The newest terminal for Inmarsat‘s GX Aviation inflight WiFi network is ready to deploy. The lightweight, low-drag Falcon 300 terminal, developed with Stellar Blu (previously GDC Technics), has received full type approval for use over Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network.
The certification from Inmarsat comes after a test flight campaign where its performance was tested across more than 320 simultaneous online user sessions and sustained throughput of over 200Mbps.
The results of our flight trials have demonstrated the terminal’s ability to consistently deliver the highest levels of connectivity, even over the world’s busiest airspaces. And with final type approval now in place, we are fast approaching commercial service at the beginning of next year.– William Huot-Marchand, Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Inflight Connectivity
The Falcon 300 will enter commercial service on the GX Aviation network with Saudia in early 2023. The airline committed to the GX Aviation solution for its A321neo and A321XLR aircraft last November at the 2021 Dubai Air Show.
Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Inflight Connectivity William Huot-Marchand notes that a key factor in delivering top performance to Saudia “is this new, ultra-high performance terminal with Stellar Blu, which will provide airlines with optimized connectivity from day one, plus additional performance enhancements in the future thanks to Inmarsat’s fully-funded technology roadmap.”
Components of that optimized solution include:
- Full compatibility with all existing and planned satellites in the GX network
- Stellar Blu’s unique modem manager (MODMAN), with exclusive components by Kontron and next-generation modem by iDirect
- The ThinKom Ka2517 antenna, delivering a lower profile design for reduced drag and fuel burn
Additionally, Inmarsat aims to further reduce integration costs by integrating the Advanced Integrated Services Manager natively on the MODMAN. This enables passenger sessions and traffic to be managed without the need for separate hardware.
Tracy Trent, President of Stellar Blu, add:
To remain the most reliable inflight broadband solution in the market and continuously offer greater capacity and speeds to airline customers, Inmarsat’s GX Aviation must be backed by the highest-performance hardware. It’s been our pleasure to develop and test this advanced new Falcon 300 terminal with Inmarsat, while also providing additional value as the lead for integration, certification and installations. The fact we have reached this stage in such a short timeframe is testament to the talented engineering teams on both sides, who mainly worked remotely over the last two years and rarely met in person. We look forward to seeing the Falcon 300 onboard SAUDIA’s Airbus A321neo and Airbus A321XLR aircraft, followed by many more airline fleets in the years to come.
The Falcon 300 is also finally makes available another terminal for deployment on the GX Aviation network. All prior installations were the Honeywell JetWave solution. With the expiration of that partnership exclusivity Inmarsat and suppliers are keen to find more efficient solutions to bring online.
Inmarsat was talking publicly about new antenna and terminal options as far back as October 2018 as it announced a partnership with Panasonic Avionics (PAC). At that time PAC saw itself in the running for delivering the updated solution while Inmarsat suggested it would look to other parties.
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