Norsat has been working with the Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) since 2009, when we provided a satellite communication link for the Army during a European Union peace-keeping mission in Chad. Since then we’ve expanded the network to include Navy and Air Force and improved the quality of the network, providing a more reliable service, and reducing operating costs. This case study documents the results of our work with FDF, and provides a template for other organizations looking for cost effective, remote network communication solutions. For the full case study, please click here.
We all know that despite our best laid plans, sometimes things can go wrong. Read the following scenarios to find you why you should have USB recovery!
You find yourself on the graveyard shift all alone. It’s the middle of the night so you decide to learn more about your satellite system. After opening up its GUI, you spend some time exploring the various options and tabs. Unexpectedly, the system crashes. You retrace your steps, wondering which button you could have pressed or where you went wrong. You restart the system and attempt to find the correct profile- but you can’t remember what it was. What do you do in this situation?
You were required to send your terminal ahead of your field force. Although the depot is secure, it is possible that someone could access your system and discover which satellites you are utilizing and at which frequencies. For security reasons, you ship them set to their factory defaults and rely on your field force to program them upon arrival on site. They have been trained and they have instructions, but their arrival has been delayed. The communications are needed now so you will have to remotely train whoever is available. Shouldn’t there be a better way?
You must add another profile and configuration to all 20 of your systems. How do you ensure that they are configured rapidly, effectively and consistently across the board?
Answer: USB Recovery!
USB Recovery acts as your personal technical support resource which will set up, repair or reconfigure your system. It allows you to reset your system to your own unique default settings. USB recovery ensures that the right profiles are loaded into your terminal and that the system is configured correctly each time, eliminating human error.
Norsat’s USB Recovery feature is standard on GlobeTrekker and Rover terminals. Simple to use, this feature gives you confidence that your terminals can be deployed and configured to your specifications.
NAB is one of the biggest and most diverse tradeshows that we attend, and this year was another great opportunity to mix and mingle with customer and partners. We appreciated the chance to say hello, show off some of newest and most exciting products and hear your thoughts on what’s going on in the industry.
This year we showcased some of our newly released microwave products at NAB, including a multi-band 9000 series Ka LNB. Customer feedback on the importance of a standard product that supports a number of frequencies from a single unit underlined the need for these kind of products, and we look forward to developing this line further to aid in the roll-out of Ka-based services. We also displayed our ROVER satellite terminal, which was well received by broadcasters looking for an easy to use flyaway terminal with flexible connectivity options from a single unit.
Thanks to those who stopped by our booth, and for your kind words about our product reliability and performance- it’s always good to hear from you! For those who missed the chance to give feedback face to face (positive or negative!), we invite you to take our short online customer survey, which is open until April 30th 2013.
PS-All surveys submitted are entered into a draw for $250 Amazon gift card, so make sure you enter today!
Norsat has been working with the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI) since 2008, when we receive a repayable contribution towards our Research and Development program. Through this funding we were able to develop over 20 products for the microwave and satellite markets, including the new GLOBETrekker 2.0.
This past week we announced a new contribution from SADI, which will be used to further our R&D work, develop new collaborative relationships with university researchers, and strengthen our ties with the local businesses who supply us with components that go into our technology.
We were pleased to host the Honourable Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Associate Minister of National Defence, and MP for Richmond, Delta East last Friday as she made the announcement at a media event. This event, hosted jointly with Industry Canada, was well attended by Norsat’s partners, Industry Canada representatives and various media. The Minister spoke to the strength of the SADI program and Canada’s manufacturing industry, and was positive about what Norsat has achieved through SADI funding thus far.
From all of us at Norsat, we thank Minister Findlay for joining us, and the government of Canada for investing in our technology. We look forward to making you proud!
Spring is trade show season at Norsat, and this year we’re going to some great events. If you’re attending Marine West, CABSAT, Satellite or NAB 2013, make sure you stop by the Norsat booth to say hello, see our latest technology on display or speak with one of our communications experts. Please contact us to set up a meeting during any of these shows, or see below for more details.
Marine West 2013
Location: Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, CA
Date: Feb 13-14, 2013
Marine West showcases the latest technology and prototypes aimed at preparing today’s Marines for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st Century. Norsat will be demonstrating our most rugged and field proven satellite terminals, ideal for mission critical military communications. Join us at booth 537 or contact us to arrange a meeting.
