Inmarsat and Kymeta, a company that designs and commercialises metamaterials-based antennas for satellite communications, have signed an agreement to develop a satellite antenna – reportedly enabling business jets of any size to access high-speed broadband connectivity globally through Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) service.
The antenna will electronically steer the antenna beam to Inmarsat’s GX satellites without requiring power-consuming phase shifters or mechanically moving parts, reportedly reducing the overall cost and power consumption of the equipment
The proprietary Kymeta Aero Antenna will only be available to GX users.
The Kymeta Aero Antenna will be developed as a light-weight, flat-panel device, and will deliver, the company claims, a new level of broadband speeds, data rates and bandwidth not previously enjoyed by business jet customers, which will be akin to the service they receive at home or in the office.
Leo Mondale, managing director of Inmarsat Global Xpress, explained: “Over the coming 10 years, some 10,000 new business jets are forecast to enter service. In this changing world, where enhancing the productivity and effectiveness of the business executive is paramount, the need to offer constant connectivity is non-negotiable. It is this absolute requirement to keep executives connected, wherever they are, that is driving demand for solutions which support smaller aircraft. Our partnership with satellite technology specialist Kymeta will make business jet travel an even smarter and more efficient option for executives.”
“Our technology for flat-panel, beam-forming antennas will enable a number of new markets and a new generation of customers to benefit from lower-cost, high-speed satellite internet connectivity anywhere in the world,” said Vern Fotheringham, CEO of Kymeta. “We are excited to reach this milestone and engage with Inmarsat to bring next-generation broadband services into the global business aviation market.”
Jack Jacobs, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at Honeywell, said: “Honeywell prides itself on advanced technology and innovation and is pleased to support this research endeavour. We are continuously looking to help deliver the most efficient and affordable connectivity products to the industry.” This agreement reportedly complements the agreement between Inmarsat & Honeywell announced in April 2012 for GX Aviation Terminals.
Kymeta’s GX-capable antenna will be significantly lighter, the company claims, and smaller than previous satellite antennas. The device is reportedly so small and streamlined that it can be fitted to much smaller aircraft than was previously possible.
The antenna will electronically steer the antenna beam to Inmarsat’s GX satellites without requiring power-consuming phase shifters or mechanically moving parts, reportedly reducing the overall cost and power consumption of the equipment.