A Jamaican is leading the technical team at an American satellite service company that will make the World Wide Web truly worldwide, by making connectivity possible from even the most remote parts of the world whether land, sea or air.
Dr Charles Anthony Barnett, a Cornwall College old boy, is flying the Jamaican flag as senior vice-president of engineering at Maryland-based Hughes Network Systems which is working with the “OneWeb” system to bring hitherto unseen broadband speeds to unserved and under-served communities.
Hughes Network, a wholly-owned subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation, described the OneWeb system as one of the most advanced and complex low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations.
“When complete, the OneWeb constellation of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites will offer high speed, low latency connectivity globally — over the water, in the air and across places that were previously unconnectable, such as the polar regions,” said Dr Barnett, who has been with Hughes for over 30 years.
Under a contract with OneWeb, Hughes is developing and producing the gateway electronics and the core modules which will be used in every terminal on the system. As OneWeb launches more satellites, Hughes conducts testing and verification of the gateways that are deployed,” Barnett explained.
“That requires ground segments, terminal segments, billing segments, all working together. Our job is to make sure it all works,” Hughes quoted Dr Barnett as saying in a press statement about the breakthrough.
The operation requires an elite team of Hughes engineers to track and sync satellites in real time and perform far more complex problem-solving than ever before. It is this team that Barnett heads.