Global Eagle Entertainment and QEST have unveiled their revolutionary patented three-axis steering Global Ku antenna at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany.
The companies say the antenna is the first in the market to offer truly global Ku-band connectivity, including coverage on both high latitude and equatorial flight routes.
The Global Ku antenna is a three-axis mechanically-steered array and GEE/QEST claims it offers consistent high-performance at a far greater range of elevation and skew angles than competitive systems.
Co-developed with QEST, the new antenna is designed to take full advantage of the high-speed performance offered by the upcoming generation of Ku-band High Throughput Satellites (HTS).
The design is compatible with future line-fit installations and GEE’s current certifications, allowing for upgrades from existing GEE systems. The Global Ku antenna is fully ARINC 791 compliant.
The QEST panel is thinner and lighter than existing designs. This enables the use of a three-way steering mechanism.
Aditya Chatterjee, Senior Vice President of Connectivity Systems and Chief Technology Officer at GEE, said: “This antenna is truly revolutionary and its pointing system is unique in the market.
“Regulatory requirements limit the performance of today’s conventional two-axis antenna systems in equatorial areas, whereas flat panel antennas cannot offer sufficient performance at all latitudes.”
QEST’s Michael Stobinski said that the antenna was a new departure for the company as it manufactures the whole assembly, not just the aperture.
“This is a business model that we are open to,” he said.
QEST produces apertures for a range of Ku and Ka-band antennas, including Honeywell’s steerable fuselage-mounted antenna for Inmarsat’s upcoming GX Aviation service.
The first delivery of the Global Ku Antenna is anticipated in mid-2016.