Intelsat says eEnablement could help predictive maintenance

Artist's impression of an Intelsat EpicNG satellite.
Artist’s impression of an Intelsat EpicNG satellite.

Andrew Faiola, Director, Mobility Solutions Europe Sales, Intelsat, says that by 2025 airlines could save up to $73bn by using predictive maintenance.

Speaking at the 2016 Aircraft eEnablement Connectivity and IFE Conference, Faiola said that airlines will have have an opportunity to save 10-40% of their annual maintenance costs by adopting predictive rather than reactive maintenance.

Predictive maintenance could use captured engine and other aircraft data to pin-point potential future problems before they arise. These data could be sent back to the ground via satellite-based inflight connectivity in real-time if need be.

Faiola said that connected navigation for air transport also has the potential to save 2-5% of annual fuel costs and CO2 emissions by 2025 by enabling optimised flight routes.

He said that by 2025 there will be 27,400 aircraft flying with around 100Gbps of total demand for their inflight connectivity. This means satellite operators will have to double their capacity every six years to service that demand.

“You need breadth and depth with your coverage, with seamless connectivity under one network for a better user experience and more efficient operations,” Faiola said.

Intelsat EpicNG

Intelsat 29e, the first of the company’s EpicNG high throughput satellites (HTS), was launched successfully from French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 vehicle in January 2016.

“The Intelsat network today comprises 20 satellites with more than 400 transponders. By the beginning of 2017 our first two EpicNG spot-beam high-throughput (HTS) satellites will be in service, delivering more capacity just where aircraft are flying.

“Intelsat will have six EpicNG satellites in the first phase and these will bring approximately 10x more throughput per satellite.

“EpicNG is compatible with what is out there today and is future-proof. Over the next couple of years there will be a dramatic increase in capacity,” he said.

Faiola also spoke about Intelsat’s relationship with OneWeb – the low-earth orbit Ku-band network.

“OneWeb’s 700 satellites will increase the total global Ku-band capacity to 5Tbps,” he said.

“If you put Intelsat’s existing satellites, together with EpicNG and OneWeb you have a very nice path to growth in the future.”

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