Astronics AeroSat has received the first FAA Supplemental Type Certification (STC) for its FliteStream T-200 series Ku-band inflight connectivity system for business aviation.
The FliteStream T-210 was installed, and earned the FAA STC, on the launch customer’s Gulfstream G-IVSP. The initial STC covers all the G-IV family aircraft with additional aircraft lined-up for follow-on STCs starting in the first quarter of 2017.
AeroSat’s Ed Popek told “Get Connected” it would switch its focus to the Bombardier Challenger and Globals once it had it finished with the Gulfstream STCs.
The FliteStream system will support in-flight broadband internet connectivity and live TV via Astronic AeroSat’s partnership with Panasonic Avionics.
Dave Bruner, Panasonic Avionic’s vice president of Panasonic’s Global Communications Services, said: “We wanted to get into this market for some time, but didn’t want to be another ‘me too’ supplier.
“We wanted something that would distinguish us from the rest of the market and the launch of high throughput (HTS) Ku-band satellites is letting that happen.”
HTS satellites concentrate their microwave energy into smaller spot beams to enable higher-bandwidth connectivity.
Bruner said that before HTS they couldn’t get the performance they wanted from a 10.5-11 inch tail-mounted parabolic satellite antenna. But the higher power density of HTS now gives them the bandwidth they need.
“The VVIP and HOS market is very demanding and we didn’t want to launch until we knew we had products that could satisfy that demand,” Bruner said.
Speaking at the MEBA show in Dubai, Astronics’ Ed Popek said data packages are available offering 1.5, 2.5 and 4Gbps to the aircraft, and 528kbps back to the satellite. At launch, the system will offer access to up eight of Panasonic’s eXTV channels including sports and news. These will be added to over time.