Intelsat has announced the launch of a new IFC solution for use by airline customers.
The new ESA-based solution is the first in a new line of multi-orbit terminals developed by Intelsat with the capability to interoperate with Intelsat’s established geostationary satellites (GEO) in addition to the new Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) or Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites.
The new terminal fits a variety of aircraft and mission profiles ranging from the smallest commercial aircraft to international widebody aircraft. Standing just 3½ inches (90mm) high on the fuselage, it delivers operational savings driven by a low-profile installation that reduces drag, fuel burn and carbon emissions.
The antenna’s first-of-its-kind solid-state design provides reliability for aircraft operators and relies on mature Electronically Scanned Array Antenna technology from Ball Aerospace, while leveraging design and integration partner, Stellar Blu Solutions,’ modular design that will offer simplified maintenance, access and improved reliability.
Commenting on the new terminal, Intelsat’s SVP, Commercial Aviation, Dave Bijur, said: “We’ve always been a leader in revolutionary aero terminal design and integration; our 2Ku antenna remains the market leader and we’re now complementing the line-up with this new option.”
He added: “The Intelsat terminal not only provides the most flexible solution for customers but is built for the true multi-orbit operation which will outperform emerging competitors that are using smaller ESA solutions capable of working solely on LEO networks.”
Intelsat anticipates a first installation on a CRJ-700 in late 2022, with production installations to occur roughly a year later.
“One thing we’re hearing consistently is that our airline partners demand a provider that’s got substantial aeronautical expertise and depth. With Ball Aerospace and Stellar Blu at our side, we know the Intelsat package puts airlines in a winning position,” Bijur concluded.