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INTEGRASYS set to revolutionise the way in which VSAT networks are maintained

VSAT is used for a huge variety of diverse applications all across the world from cellular backhaul to disaster recovery, and the advent of High Throughput Satellites (HTS) is also fuelling the numbers of deployed sites.

VSATs operate with no requirement for terrestrial infrastructure and are therefore often located in remote, difficult to reach areas. This can cause problems for network operators in terms of maintenance, as Juan Martines, Technical Director at INTEGRASYS explains: “Once a VSAT is installed, it is often unmanned and left to operate unsupervised for years. Any misalignment during installation or adverse weather can then cause problems, not only for that single VSAT, but for the entire network with negative and costly effects on the operators and the network users.”

To tackle this problem, INTEGRASYS has launched Alusat (Always Up Satellite Terminal). This automated tool, which combines traditional equipment management with spectrum monitoring and measurement in a unique way, accurately derives the remote terminal RF status and pinpoints which terminals are not functioning properly. In certain conditions, it can even recover out-of-service or service-degraded terminals.

Martinez continues: “Alusat is an evolution of INTEGRASYS’ industry-leading Satmotion Pocket tool, which allows accurate installation during remote commissioning. Alusat allows a virtual visit to every site on the network, reducing or even eliminating the need for a physical presence at certain sites. Alusat also allows the consistent monitoring of a VSAT site after installation to ensure optimisation of operation and the minimisation of costs caused by service failures.”

Alusat offers VSAT network operators significant benefits in terms of reduction of OPEX and the simplification of the entire maintenance process. Alusat significantly reduces the need to deploy personnel to individual sites and minimises maintenance time and effort, freeing up personnel and making the whole network much more efficient, with rapid Return on Investment. Features such as One Touch Calibration and a simple interface also make Alusat extremely simple to use.

The operator is able to determine the different thresholds for Rx and Tx and the actions to be taken automatically by the system in different circumstances to rectify problems. Alusat displays HTS footprint and calculates link thresholds, then it checks all of the terminals in the targeted VSAT community, analysing the Rx and Tx measured values of copolar power, cross-polar isolation, adjacent satellite interference and 1dB compression point to detect failures and raise any necessary alarms. This technology is critically important for networks with adaptive power adjustment capability, as it is able to calibrate the saturation point for each remote, maximising the overall network performance. This is fully automated from the Network Operations Centre (NOC).

Martinez concludes: “We are delighted to bring this exclusive product to the market, to help simplify VSAT network maintenance for operators all over the world and to reinforce our commitment to the reduction of satellite interference by making life easier for hub operators”.