Satcom Direct is to test its Plane Simple Ku-band tail-mount antenna on the SD Dassault Falcon 2000LX. The company has already been testing the antenna on the SD Gulfstream G350.
The company said the antenna on the G350 has performed beyond expectations, demonstrating the system’s ability to enable a broadband experience during some 100-plus flights. The addition of the Dassault platform to the validation process will double testing capacity to give direct comparative feedback about the system’s full capabilities.
“Adding a second platform will serve to further verify the benefits of integrating the new advanced technology antenna with the already proven SD ecosystem of hardware, software and terrestrial infrastructure,” said Chris Moore, SD president of business aviation.
“Our mission is to analyse the performance and deliver a powerful, reliable, validated, connectivity solution to our early adopter customers,” Moore continued. “The dual testing on two very distinct aircraft platforms demonstrates our commitment to providing seamless end-to-end connectivity for a wider selection of aircraft types than ever before. Ahead of in-service evaluation with customers, which is slated to begin in the third quarter of 2021, it also provides us with the opportunity to generate our first commercial STC, which will support installation for Falcon 2000 owners worldwide.”
Further STCs are due to follow before the end of 2021.
Installation of the Plane Simple dual-variant antenna is taking place at the Dassault Falcon Jet facility in Little Rock, Arkansas. Aerial validation on the Falcon 2000LX should begin in July 2021. It is expected to confirm the terminal’s functionality across the Intelsat FlexExec network; stress the system by using simultaneous, multiple high-bandwidth applications; and verify its capabilities across a range of flight dynamics.
“We are focused on developing products for the business aviation community that have been designed specifically for the unique requirements of the sector,” said Moore. “We are not repurposing existing technology but using our experience as business aviators to bring a series of antennas to market that will meet the demanding needs of our business, military and government aviation customers.”
The Plane Simple Ku-band antenna is the first in a series of antenna systems being developed by SD in partnership with Germany-based QEST Quantenelektronische Systeme. Once activated the terminal will support the Intelsat FlexExec Ku-band service, which has been designed specifically to support business aviation operator needs.