We spoke to Richard Jacklin, ViaLite Director of Sales
1. Tell us about your company
We are experts in RF over fiber, designing and manufacturing RF over fiber links and systems. Links include: L-Band HTS, C-Band (covering 500 MHz – 7.5 GHz!), Satellite IF, Hyper-Wide Dynamic Range, VSAT, Ultra-Wideband, DVB-T, UHF/VHF, SIGINT, GPS and more!
Our solutions include a Long Distance DWDM Link System, which covers up to 600 km, and a Rain Fade Diversity System for Ka-Band. We also offer a range of supporting products such as: SNMP for monitoring and control, the System Designer Tool for designing DWDM systems, Dual Redundancy, Splitters/Diplexers and outdoor enclosures.
The wide dynamic range and broadband nature of ViaLite technology supports the transmission of data of any modulation type with minimal degradation. Further, all hardware products include a long 5-year warranty as standard; providing true peace of mind.
We work with a range of customers including Tier 1 Satellite operators, independent teleport operators and system integrators, whom we support globally through a network of distributors and agents, and via our UK-based customer service and engineering teams.
Pulse Power and Measurement Ltd, of which ViaLite is a division, is certified to ISO 9001:2015.
2. What industry challenges are having the biggest influence on your work at the moment?
A number of challenges are influencing our part of the ground segment equipment supply chain. The first is around the deployment of the LEO satellite constellations. – The “LEO” business is quite different to the traditional “GEO” business as it requires volume and scale, miniaturisation and high reliability. This can be a tough ask for NGSO (Non-Geostationary Orbit) satellites being launched and operated by some operators, with potentially uncertain business cases.The second challenge is the continuing rollout of Ka-band ground station equipment into the South East Asia. This is a great expansion of the technology and where customers often need rain fade diversity. A significant challenge is to utilise the incumbent fibre optic installations, especially for long distance links where this needs care and attention to the needs of the region.
3. What innovative solutions are you working on to address the issue?
For LEO, we have developed and brought to market a number of new products including ODE-MINI which is a dish or pedestal mounted, highly integrated outdoor fibre link including L-band links, SNMP monitoring and control, LNB feed and even Ethernet IP connection. Being small and versatile, the ODE-MINI is ideal for large arrays of dishes which, of course, could be moving to track the NGSOs. Also for the LEO and Satcom market, we have continued to integrate more channels and ancillary products like splitters and diplexers, whilst maintaining low loss and high isolation.
For long distance links, like the Ka-band rain fade solutions, we recently launched a new iteration of our Hype Wide Dynamic Range (HWDR) transmitter card, improving its performance even further. On the receiver sider we have also just launched a High Sensitivity Receiver (HSR) card which can tolerate much high fibre optic losses and is ideal for the emerging economies in South East Asia.
4. What are your thoughts on spectrum management?
Obviously there are lots of discussions around repurposing part of the C-band spectrum. We launched a C-band link card last year for Satcom and this year we will follow up with a new 6 GHz card aimed at the Mil-Aero user community. As the 5G community starts to adopt the C-band allocation, we will see attention to RF channel adjustment and interference filtering between the Satcom and 5G user groups.
5. Do you think creating innovative solutions for cyber security is a priority for the satcoms industry?
Yes, this is an ongoing need. Actually the RF over fibre technology brings with it inherent advantages; it’s a lot harder to “sniff” an RF over fibre link than the traditional RF coax. Many customers moved over to this technology for this very reason.
We see this particularly in the layout of GPS signal routing in data centres. – Fibre brings with it electrical isolation, but it’s also a uni-directional technology, which makes it virtually impossible to use in the opposite direction; a key need in the data centre facility. Monitoring and Control (M&C) also needs to be provided at an adequate SNMP security level.
6. Do you have any interesting plans for the next couple of months?
Hopefully by the end of this year, we will come out of lockdown and will again be able to showcase new products and concepts to the satcom industry. This will likely follow our overall trajectory of: higher bandwidth, higher frequency and higher integration.
7. Why do you feel it is important to be a member of SIG?
SIG members represent all our key customers. The SIG forums are an open, technically minded and “political-free” environment to discuss industry challenges and share ideas. It provides thought-leadership and set standards for key areas in Satcom.