Satcom Direct completed the installation of the first Plane Simple® Ka-band antenna on the company’s Gulfstream G550. The prototype terminal, consisting of only two line-replaceable units (LRUs) – the tail-mount antenna and SD Modem Unit – is testing the advanced technology hardware’s compatibility with Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX inflight broadband service.
The Stellar Blu fuselage-mounted, Electronically Steered Array (ESA) terminal is designed to retrofit executive airliners to support a full suite of connectivity services. Satcom Direct will be responsible for selling and activating the airtime, customer service, cybersecurity monitoring and additional value-added services associated with airtime plans to Sidewinder terminal customers
Twenty-five years ago engineer Jim Jensen started Satcom Direct from a beach house on the Florida coast, with just six colleagues. His mission: to transparently connect business aircraft in flight, to the ground. He had spotted a growing gap in aviation communications noting that existing systems enabling phone calls between jets and callers necessitated multiple companies, generating numerous bills, from locations all around the world, and even then connection to the right person wasn’t guaranteed. The system was untenable.
Satcom Direct announced the qualification of the Satcom Direct Plane Simple™ Antenna System on the Intelsat FlexExec network in January this year. The verification follows months of diligent testing and optimization by both companies and confirms that the first network integrated SD Plane Simple terminal, designed exclusively for business aviation, is fully compatible with the world’s first dedicated network capacity for business aviation, the Intelsat FlexExec service.