Satcom Direct is expanding its hardware portfolio with Dual Dissimilar terminal capabilities. The technology equips an aircraft with the Plane Simple Ku- and Ka-band tail-mount antennas (Dual) to support two different satellite constellations (Dissimilar).
The company said the technology would enable customers to leverage the best aspects of each network to deliver full redundancy and ensure uninterrupted consistent global connectivity.
Successful validation of the Dual Dissimilar service has been taking place on the Satcom Direct Gulfstream G550 during daily operations. Building on initial positive results, in January the G550 completed a transatlantic route from Rotterdam Airport in The Netherlands to Melbourne in Florida. During the nearly 10-hour flight, 40 devices optimised constant coverage for video streaming, avionics, onboard entertainment, and multiple applications for airframe and personal devices.
The company said the doubling of antennas also increases the amount of data that can be transmitted to and from the aircraft and, consequently, the bandwidth available – enhancing digital communications, aircraft performance monitoring and crew operations support for both the avionics and cabin wi-fi. Data can also be prioritised to chosen passenger devices.
“We know that aircraft owners are already installing more than one connectivity solution on their aircraft to satisfy the growing requirement for consistent data for passengers and crew,” said Jim Jensen, CEO and founder of Satcom Direct. “As Satcom Direct’s Plane Simple antenna series is the industry’s first network-agnostic connectivity solution, we can add real value for our customers choosing the Dual Dissimilar option. We purpose-built the technology on modular, scalable open architecture, which means that in the future, customers will have access to the best available network services to meet their mission requirements. When integrated with our hardware, software, airtime services and infrastructure, customers can acquire, manage, upgrade and troubleshoot all their connectivity services with just one phone call. Our cohesive offering futureproofs the aircraft for software and satellite advancements, making staying connected much more convenient, cost-effective and simple.”
The Dual Dissimilar technology will be integrated with each satellite partner’s network infrastructure and Network Operations Center (NOC). This is to give the SD NOC clear visibility into network and data behaviour, enabling the team to predict any potential service interruption, communicate it to the network partner, and resolve it, to ensure the aircraft connection is unaffected.
The option is anticipated to be available for purchase when the Plane Simple Ka-band tail-mount antenna is commercially introduced in Q4 2023. Large jets, or any business jet airframe that can support two Plane Simple terminals, will be able to optimise the new technology.