Gilat’s newest ESA is ready to take to the skies. The company announced a breakthrough in electronically steerable antenna (ESA) technology for in-flight connectivity (IFC) with the conclusion of flight tests conducted by Airbus Defence and Space. The successful testing marks the completion of the final phase of the five-year Clean Sky 2 IFC ESA project.
Connectivity was demonstrated on Spacecom’s AMOS-17 advanced digital Ka band satellite.
The successful flight-test of our fully integrated ESA technology was done in collaboration with our long-standing partners FBM, Airbus, and Spacecom, setting the standard for next generation of SATCOM systems for IFC.– Alex Volodarsky, Director of SatCom On-the-Move Programs at Gilat
“Gilat’s ESA demonstrated a high level of robustness throughout the test flights, maintaining a stable link during quite aggressive maneuvers of the aircraft, and over-achieving performance expectations,” said Luis Benitez, Chief Engineer of Clean Sky 2 Regional FTB2 at Airbus.
Gilat’s flat panel ESA blends in to the wing-to-fuselage fairing of the C295 aircraft without adding aerodynamic drag. This ultimately supports a more efficient, quieter, and more advanced in-flight connectivity solution.
The new antenna integrates with Gilat’s SkyEdge II-c platform and the Taurus aero MODMAN.
“We have proven our ability to develop and deliver state-of-the-art ESA technology operating with Taurus, our globally-deployed aero MODMAN, that adheres to the most stringent requirements of the aerospace industry,” explains Alex Volodarsky, Director of SatCom On-the-Move Programs at Gilat. “We expect our ESA technology to be widely adopted in the IFC market in the coming years, especially in view of numerous NGSO constellation deployment plans.”
Transitioning from a functional defense industry solution to one which flies on commercial or business jets is rarely a trivial task. Still, with the initial functionality now confirmed Gilat can approach those next challenges.
“Spacecom is excited to have provided the satellite capacity to enable the successful flight-test milestone for our partner, Gilat,” said Ofer Asif, SVP of Business Development, Marketing and Strategy at Spacecom. “Spacecom’s Amos-17 Ka satellite was used with a steerable beam pointed to the flight area in Southern Spain, and cross linked to a fixed beam serving the SkyEdge II-c Hub.”
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