International Eagle, Telesat is selling LEO antenna qualification – PaxEx.Aero

A representation of the Telesat Lightspeed LEO constellation

Global Eagle is moving closer to a Ka-band connectivity solution for flight. The company recently reached an important milestone in the verification phase for the IFC Terminal Global Eagle Airconnect Ka, which is to be used with the planned LEO (Lightspeed Low Earth Orbit) (LEO) network of the Canadian satellite operator Telesat.

Our Airconnect Ka system, in conjunction with the Telesat Lightspeed network, enables passengers to play online games such as Fortnite and Roblox, create live stream videos, upload high-quality holiday pictures and videos to Instagram, and do Salesforce and Outlook tasks traversing as usual on broadband fiber while at 40,000 feet.

– Tim Southard, Vice President Networks, Global Eagle

This news follows on from Global Eagle and Telesat’s successful LEO demonstrations in October 2018. This included the first broadband-speed aircraft communication and a satellite operating in low-earth orbit. Rigorous testing in multi-orbit configurations achieved a round-trip latency of 19 ms compared to traditional geostationary satellite networks (GEO) with latency in excess of 600 ms.

A rendering of a Telesat Lightspeed LEO satellite

Mike Pigott, Executive Vice President Connectivity at Global Eagle, explains: “The achievement of this critical milestone forms the basis for the later certification of our Airconnect Ka solution for the Telesat Lightspeed constellation. Our airline customers will benefit from the extraordinary advantages of the Telesat Lightspeed network sooner and with just a few upgrades after installation. “

When the new system will be converted to official certifications or installations, however, remains open.

Global Eagle’s is not the only antenna solution that can communicate with the Telesat constellation. Thinkom also successfully carried out tests with the Phase 1 LEO satellite in the summer of 2019. This test was performed on the ground, but not in flight.

Several other providers are also developing new antenna solutions that are specially tailored to the upcoming LEO and MEO constellations or hybrid solutions.

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