ThinKom now has more than 1,000 antennas flying worldwide

Some 15 major airlines are currently using ThinKom’s low-profile phased array antennas for IFC with better than 98 percent availability.
Some 15 major airlines are currently using ThinKom’s low-profile phased array antennas for IFC with better than 98 percent availability.

ThinKom Solutions says that more than 1,000 of its phased array satellite antennas have been installed on commercial aircraft around the world.

Statistics reveal that the company’s ThinAir Ku-band satellite terminals are currently being used on more than 3,900 flights daily and have accrued more than 6.5 million flight hours.

ThinKom’s phased arrays are currently in use by more than 15 major airlines, consistently supporting 98 percent and higher total end-to-end system availability with industry-leading connectivity and throughput rates.

“Our proven record of best-in-class performance and reliability is unmatched in the industry, and our super low-profile antenna radome produces near-zero aerodynamic drag, yielding maximum fuel savings for airlines,” said Bill Milroy, ThinKom’s Chief Technology Officer.

“We have good reason to be proud of our achievements to date, and we are actively pushing ahead to ensure our technology performs equally well with the new frequency bands and next-generation satellite constellations that will be deployed in the coming years.”

ThinKom’s ThinAir Ka2517 Ka-band phased arrays have successfully completed a battery of ground and air tests and are now commercially available.

Last month, ThinKom conducted a series of live on-air ground tests that measured unprecedented data speeds of 185 Mbps downlink and 35 Mbps uplink with zero dropped data packets over a geostationary Ka-band satellite.

Late last year, ThinKom also conducted a series of successful in-flight demo tests of the Ka2517 on a number of different geostationary (GEO) satellite networks.

The Ka2517 terminals are now in full production and operational on a fleet of U.S. government aircraft, with multiple commercial STC projects underway.

ThinKom is actively testing its phased array technology with the next generation of satellites in low earth orbits (LEO) and medium earth orbits (MEO), as well as the new GEO high-throughput satellites (HTS).

“Beam agility to make rapid break-before-make handoffs between a setting and rising satellite is a mandatory requirement for IFC antennas to be interoperable with the fast-moving LEO and MEO satellites,” said Milroy.

“Tests have demonstrated that our phased array achieves switching speeds of less than one second with no interruption in connectivity.

Importantly, ThinKom’s antenna architecture substantially outperforms the promised performance of electronically steered antennas (ESAs) in terms of size, reliability, spectral efficiency, channel bandwidth, low-elevation angle performance and power consumption.”

“We foresee a future in which there will be a large number of choices for satellite connectivity, with hundreds, if not thousands, of satellites in low, medium and high orbits,” said Milroy.

“Our vision is to offer an IFC antenna system that can provide the automatic beam switching, rapid outage recovery and network optimisation necessary to support a multi-constellation solution with seamless, gap-free, pole-to-pole connectivity.”

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