Eutelsat OneWeb brings broadband to Antarctic research station

Eutelsat OneWeb brings broadband to Antarctic research station

Eutelsat Group announced on Tuesday that its LEO satellite unit OneWeb is providing broadband services in Antarctica for British Antarctic Survey (BAS) on a trial basis.

The service, which has been in operation since January 2024, provides LEO satellite connectivity to the BAS-operated Rothera Research Station, with data speeds up to 120 Mbps.

The solution for BAS, named Talaria, is a proprietary system developed by Eutelsat OneWeb. The European Space Agency (ESA) Sunrise Partnership Project supported the design of Takaria, while Comtech Telecommunications and Cobham Satcom developed and implemented the ground infrastructure component in Chile.

Eutelsat OneWeb said the solution will help meet the needs of scientific activities at Rothera Research Station, as well as those of the staff, who up to now have had to make do with satellite solutions offering data speeds between 1 Mbps and 5 Mbps.

Julius Rix, Head of Engineering at BAS, said the speed boost and lower latency has the potential to transform the activity at the stations and in the wider Antarctic region by allowing scientists to better conduct their day-to-day activities by facilitating real-time support from scientific, technical or health teams around the world. It will also provide vital connectivity to help improve the welfare of the scientists, outside of working hours, as they are often deployed for 18 months at a time in one of the remotest and geographically challenging areas of the world.

“Knowing we have such an increase in bandwidth is a gamechanger for our communications connectivity, allowing transfer of big data files and giving us the opportunity to do live broadcast interviews from one of the remotest places on Earth,” he said in a statement. “This has the potential to change the way we work and the type of science we can carry out.”


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