Honeywell plans to offer a new version of its JetWave terminal solution for the business aviation market. Developed to connect on Inmarsat‘s JetConneX Ka-band network, the updated terminal expects to deliver improved performance with an eye towards the next generation of satellites in orbit.
Our next generation of JetWave will unlock a wider Ka frequency and utilize the next generation of very-high throughput satellites. Additionally, new service plans will make this connectivity more affordable than it’s ever been.– Steve Hadden, vice president, Services & Connectivity, Honeywell Aerospace
The updated antenna solution aims to lower the cost of inflight, high-speed broadband connectivity while also significantly increasing connection speeds. Targeted for certification in 2023, the newest JetWave will feature multi-network, multi-constellation capability, as well as speeds up to 100 megabits per second.
It will, according to Adam Sheppard, Director of Aircraft Connectivity at Honeywell, remain a mechanically steered solution, rather than transition to an electronically steered antenna platform.
Sheppard also highlights the expanded Ka-band range the new solution will be compatible with. “The current JetWave system was optimized to work with Inmarsat so it operates on the Ka spectrum, but a narrow range of it much like our competitors. Unlike our competitors, JWx will be able to transmit and receive on virtually the entire Ka spectrum.”
An agreement struck at the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference expanded the available spectrum for Earth stations in motion (a/k/a planes and ships and other mobile nodes) from 500 MHz to 2.5 GHz. In many cases the satellites already have the expanded Ka-band capacity in orbit, as the broader range was available to static clients. By upgrading the terminal to support this expanded frequency range the new JetWave enables significantly more capacity for inflight connectivity, without requiring additional satellite launches. Assuming, of course, it isn’t already in use on the ground.
The new terminal will also be compatible with the future GX satellites which power the JX network. Inmarsat expects to activate seven more Ka-band payloads across its network in the next three years.
The updated terminal will continue to be compatible with Inmarsat’s JX network, including the recently announced JX Evolution service plans. Honeywell also notes that the hardware can support other networks, and that it expects to deliver additional options by 2024, bringing a new level of flexibility and choice for business aviation operators.
Honeywell expects to offer upgrade options to current JetWave customers beginning closer to the product’s certification and availability in the market.
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