat recently from many new and emerging technologies, but I’ve been impressed by the pace of innovation that the satellite sector has responded with. We definitely haven’t taken this competition lying down and this has resulted in many innovations including HTS. But you can’t talk about satellite innovation without discussing LEO and MEO. As I said above, these constellations represent an exciting era for satellite as they enable the industry to handle the serious traffic expected from the future demand for connectivity.
Of course, the problem with advancing technology is that they often present new challenges that nobody expects until they are dug in. So we must make sure we match the pace of innovation with the advancement of our interference mitigation techniques and tools for the future. I’m looking forward to hearing Martin Coleman discuss the potential of AI and Machine Learning-based technology to solve interference mitigation for future super-networks at the upcoming IRG workshop in Paris.
6. Do you have any interesting things planned for the coming months?
We very recently moved into new headquarters due to continuing expansion and this move will allow us to support new customers and partners. Integrasys has grown by 33% in the last four years so we hope to continue this level of growth whilst still providing the same high level of customer service and care.
A new initiative is to provide onsite support in the States to our customers and develop within the US to provide government and commercial users with the best technology developed and supported within North America or Europe.
The next big event on our calendar is CommunicAsia where we’ll be exhibiting at booth 1U14-12 between the 26th – 28th June. Contact us if you’d like to meet to discuss anything from interference to our product portfolio.