MEBAA: SD displays new QEST flat-panel Ku antenna in Dubai

SD/QEST's Ku-band flat-panel antenna.
SD/QEST’s Ku-band flat-panel antenna.

Satcom Direct (SD) is displaying a mock-up of its new QEPA Ku-band flat panel phased-array antenna, being developed for business and military aviation with QEST (Quantenelektronische Systeme GmbH) in Germany.

The company is at the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) show in Dubai and has a cut-away model of the antenna on its stand.

SD will be the exclusive provider of the antenna to business aviation, military and government markets globally and expects it to enter service in the third quarter of 2020.

It said compatible satellite network constellations will be announced next year, although “Get Connected” understands that one of those networks will be Intelsat Ku.

The antenna is a modular-based phased array with no moving parts. The beam is steered electronically with the beam distorted and focussed by combining multiple different waveforms with computed phase differences.

The net result is a simple, low-profile antenna with no moving parts.

SD/QEST's Ku-band flat-panel antenna.
SD/QEST’s Ku-band flat-panel antenna.

The first antenna has been designed with the Embraer Phenom 300 in mind and the first customer is likely to be in the Middle East.

Michael Skou Christensen, VP International, Satcom Direct, said: “The antenna brings future-proofed technology that is compatible with future LEO and GEO satellite networks operating in multiple frequency bands.

“Its modular design means antenna elements can be swapped out as future technologies are developed, without having to change the overall design.”

The other benefit is that the antenna and integrated radome are both being supplied by QEST rather than by separate entities, which is often the case with steered antennas.

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