Rockwell Collins to develop OneWeb satellite terminals

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Earth as seen from spaceRockwell Collins has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with OneWeb to be the exclusive developer and provider of satellite communication terminals for OneWeb’s global aviation high-speed broadband service.

Rockwell Collins will also be an authorised Value Added Reseller (VAR) of OneWeb connectivity services.

OneWeb is building a constellation of more than 600 low earth orbiting (LEO) satellites that, when launched, will be the largest telecommunications constellation, providing approximately 10 terabits per second of low-latency, high-speed broadband to people around the globe.

The communication satellites will operate in the Ku band, with 20 satellites operating in each of 20 different orbital planes to provide consistent coverage.

Kent Statler, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Commercial Systems for Rockwell Collins, said: “This collaboration is a significant next step in our information management and connectivity journey.

“By working with OneWeb to bring unprecedented bandwidth and connectivity speed to the aviation industry, we’re strategically positioned to rapidly change the way airlines operate and to provide passengers with a connected experience that mirrors their daily lives.”

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Under the agreement, OneWeb will team with Rockwell Collins to develop and certify the satcom terminals, which will use electronically scanned array (ESA) antenna technology developed by Rockwell Collins’ Advanced Technology Center.

Rockwell Collins says using rapid beam movement and reconfigurable antenna patterns, ESA antennas provide high levels of performance to ensure that aircraft stay connected during flight.

“The antenna is a fraction of the size and weight of a traditional airborne satcom antenna, which means significant long-term cost savings for airlines from reduced fuel consumption,” said John Borghese, vice president, Advanced Technology Center for Rockwell Collins.

“In addition, the unique design and scalability of our Ku-band ESA technology matched with the OneWeb network opens up possibilities to enable connectivity in other markets beyond aerospace.”

“Our mission is to enable affordable Internet access for everyone,” said Greg Wyler, CEO and Founder of OneWeb Ltd.

“While the primary goal is to bridge the digital divide for rural areas, we are excited to be supporting the connectivity needs for aviation. Market availability will align with our system deployment plans. The antenna itself, being so small and rugged, will support many applications beyond aviation.”

 

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