ViaSat Inc. has shipped its 500th VR-12 Ku-band airborne satellite antenna. This ultra-small satcom antenna, together with ViaSat ArcLight technology, has, the company claims, been the workhorse for hundreds of military and general aviation uses on light airframes.
Among the notable VR-12 airframe systems, according to an official release, is the “hatch mount” version, an integrated antenna system and radome package that drops into the escape hatch of a C-130 aircraft. This modular shipset provides a roll-on, roll-off capability that reportedly enables quick configuration of any C-130 for satellite communications. Other installations include tail mounts for the PC-12 (U-28), commercial Gulfstream, and other planes, and a fuselage mount for government MC-12W aircraft.
Bucking the trends for larger antenna designs, the company claims, the ultra-small 30 cm aperture of the VR-12, positioner mechanism, and RF electronics, along with a companion ViaSat airborne modem, delivers upwards of 2.5 Mbps continuously on Ku-band satellite networks.
“The small VR-12 footprint has been a key to achieving so many successful Ku-band installations,” said Paul Baca, GM, ViaSat Global Mobile Broadband. “As more Ka-band satellites become operational, we plan to offer a new VR-12 Ka antenna with an identical footprint as a new configuration option.”