ThinKom Solutions is supplying its ThinAir Ka2517 satellite antenna to GDC Technics. The antenna has been chosen to support the next-generation GX terminal and associated inflight broadband services from Inmarsat.
Inmarsat’s selection of ThinKom’s low-profile Ka-band phased-array antenna was the culmination of more than 18 months of collaboration and field testing by ThinKom and GDC.
The Ka2517 will serve as an enabling technology underpinning Inmarsat’s GX Aviation broadband satellite inflight connectivity (IFC) solutions, including the new GX+ North American IFC service announced by Inmarsat and Hughes Network Systems earlier in 2020.
The Ka2517 antenna is based on ThinKom’s patented VICTS technology. VICTS antennas have accumulated over 18 million operational hours on more than 1,550 commercial aircraft, with a mean-time-between-failure (MTBF) of more than 100,000 hours.
ThinKom’s low-profile radome is designed to minimise drag and reduce fuel usage. The VICTS antenna was developed to provide great spectral efficiency and throughput, as well as uninterrupted pole-to-pole connectivity at extremely high and low elevation angles. In addition, the antenna is designed to have very low power consumption, translating into very low heat generation inside the radome, enabling uninterrupted gate-to-gate operation even during high ambient temperatures with full solar loading.
“The Ka2517 antenna fully complies with new regulatory requirements, including WRC-19 EISM and ITU Article 22, ensuring non-interference with terrestrial 5G cellular networks or with GEO satellites when being used on NGSO networks,” said Bill Milroy, chairman and chief technical officer at ThinKom Solutions. “It also offers the switching speeds and agility to interoperate seamlessly with new multilayered GEO, HEO and NGSO satellite networks.”
GDC’s next-generation IFC terminals with ThinKom’s antennas have received an STC on B737-700 aircraft. GDC has planned a full range of STCs in early 2021 for the A320 family, additional B737 models and B787 and B777 aircraft.