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Atheras Analytics Year In Review
John Yates, Managing Director


We celebrated our third anniversary at Atheras Analytics in 2023 and, looking back, it’s been a pivotal year for the company. Our team, now numbering 10 has increased in strength with talented and experienced new hires and we are finishing the year strong. We have taken strides forward as our AI-based, SaaS-delivered software tools are being deployed and we are seeing the real impact of our innovation in the field. Interest in the company has increased significantly and we are preparing ourselves for a busy and exciting 2024.  

The team spent the last year bringing our unique and ground-breaking technology to market, which solves a problem that Ka- and Q/V-band satellite operators are only too familiar with — mitigating the negative effects of the weather.

In C- and Ku-band networks, atmospheric impairments are easily tackled using traditional fade mitigation technology, such as fade margin, ACM and uplink power control. However, in higher bands such as Ka and Q/V, there is not only a higher susceptibility to these impairments but the HTS satellites using these bands require multiple gateways, both primary and diversity, to support these powerful payloads leading to significant ground segment costs. 

Our  SGD Design Tool employs Smart Gateway Diversity (SGD) techniques and applies our Outage Prediction Algorithm (OPA) to five years of historic weather data to optimize ground network design and reduce ground segment costs by 30 to 40%, while maintaining network availability at the levels required by our customers.

The SGD Operational Tool uses AI-techniques to enable operators to pro- actively manage simple two-station diversity gateways and more complex Smart Gateway Diversity (SGD) arrangements by predicting outages up to six hours ahead, analyzing link availability predictions at primary and diversity gateways and providing traffic switching messages (via an API) which can then be executed either manually or automatically before outages occur.

SGD Design Tool

The ARTES Award

The reliability and accuracy of our tools is a top priority for us and, with this in mind, earlier this year we applied for — and won — an important European Space Agency (ESA) Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) development contract.

Called TEMPESTAS, the 18-month project will enable us to further improve our ability to accurately predict weather related outages for multi-gateway Ka-band and Q-/V-band satellite networks by supplementing our enhanced weather predictions with radar-data.

This is a vital requirement as these networks have become essential to deliver HTS and Very High Throughput Satellites (VHTS) services across the globe. Satellite operator SES supports this development by providing Ka-band link propagation data and hosting the radar at their teleport sites, where possible.

The project will be carried out under the ARTES Competitiveness & Growth program, with the support of the UK Space Agency and will enable us to further improve the efficacy of our product and service for the satellite industry.

SGD Operational Tool

Multi-Orbit Developments

In October, we attended the Ka-Band conference in Bradford where one of our SATCOM engineers, Pablo Martinez de Tejada, presented a paper on the extension of our algorithm to evaluate the different link geometries for use with non-GEO networks.

This is an important evolution as the industry gravitates toward multi-orbit constellations in higher frequencies where weather is a challenging issue and can lead to loss of service.

ARTES—artistic rendition courtesy of ESA.

The paper presented by Pablo introduces the basis of Atheras’ NGSO Design Tool, particularly focusing on our enhanced Outage Prediction Algorithm (NGSO- OPA). This development will enhance system reliability and efficiency on the design and operational phase of NGSO ground segment developments.

The concepts featured within the tool are essential for the future and the implementation of Smart Gateway Diversity approaches to NGSO networks. The team’s future research will focus on developing algorithms to further optimize satellite communication system performance and simulate the network operations.

Engage Atheras From The Start

From a satellite or ground network operators’ perspective it is crucial to apply the SGD design principles from the start if the considerable cost savings and network availability gains are to be realized.

Atheras Analytics is an expert in applying Smart Gateway Diversity techniques using our AI-based Outage Production Algorithm and we are looking forward to working with clients in 2024 and empowering customer networks even when they are affected by something we ultimately have so little control over — the weather!