American satellite technology specialist Kymeta has launched its latest communications system, mTenna, which it claims will remove the need for satellite domes on superyachts.
Announced at the Satellite 2017 conference in Washington DC earlier this month, mTenna is a fully electronically steered system with no moving parts, thus reducing the need for maintenance.
Håkan Olsson, vice president of maritime at Kymeta, told Boat International: “What we have heard from captains and crews is that there are a number of pain points with today’s design and all the moving parts. They break down more often in hot climates, particularly in the Arab regions, which are prone to dust storms.”
Kymeta is also developing a combiner system, which was first unveiled at the 2016 Monaco Yacht Show and allows for global satellite coverage, even in high latitude destinations.
“The superyacht market is ideal for us to pursue,” Olsson added. “The volumes are very low, but the value proposition is extremely attractive in terms of engaging with early adopters — it is an industry that likes to be first.”
Kymeta’s new system has been presented as a turnkey product that is ready for integration into both new-build and refit projects. Olsson claims that this proposition has generated interest from “every major shipyard in Europe”.
The first Kymeta mTenna units are expected to arrive in Europe for testing and sea trials within the next three months, while the combiner system will be available before the end of the year.
Kymeta is not the only satellite specialist to pursue a domeless product, with MTN also developing a flat-panel solution.