Satcom Direct gets DO-160 for Plane Simple Antenna

Satcom Direct (SD) has received DO-160 approval for its SD Plane Simple Ka-band tail mount antenna.

Satcom Direct (SD) has received DO-160 approval for its SD Plane Simple Ka-band tail mount antenna.

The milestone has been achieved after more than 400 validation hours covering tests such as weather, thermal, and vibration qualifications. The second variant in the Plane Simple hardware series, SD’s antenna exclusively connects with Viasat’s Jet ConneX inflight broadband solution, powered by the Global Xpress, GX satellite constellation. 

The certification is next phase toward entering commercial service. SD has confirmed its first customer and is also talking with other operators who want to be a part of the supplemental type certificate (STC) generation. The first STC is expected in early 2024.

Chris Moore SD president said: “This second iteration of our Plane Simple antenna technology is a game-changer for the industry as it unlocks the complete current and future performance capabilities of the Global Xpress network and minimises beam and satellite switching time. We’re delivering the most powerful, reliable, and genuinely global connectivity to operators that depend on us to keep them connected during flight.”

Customers equipping airframes with the terminal will have access to global coverage with the GX satellite constellation. They can later upgrade to Viasat’s full Ka-band network, including the ViaSat-3 satellites and next-generation GX satellites as they come online.

Kai Tang head of Business Aviation at Viasat said: “SD has a reputation as a technology-forward company. Its innovative approach, guided by a commitment to deliver powerful new connectivity solutions to support the very specific needs of business aviation users, is exemplified by creating the first terminal that will connect with our existing and next-generation Ka-band satellites. 

“This pioneering vision is one that we adhere to as it adds real value to the offering. We’re pleased to be working with SD to offer customers exceptional connectivity experiences through customised Viasat service plans, including the first-ever power-by-the-hour payment option for Jet ConneX, enabling business jet operators to pay an hourly rate for inflight connectivity,” added Tang.

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