Honeywell Aerospace says it is due to start airborne tests of its new antennas for the Inmarsat Ka-band GX Aviation system next month.
The testing of the fuselage-mounted antenna for commercial use will take place on Honeywell’s own Boeing 757 from the end of May.
The aircraft will do a lot of the testing in the skies over Europe.
Ground-based testing has already been taking place from Tewkesbury in England over Inmarsat’s I-5 (F1) satellite, pending the full deployment of Inmarsat’s I-5 (F2) satellite, which will service the Atlantic region and the Americas.
Honeywell has two GX antennas – a fuselage-mounted antenna for commercial aircraft and VVIP use and a tail-mounted antenna for business jets. Kymeta is also in the process of developing an ultra-small flat panel antenna, but we are unlikely to see that for a couple of years.
Jack Jacobs, Honeywell Vice President Marketing and Product Management, said that the company was on target for STCs later this year.
“Our qualification tests have already been down and we should have ‘black label’ antennas for testing later this summer,” he said. Black label is the final development stage before a full STC is granted.
“We are also working with Bombardier on the radome needed for its aircraft.”
He added that while the Inmarsat I-5 (F-2) satellite (for the Americas) is in space it is not yet available for full testing.
“This means we can’t finish our handover tests – from satellite to satellite – until late summer,” he said.