Location: Dubai, UAE, Dubai World Trade Centre
Booth: B2-42, Hall 2
Date: March 12 – 14, 2013
CABSAT is the most well established and respected trade platform for the broadcast, digital media and satellite sectors across the Middle East, Africa and Southern Asian regions. We will be demonstrating a fly-away ROVER satellite terminal with full SNG capabilities, so join us to take a look at what’s new and speak with our local sale representative. Registration is free, so click here to sign up today
Location: Washington DC,Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Date: March 19-21, 2013
The Satellite 2013 Exhibition brings together thousands of communications professionals in the satellite community to explore next generation products and technology, including Norsat’s latest and greatest offerings. We will display our newly re-designed and upgraded GLOBETrekker™ 2.0, demonstrate our brand new M2M Solution, Sentinel RMC, and showcase the latest microwave technology. Use VIP Code NOR253 to register for Satellite 2013 for FREE, or contact us to set up a meeting.
Location: Las Vegas Convention Center, Nevada
Date: April 8 -11, 2013
NAB brings together the widest variety of communications industry players, who come for creative inspiration and to learn about next-generation technologies. Norsat will be displaying a variety of cutting edge broadcast equipment and service options at NAB, so register now to join us..
Our customer support engineers work tirelessly to ensure your communications and connectivity needs are met anytime and anywhere. We could list dozens of examples of their great work, but a recent success with a short notice request from a Public Affairs detachment with the US Military is worth shouting about.
The Problem: The detachment had a Norsat fly-away terminal and needed to conduct an HD broadcast from Tonga back to Atlanta, but unfortunately their terminal didn’t have standard DVB-S, and we couldn’t rely on the existing broadcast infrastructure in Tonga. Additionally, there were no satellites that would cover Tonga and Norsat, or a teleport operated by the customer. The public affairs detachment reached out to our customer service team with a 48 hour deadline for broadcast and the team quickly began searching for a creative solution.
Our Solution: The team determined that they could get airtime and land a teleport in Australia, so they prepared a care package consisting of a Radyne modem (to communicate with the fly-away terminal), a frequency converter, and a Cisco Router. The Cisco router was configured to provide internet connectivity to the terminal, and allow the HD content to be streamed over the internet to the customer’s Hub in Atlanta Georgia. The configuration also initiated a VPN tunnel back to Norsat HQ so that customer service could remote control the entire system from Vancouver, reducing the chances of a problem in Australia.
The entire kit was assembled in a single fly-away rack chassis, integrated and pre-cabled so that in Sydney they simply had to connect the equipment to power, Ethernet, and the two RF cables. The rest was handled by Norsat customer service.
The Result: When the time came for the transmission, things went off without a hitch, and it was one of the smoothest HD broadcasts the customer had ever completed. Thanks to the hard to work and creative thinking of our customer service team, we had a very happy customer who was able to meet their broadcast deadline!
Our knowledgeable customer service team provides 24x7x365 Elite support for customers with critical communications needs; for more information please see the datasheet below, or contact us to learn more about Elite Support.
We’re always looking to more closely align our products with customer needs, so when a long term Norsat customer with several of our multi-band ROVER™ systems was faced with new usage requirements, we were happy to help create a solution. The customer’s initial operational requirements included short term field deployments with transmission equipment deployed in the field, however, the new operation necessitated that the encoder and computer packages be up to 100m (300ft) away from the RF equipment for extended periods of time. We got to work, taking a look at how we could solve the problems posed by the new use case.
Our off the shelf ROVER system uses copper inter-facility links (IFL), and although it’s possible to include 100m of all weather, all temperature cable, it ends up being prohibitive to carry due to the weight and awkwardness. For the field user this was clearly a no go as their field equipment was already cumbersome, and adding another large package was impossible.
Norsat’s recent experience with the DART+ led our engineering team to recommend a fiber optics package. 100m of tactical fiber is light and easy to carry and can be swapped for even longer runs when needed.
A workable solution required several components in addition to the fiber optics, and needed to be delivered on already deployed ROVER systems. Additionally, we needed to ensure the solution was simple, and wouldn’t require significant retraining for our customer’s field staff.
To provide a field upgrade-able component, we designed packages that would mount on the outdoor components and translate the fiber optics to and from L-Band signals, ensuring that the BUC and LNB could operate. In addition, we ensured that the outdoor components had a very clean clock signal at 10MHz in order to synchronize all of the messaging. A final part of the package was to feedback control data from the Satellite Acquisition Assistant to the outdoor pointing equipment. We also ensured that the currently deployed copper IFL would work exactly as it had previously.
