SD opens hardware manufacturing facility


Satcom Direct (SD) has opened a new engineering and production facility in Ottawa, Canada, citing a shift in the aviation industry towards digitisation, and demand for hardware that provides robust connectivity.

SD provides business and government aircraft with equipment including cabin routers, datalink units and handsets. The facility has been designed to meet and exceed growing demand and set new standards for hardware and manufacturing within the industry.

The Ottawa-based team is also responsible for the ongoing development, and subsequent manufacturing, of the SD Plane Simple antenna terminal systems, in partnership with Germany-based QEST.

The collaboration is working on an antenna series including a Ku-band and Ka-band dual-variant tail-mounted antenna; an electronically steered, fuselage-mounted, phased-array antenna; and a Certus hardware solution to support the global Iridium NEXT network. The antennas will enable connectivity for all sizes of aircraft.

The facility’s engineering laboratories, thermal and electromagnetic chambers and production workshops are also equipped to produce and repair in-service hardware, including SDR cabin routers.

The SD Ottawa facility

The SD Ottawa facility

“Our investment reflects SD’s commitment to supporting pioneering product development, technical expertise and quality manufacturing processes,” said Joanne Walker, general manager at SD Ottawa.

The facility has already achieved AS9100 certification for its design, process and manufacturing capabilities.

The campus is located on Canada’s largest technology park, Kanata North, which has a long history of developing products for the communications industry.

“Moving to this outstanding technology hub locates us amongst like-minded companies and will have the added benefit of attracting the right type of qualified professionals to work with us, which is essential for continued success,” said Jim Jensen, CEO and founder of SD. “The investment in the infrastructure and people ensures we continue delivering powerful solutions to enhance aviation operations globally.”

The announcement follows news about the upgrade of SD’s NOC at its global headquarters in Melbourne, Florida.

SD’s ambition is to transform business aviation connectivity by delivering an ecosystem integrating avionics, software, ground infrastructure and cybersecurity services with award-winning customer support.

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Izzy has been part of the Business Jet Interiors International team since its second issue, and the editor since 2011. She also edits Auditoria and Railway Interiors International. Outside of work, Izzy is rediscovering her love of art by learning how to paint with watercolors.

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