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GateHouse Telecom releases ground testing solution for GX

Honeywell's JetWave MCS-8200 fuselage-mounted antenna for Inmarsat GX

Honeywell’s JetWave MCS-8200 fuselage-mounted antenna for Inmarsat GX

GateHouse Telecom has released a new ground-based testing solution for airborne Inmarsat GX applications.

Testing new GX applications usually requires an aircraft. But the new product makes it possible to perform testing of GX solutions on the ground, saving time and money.

This allows developers to expose applications to a far wider range of scenarios than is possible to reproduce during a flight.

The Danish satcom-company has applied new features to the company’s flagship product, the Global Xpress Link Emulator (GLE).

Svend Holme Sørensen, Product Manager at GateHouse Telecom, said: “When performing on-air testing for aircraft-applications, you must bring a terminal and antenna with you onto the airplane, and must maintain line of sight to the satellite throughout the test.

“Furthermore, you cannot control weather conditions and expose your application to rough weather, such as thunder and rain.

“But with our new aero features, developers can emulate a flight trip and expose their solution to different challenges that may occur during a voyage.”

This enables an efficient way to test and document solutions.

“The new GLE features are also a valuable tool for sales situations,” Sørensen said.

“Developers and re-sellers can set up and demonstrate their applications to potential customers indoors, e.g. at tradeshows and conferences. All they need is the GLE, a laptop, internet connection and cables.”

The company says inflight connectivity is a must-have for most airlines today. Eighty two carriers now offer inflight Wi-Fi, which is a 17% increase since last year, according to the 2018 Wi-Fi Report by Routehappy.

“As we move further into the era of ‘connectivity’, the year 2018 and beyond is likely to see the aviation industry incorporating more and more onboard systems and therefore normalising inflight Wi-Fi for passengers,” Thomas Jensen, Director at GateHouse Telecom, said.

The GLE is an off-air test tool that emulates a Ka-band connection with realistic bandwidth and latency. It is already used by leaders in the global satcom market, such as Honeywell, VT iDirect and Inmarsat. Gatehouse has now built on the GLE-technology and applied new features designed specifically for developers servicing the aviation industry.

It can emulate satellite switching and handover, which is necessary for fast-moving applications such as the GX solution on aircraft.

“The GLE allows developers to regulate bandwidth automatically by fading profiles, which can be adjusted by fade-in and out to a given level or programmed prior to testing, to fade over time at a given average level, standard deviation and rate of change. It all depends on the parameters the user wants to test,” Svend Holme Sørensen said.

With the new features, the GLE can also manipulate Signal-to-noise (SNR) levels to emulate poor bandwidth caused by bad weather conditions or excessive use.

“The new features make the GLE more flexible and able to fully emulate any situation an application might experience when used on an airplane. With the GLE you can interface to a Network Service Device (NSD), so developers can imitate a scenario that force the application to switch between GX and BGAN. This mode can be used to test the NSD, but also all applications attached to it,” Svend Holme Sørensen added.

Last but not least, it says an open API provides developers and testers with a programmable interface for automating test setup, execution, monitoring and extract of test results.

Even though the new features are primarily built for developers servicing the aviation industry, they can also be used to test other software solutions, such as applications made for developers and users that are exposed to rough weather conditions, for instance maritime operators or Southeast Asia during the monsoon season.

The new GLE features include:

  • Satellite switching and handover: imitates when the aircraft switches satellites
  • Fading profiles: regulates bandwidth both automatically and manually.
  • Bandwidth adapted to SNR: emulates poor bandwidth – caused by bad weather conditions for example.
  • NSD: imitate a scenario that force the application to switch between GX and BGAN.
  • Open API: a programmable and highly adjustable interface.

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GateHouse Telecom releases ground testing solution for GX was last modified: June 21st, 2018 by Steve Nichols
Filed in: Commercial Tags: , ,

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