A new flat-panel connectivity antenna has been developed by SD Avionics and QEST Quantenelektronische. It is available exclusively through SD for business, military and governmental aircraft.
The electronically steered phased-array antenna system aims to be the smallest and most efficient form factor, bringing high-speed connectivity to a wider range of aircraft. Compatible satellite network constellations will be announced in 2019.
It is intended for small- to mid-size jets, where a tail-mounted antenna solution is not an option. Scalable and modular, the flat panel system conforms to the size and shape requirements of an individual aircraft fuselage.
SD Avionics is working with aircraft OEMs on product specification and development, targeting product launch in late 2020. Once available, the antenna system will become part of SD Xperience, bringing technology compatible with LEO and GEO satellite networks operating in multiple frequency bands to the portfolio. A conceptual light jet prototype is available for viewing at SD’s NBAA booth and static display.
“We are committed to providing global connectivity solutions across the business aviation sector,” said Jim Jensen, founder and CEO of SD. “The introduction of this flat-panel antenna will enable an even greater selection of connectivity options for a wider range of platforms around the world. Our investment means more passengers, crew and flight departments will access reliable, secure connectivity to support their day-to-day operations.”
“Partnering with SD has enabled a dynamic development approach combining technical ingenuity with years of business aviation experience to help formulate a product that we know the market will welcome,” said Dr Joerg Oppenlaender, chief technology officer at QEST. “We wanted to create technology to substantially improve connectivity access within the general aviation marketplace and working with Satcom Direct has enabled us to do this. We know the segment will benefit as a result.”