Inmarsat has won two awards for innovation from leading satellite industry organisations.
The Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) selected Inmarsat and
EADS Astrium as the recipients of a 2010 Industry Innovator Award for "the complex,
multi-year effort to develop and launch the Inmarsat-4 system of spacecraft".
It was accepted by Inmarsat chief technical officer Gene Jilg at an awards ceremony
on 16 March.
The Industry Innovators Awards, introduced in 1993, recognise outstanding new contributions
to the field of satellite communications by both private-sector and public-sector
Recipients are chosen by a committee of industry experts for accomplishments ranging
across a broad spectrum of advanced satellite technology and business applications.
Explaining why it had selected Inmarsat and EADS Astrium for the systems development
and applications award, the SSPI stated: "The I-4 satellites use onboard processors
to adapt to changes in traffic across the globe, and can generate nearly 256 spot
beams for users on Earth while dynamically allocating bandwidth based on demand.
"A unique feature of the I-4s is the ability to generate beams of variable size to
adjust the performance of the link with user terminals of different size and capability.
"The main technical challenges faced in developing the six-ton I-4s were design and
manufacture of the digital processor, plasma propulsion system, payload engineering
and system engineering by EADS Astrium in the UK and France; the L-band reflector
by Astro Space (Northrup Grumman, USA); and the L-band feed by EMS (now MDA, Canada)."
Following the launch of the third I-4 satellite in August 2008, and a successful satellite
repositioning programme that ended in February 2009, Inmarsat became the only satellite
operator to offer mobile broadband services on a global basis.
The second innovation award, for the maritime service, FleetBroadband, was presented
to Inmarsat's global networks and engineering senior vice-president Richard Denny
by the Mobile Satellite Users Association (MSUA).
Association president Tim Farrar said: "This year, the Innovation Award recognizes
Inmarsat's FleetBroadband, which... is being adopted rapidly in the maritime market
across a range of vessels. We are pleased to honour this innovative product."
MSUA is a non-profit organisation that promotes the interests of mobile satellite
users worldwide by fostering communications between end-users, suppliers and operators.
Both organisations also recognised the work of Inmarsat-sponsored aid agency Télecoms
Sans Frontières for providing emergency satellite communications to relief
workers and local populations in disaster zones.
Both awards were presented in National Harbor, Maryland in the US at events held in
conjunction with the Satellite 2010 conference and exhibition.