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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/J013897/1
Title: The "Flish" - Flat Satellite Dish for Truly Worldwide Portable Satellite Broadband
Principal Investigator: Fusco, Professor V
Other Investigators:
Buchanan, Dr NB
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Barnard Microsystems Ltd Cobham Technical Services Inmarsat Ltd
Taconic International Ltd.
Department: Sch of Electronics, Elec Eng & Comp Sci
Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Scheme: Follow on Fund
Starts: 01 August 2012 Ends: 31 January 2014 Value (£): 164,629
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation RF & Microwave Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
18 Oct 2011 Follow-on Fund Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Our project aims to provide a simple, flat satellite dish (The Flish), which "knows" where the satellite is and does not need to be accurately pointed. It is capable of finding the satellite by itself within milliseconds, is simple, lightweight and low cost. We have identified that there is a significant requirement in the market for truly worldwide satellite internet broadband coverage. Cloud computing is one example, 50Bn mobile devices are projected to be connected to the cloud by 2025. How do you get the worldwide wireless infrastructure to support this? It may not be economical to provide terrestrial wireless broadband over large continents such as Africa, although satellite broadband can provide a solution to this. The satellite infrastructure is already there to provide global broadband coverage (eg Inmarsat BGAN). The problem is that the user terminals, particularly the antenna, are difficult to use by unskilled personnel, and require accurate pointing at the satellite. They are also prohibitively expensive, mainly due to their complexity and the low volume of users, similar to the early days of the mobile phone market, where phones were the sizes of bricks and calls cost a fortune. At QUB with the support of three EPSRC projects from 1998 to 2010, we have developed highly novel self steered antennas, which have the capability of "pointing" to a satellite within milliseconds. These antennas use simple analogue circuits, unlike current tracking antennas which either rely on complicated digital circuits, which consume a lot of power, or require heavy motorised steering mechanisms. That is why there has never been a simple, lightweight, low powered satellite broadband antenna on the market. The Follow on fund will allow us to produce a prototype self steered antenna, that will operate with the Inmarsat BGAN system. It will allow a user to "switch on and surf" with a simple, lightweight user terminal, that will find and track the satellite, even in on moving vehicle. The resultant prototype will be simple enough to enter the market at reasonable cost, opening up many markets for truly worldwide satellite broadband. During the project our in house commercialisation team will run a targeted marketing campaign to highlight this massive opportunity to potential licensees of the technology, and work closely with the companies and service providers, who are already partnering with us in the project, to ensure the resulting solution fits market needs
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.qub.ac.uk