AIX: ThinKom antennas prove reliability over 7m flights

Bill Milroy, ThinKom Chairman and CTO.
Bill Milroy, ThinKom Chairman and CTO.

ThinKom antenna have proved their reliability over 7,000,000 flights with 100,000 hours mean time between failures (MTBF).

Its patented “VICTS” (Variable Inclination Continuous Transverse Stub) phased-array technology combines the technical benefits of mechanically steered and electronically scanned arrays (MSAs/ESAs) to deliver consistently high performance in the harshest environments.

Bill Milroy, ThinKom CTO, said: “We are seeing 98% availability with our antenna. And the antennas are compatible with LEO/MEO systems – we are seeing sub-one-second times taken to move the beam from one satellite to another.”

ThinKom Solutions says that more than 1,000 of its phased array satellite antennas have been installed on commercial aircraft around the world. And statistics reveal that the company’s ThinAir Ku-band satellite terminals are currently being used on more than 4,000 flights daily,

ThinKom recently announced the successful completion of in-flight connectivity trials of its ThinAir Ka2517 phased-array antenna mounted on the Proteus high-altitude long-endurance aircraft.

Milroy added: “These successful in-flight demonstrations further validate the ThinAir Ka2517’s capability to provide uninterrupted broadband connectivity with near-zero aerodynamic drag – an important consideration for many classes of UAVs and long-endurance missions flying at extreme altitudes.

“I would like to thank the superb engineering teams from Inmarsat Government and Scaled Composites who worked with us to achieve this important milestone. This was truly a team effort.”

And what of the 2Ku deicing fluid ingress debacle?

“We were not responsible for choosing the radome for 2Ku,” Milroy said.

ThinKom’s ThinAir® phased-array antenna design is fully interoperable with GEO, MEO and LEO satellite networks.
ThinKom’s ThinAir® phased-array antenna design is fully interoperable with GEO, MEO and LEO satellite networks.

Oakleigh Thorne, Gogo’s President and CEO, said: “Last winter we had a ‘de-icing demon’. We had great support from our airline partners and after a painstaking study we had four solutions to the issue.

“We have now flown over 15,000 flights that have been de-iced with no incidents of 2Ku system degradation,” Thorne said.

Milroy added: “Rather than us blowing our own trumpet with our antennas, we prefer to let our customers find out the truth for themselves.

“That’s why we have issued ‘The Antenna Challenge’. At ThinKom we’ve engineered the industry’s most efficient and reliable phased array, bringing value to the world’s leading airlines.

“With verified performance in over 1,050 aircraft and millions of flight hours, we’re so confident in our technology’s capabilities that we invite them to compare us against our competitors,” he said.

The antennas challenge consists of 14 questions regarding ThinKom’s antenna’s performance with which to compare their competitor’s.

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