Future of Connectivity

In-flight Connectivity: Satellite Constellation will make inflight wifi better to improve passenger experience

The Future of Connectivity for Aeronautics

In-flight connectivity

Satellite connectivity is typically the preferred method for airlines to keep their passengers connected while flying long-distance. However, for short- and medium-haul flights, next-generation air-to-ground connectivity can be offered via cell towers. The ATG antenna kit is a lighter and smaller alternative to broadband satellite terminals.

According to a survey conducted by Intelsat, 65% of airlines and service providers think that the number of in-flight connectivity users will increase in the future. That is why, in order to stay ahead of the competition, airlines around the world need to develop effective in-flight connectivity solutions that will meet the varying needs of their passengers. These include providing a better passenger experience and ensuring reliable and secure connectivity. A managed service can help airlines provide these features and solutions. It can include everything from onboard systems to operational support.

Never ever think of giving up. Winners never quit and quitters never win. Take all negative words out of your mental dictionary and focus on the solutions with utmost conviction and patience. The battle is never lost until you’ve abandon your vision.

The challenge with large bound connectivity with satellites: Geostationary

The antennas of geostationary satellites are much heavier than the small ones, unlike LEO satellites that are of small stature. In fact, to equip a plane you have to put $200,000 (purchase of equipment) + weight on the plane (overconsumption) + slightly degrades the air penetration coefficient (overconsumption) + DATA cost. Overall, there’s a significant cost in choosing a geostationary satellite.

New in-flight broadband coming soon!

Jet Connex Satellite

Source: Collins Aerospace

According to IFExpress, from early next year, a new in-flight broadband terminal will be available for the business aviation market through a partnership between Inmarsat and Orbit Communication Systems: a new compact and lightweight terminal for Inmarsat’s market-leading Jet ConneX (JX) inflight broadband solution.

The advanced system is compatible with a wide range of business jets from super mid-size to large cabin platforms and consists of only two line replaceable units (LRUs) consisting of a modem manager (MODMAN) and tail-mounted antenna. 

The simplified architecture is optimized for efficient installation and reduced weight, helping to reduce environmental impact.

A brighter future for LEO

Kymeta, a leading global provider of flat panel antennas for mobile communications, and OneWeb, LEO satellite communications company, have partnered to deliver broadband connectivity services globally.

Through this partnership, OneWeb’s LEO satellite network will provide Kymeta’s customers with high-speed connectivity while they’re traveling or stationary.

Kymeta’s mobile terminals are ideal for military, government, and enterprise customers. They feature a fully integrated design and are designed to provide high-speed in-flight and on-ground connectivity.

OneWeb’s connectivity will complement Kymeta’s existing broadband geostationary orbit (GEO) and 4G cellular offerings.

Through this partnership, Kymeta will be able to resell OneWeb’s mobile hardware and wireline solutions to its end customers.

Oneweb LEO satellite

Source: SpaceNews

Moreover, according to runwaygirlnetwork’s press release, SKYTRAC Systems (SKYTRAC), a global leader in satellite communications (Satcom) and intelligent connectivity solutions, was announced in the first week of April 2022 its long-term plans to launch a new globally available satellite constellation, SKYTRAC Odyssey.

The SkyTRAC Odyssey satellite constellation will operate in the Lower Earth Orbit, which will allow operators to receive and interpret latency.

SKYTRAC Odyssey will utilize the Ka-band.

Why Ka-band?

To enable:

• higher data rates,

• smaller antennas,

• narrower beams,

• greater cybersecurity.

These are the decisive factors for the widespread use of satellite connectivity. Although these higher frequencies are more susceptible to weather and rain fade, SKYTRAC has plans to invest in improved ground-station design, adaptive coding, and signal modulation to reduce frequency vulnerability.

Reuben Mann, Head of Marketing at SKYTRAC, said: “Launching a satellite, let alone a series of satellites, is admittedly quite an odyssey for a company of any size. 

After a thorough technical and market analysis, it was apparent that the cost of launching a satellite constellation would ultimately be a worthwhile investment in the future of Canadian aerospace. LEO concepts play an important role in meeting the increased demand for low latency connectivity, a trend we don’t see shifting anytime soon.”

To conclude...

The technology and proximity of LEO satellites can provide higher speed and lower latency connections to everyone worldwide. 

So it’s apparent that LEO is the future of satellite internet – from maritime to aviation, these satellites are quite simply transformative for global connectivity.

Our next month’s topic is about Free Connectivity on board. Stay tuned!


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