With the electronics packages well underway the entire system needed to be examined.
In order to guarantee high quality transmission, the RF components of the system need to be tuned for consistency to ensure that both closed and open loop power monitoring are accurate
With the new Fiber Optic set-up on a multi-band Rover, the number gain settings multiplied (Fiber and Copper vs. 60W and 40W Amplifiers). To address this gain shift cleanly we upgraded the customer’s LinkControl software control system from an older version to a much improved new version. LinkControl software provides a powerful set of alignment and control tools with an intuitive GUI, and the upgrades in the new version provide a much easier to use interface.
In the customer’s legacy LinkControl version, they needed to launch a separate application for every frequency band they used. To continue using this version the customer would have needed to launch the correct application out of 4 options every time they started the system. This made an easy decision to upgrade their software.
Thanks to the improvements in LinkControl7, the user now simply selects what equipment combination they will use when creating a profile. With the profile, all of the data for a specific deployment (such as location, satellite frequency bands) can be defined before going into the field. This simple interface was pioneered during the DART+ program and has worked well for our military customers. Users now only need to have one software interface that can be set up in comfort and then deployed in the more challenging field environments.
Although our customer expressed concern about retraining and moving to a new software platform, LinkControl7’s design ensured that even with significant changes to the business logic, the user-interface is stand-alone. We were happy to provide what our customers have claimed is a seamless transition to the newer user-interface.
Quite a lot of work for a simple request! Nevertheless, our selfless engineering team put in a solid effort to have the systems prepared, tested and shipped 3 weeks ahead of schedule.
Most Norsat satellite systems are now available with fiber optics packages, and LinkControl7 software. For more information about these or other satellite solutions, please contact us.
Have you every wondered if we’re serious when we say that our satellite terminals can be easily assembled with very little training? We decided to prove ourselves by asking our very own, non-technical marketer to assemble a ROVERTM satellite terminal with a brief demo and a user manual as guidance. To see how she did, take a look at this video of the results.
We take customer feedback seriously at Norsat, and so when some of our customers mentioned difficulties with pointing their satellite terminals, we decided to find a solution: Meet the new Norsat Satellite Locator App, available for Free on the App Store. This App will assist users in locating satellites of interest, assessing obstructions and pointing satellite terminals, all from a simple iPhone interface. For more information on using the app, and its technical specifications, please click here.
We like to talk about how easy it is to assemble our satellite terminals, but now we finally have some proof! We decided to ask someone with no technical expertise to assemble a ROVER ultra-portable satellite terminal and then we documented the results. In this demonstration, we showed our very own marketer how to assemble a ROVER once, gave her a user manual and then asked her to assemble it on camera. You can take a look at a video of the results here.
In order to serve our worldwide market, we use an excellent distribution network of companies, each of which bring a wealth of cultural and market knowledge to our customers. One of our channel partners is Spectrum, a company based in China and selling into the Asia Pacific region. To learn more about Spectrum, and how they interact with Norsat, please click here.
Norsat goes social
Norsat has officially joined the world of social media and you can now find us on Twitter, YouTube and Linked In. We invite you to follow along to keep up with the latest Norsat news, product information and events, and to interact with us in real time. Feel free to send us relevant industry information or questions and we’ll do our best to respond to you right away. We look forward to socializing with you! Follow us at:
PS- Why not also follow our Sinclair Division for the latest news in Antenna & RF conditioning products:
We’ve been getting a lot of love from the media lately, so check out these outlets in this quarter’s Norsat in the News:
BC Business Magazine: Top 10 Growing Companies 2012. BC Business magazine does a yearly ranking of the province’s biggest and best public corporations, and Norsat ranked in the Top 10 fast growing companies in BC, in addition to a Top 100 ranking in biggest public corporations.
Branham300: Top 250 Canadian ICT Companies. The Branham300 list recognizes the best Canadian companies working in Information & Communication Technology, and this year we moved up this list to position 102 from last year’s rank of 139.
Business without Borders: This online magazine focusses on Canadian companies operating in export markets, and they recently included a great Norsat profile, describing our success in diversifying into new markets.
CanTech Letter : Cantech focuses on Canadian Tech Stocks, and following our strong Q2 financial results, they wrote this article predicting a great future for Norsat, including the potential for the company stock price to quadruple.
HSBC International Business Award Nomination: We’re one of just 11 finalists for this award, and we find ourselves in extremely good company. Winners will be announced at the awards gala on October 23rd 2012.