Inmarsat 4, solar sailor


This babe, the first of Inmarsat’s 4th generation satellite fleet, was launched in March and recently went into service over the Indian Ocean. That dish antenna is 9 meters across, the array of solar panels extend 45 meters. The flap at far left is a “sail”, able to “harness pressure exerted by particles from the Sun – the solar wind – to steer the I-4 and fine-tune its orbital position”. This bird is already improving existing Inmarsat service in its planet print, and is just about to really show its stuff in terms of high speed data. Tim Queeney at Ocean Navigator nicely lays out what this all means for actual boat communications here (not much yet, unless your ride is a megayacht).

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

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