In-flight connectivity performance should get a bit better in the coming months for some Global Eagle customers thanks to an improved on-board transceiver. The Aerostream 40Ku, developed by Gilat, achieved DO-160G certification this week, allowing for development of production units as it moves towards FAA certification and aircraft installation.
The DO-160G certification of Wavestream’s high-power AeroStream 40Ku transceiver extends Global Eagle’s lead in Ku-Band in-flight connectivity. We are pleased that Wavestream ensured that the unit is both backwards compatible with traditional modems and is future-proof to operate with the next generation of satellite modem technologies.– Mike Pigott, Executive Vice President – Connectivity at Global Eagle
The 40W model increases power on the transceiver by 60% from the 25W model it will replace. EVP Connectivity Mike Pigott explains that the increased power levels ultimately mean faster speeds to and from the aircraft, “More power coming through the transceiver means more energy that can go to the satellites out of the antenna. And that translates to better efficiency, better use of megahertz which means more megabits to the passenger.”
In addition to more efficient use of the radio spectrum, Pigott anticipates improved reliability and performance from the gear. Gilat suggests a mean time between failures (MBTF) of 30,000 flight hours for the system, generally exceeding the lifespan of an IFC contract for most airlines.
Beyond the Transceiver
Looking beyond this particular announcement Pigott is rather bullish.
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