The SD antenna system is coming into the airborne check part
Satcom Direct (SD) has begun in-flight testing of its specially designed Ku-band aft antenna system a year after the company launched its Plane Simple Satcom antenna systems.
The transition from development to soil assessment to the air testing phase aims to validate the full capabilities of the Ku-band terminal. In-flight trials will also confirm the system’s integration into the SD ecosystem of hardware, software and supporting ground infrastructure.
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The antenna, now fitted with SD’s Gulfstream aircraft, will be pushed to its limits, providing empirical feedback on its functionality in an air environment.
“It is our corporate philosophy to always bring products to market that we have validated in-house, and we are in a unique position to be able to run systems tests on our own aircraft, which gives us direct performance feedback,” said Jim Jensen. Founder and CEO at SD. “Antenna validation is the next step in becoming a one-stop provider of end-to-end connectivity solutions to businesses and government operators worldwide that will optimize the connectivity owner experience and customer support.”
The air tests follow the completion of intensive propulsion tests in Melbourne, Florida using a customized mobile platform.
SD’s investment in the hardware line is designed to satisfy the business aviation industry’s appetite for flexible, reliable, and affordable connectivity solutions. The Plane Simple stern antenna system supports super-mid- to large-size jets and is being developed in cooperation with QEST, a specialist in aviation antennas based in Germany.
“Aviation is moving towards a digital industry and data is the foundation for making informed decisions for operations, finance and maintenance,” said Jensen. “It is important that we can offer high-performance connectivity solutions to a much wider business aviation audience that also support improved data management and analytics. The start of our in-flight tests within one year of the announcement of the hardware expansion shows how committed we are to meeting these market requirements. “
The Plane Simple Ku-band antenna is the first in a series of antenna systems being developed by SD. As a manufacturer and service provider with added value for Iridium Certus, SD also develops and manufactures a Plane Simple antenna system that is compatible with Iridium’s new network offering and also offers the service directly for business aviation.
The company intends to launch a Ka-band variant of the stern-mount antenna in 2022, followed by an electronically controlled, fuselage-mounted phased array antenna that will enable high-speed connections over upcoming LEO constellations.