Satcom Direct installs SD Plane Simple Ka-band terminal prototype


Satcom Direct (SD) has completed the installation of the first Plane Simple Ka-band antenna on a business jet.

The prototype terminal was mounted on the company’s Gulfstream G550. Using the tail-mount antenna and SD Modem Unit components, the terminal is testing the hardware’s compatibility with Inmarsat’s inflight broadband service Jet ConneX, powered by its Global Xpress constellation.

“Like SD, our aim is to give customers best-in-class consistent, global coverage, now and in the future, said Kai Tang, head of Business Aviation, Inmarsat. “We anticipate that SD hardware technology, combined with our enhanced next-generation satellite network, will reinforce our position as the premium connectivity experience for SD customers.”

The Plane Simple Ka-band antenna is the second terminal in the SD Plane Simple antenna series and is functioning under an aircraft-specific supplemental type certificate (STC). The company will validate the prototype during regular flight operations, with the data used to finalise the design.

Chris Moore, president, Satcom Direct said: “We have a long-standing relationship with Inmarsat, having evolved numerous connectivity services together to deliver superior experiences to users. We are excited to begin on-wing testing with them.

In-service client evaluation is due to commence in Q4 2023, with the subsequent STCs also to be confirmed by the end of this year.