SES and Thales Alenia Space have outlined how new functionality aboard the upcoming SES-17h satellite will offer greater efficiency and flexibility for inflight connectivity.
The new satellite, which will help drive Thales’ Ka-band FlytLIVE solution, will now include a powerful digital transparent processor (DTP).
This will allow the companies to modify their networks in real time in response to changing bandwidth demands, either on a daily schedule or in response to unanticipated changes such as weather.
The companies said SES-17’s fully digital payload has been jointly optimised by SES and Thales Alenia Space over the past year. Once launched, the satellite will cover North America, South America, Central America, the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean and should come into operation in 2020.
Equipped with close to 200 spot beams of mixed sizes, SES-17 should enable customers to deliver high-speed broadband connectivity in a more efficient way.
Elias Zaccack, Senior Vice President, Commercial Americas, said: “What we bring to the table is a big, fat robust pipe to the aircraft, and with all the layers of service it needs. We are very committed to inflight connectivity.
“SES-17 is a massive Ka-band satellite. The digital processor on the satellite will allow SES to move capacity from one place to another. We can monitor where the capacity is needed and dynamically move the capacity as required.”
Dominique Giannoni, CEO at Thales InFlyt Experience, said: “The Thales FlytLIVE connectivity solution will offer the most advanced and efficient aeronautical solution available in the Americas.
“Adding the latest generation processor onboard SES-17 dramatically increases FlytLIVE’s coverage, capacity, and redundancy, enabling Thales to provide the connected inflight experience that our customers and their passengers expect, today and well into the future.
“With FlytLIVE, passengers will enjoy full internet connectivity, including the ability to stream internet services for video, games, social media and live television, creating an immersive and engaging experience in the air.”
Thales says it has a launch customer for FlytLIVE in 2018, although it cannot name it at the moment. Giannoni also added that Thales is developing its own Ka-band antenna for FlytLIVE.