Norsat exhibited at OilComm and FleetComm 2018 between October 3 – 4, 2018 in Houston, Texas. As a large number of organizations have transitioned to a data-driven approach, the focus of the event this year was how to merge new technologies to business. There was a special emphasis on the impact of automation and machine-learning, cyber-security business cases, and IT/OT convergence strategies. Norsat showcased our latest satellite communications solutions at OilComm 2018 to meet the needs of the increasingly connected business workforce.

Every year, OilComm, FleetComm hosts a conference session and panel discussion highlighting the innovative new products being featured at the show. The exciting aspect this year was Norsat’s participation in the panel discussion on ‘The Evolution of Hardware at the Edge: Exploring Satellite/Wireless Integration, Plug-And-Play, and Investing in Innovation’. Norsat’s VP – Sales & Marketing Mr. Brian Donnelly addressed the question – How will the physical assets of mobile communications networks evolve alongside more powerful and integrated connectivity services and applications? Hardware manufacturers are adapting to the Industry 4.0 era and preparing for the possibility of merging connectivity services. Considering this, the panel explored how manufacturers are trying to make the integration of their products more customized, seamless and adaptive on their own, like Norsat’s ATOM Series of Block Upconverters and WAYFARER Series of commercial satellite terminals. There was also a discussion on the need for smaller and lighter BUCs and terminals. Besides the threat of data security, the panel concluded that manufacturers are increasingly open to invest in acquiring innovation through new start-ups. This was a great prelude to OilComm’ s very first Startup Space Entrepreneur Pitch Contest.

On the exhibitor floor and during conference sessions, the recurring discussion theme was changing antenna technology for specific applications in oil and gas, especially Flat Panel Phased arrays vs Parabolic antennas. Norsat threw light on evolving RF equipment and integration of DMR services with satellite to provide a ‘multi-technology solution’ for the industry. At the booth, Norsat’s’ WAYFARER fly-away terminal was on display. Visitors were impressed with the one-backpack solution and liked the fact that we had aperture sizes from .9m to 1.8m with a superior quality carbon fiber reflector at a competitive price point. We also had our new Maritime Naval Series brochure on display for FleetComm attendees, which was well received.

During the second day of the show, there was a lot of discussion around LEO/MEO constellations and their relevance in satellite communications today. High-throughput satellites (HTS) within a GEO satellite network send signals that take a quarter of a second to reach their destination. For TV broadcasts, GEO satellite latency does not make a difference. However, for applications that require real-time responsiveness, such as military communications, oil and gas, trading, lower latency is required. LEO and MEO satellite networks are closer to the earth (hundreds of miles) than GEOs (22,236 miles), which means the latency is lower, and are going to play a greater role in the years to come.

OilComm and FleetComm 2018 served as a great platform to interact with customers, have in-depth conversations on their applications and needs, and discuss future industry trends. Major players in energy, maritime, and transportation communities joined together to learn about the capabilities of next-generation communication technologies.