OneWeb and Stellar Blu successfully tested in-flight connectivity across the OneWeb low earth orbit (LEO) constellation. The companies announced the news this week at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022, confirming PaxEx.Aero reports two weeks ago.
This successful flight test demonstrates the power, not only of the OneWeb network, but our industry focused and partnership-led approach to the design, development, and deployment of ground-breaking technologies to connect commercial aviation.– Ben Griffin, OneWeb vice president Mobility
Stellar Blu (formerly GDC Technics), partnered with antenna technology provider Ball Aerospace to incorporate its electronically steered arrays (ESA) into the terminal solution. The new Stellar Blu platform, known as “Sidewinder”, will continue flight testing through the remainder of 2022, with a target for certification and availability in mid-2023.
This test flight validates not only the installation and integration of the aircraft terminal, but underscores the performance of the antenna technology, and verifies the reliability of the connectivity during taxi, take-off, landing and typical aircraft flight maneuvers. As with any test flight, the assessment of performance reviewed expected parameters against vendor specifications, while also instrumenting and verifying on-aircraft impact and operating characteristics.
The Test Flight Crew simultaneously demonstrated the ability to connect Teams calls, 4K YouTube streaming, Netflix, online VR gaming and Nintendo Switch gaming, among other structured performance tests. Maximum speeds of 260Mbps download/80 upload and file transfer scenarios of 5GB demonstrated in approximately 20 seconds. All while operating at well under 100ms of network latency.
Read More: OneWeb confirms launch schedule into 2023
Commenting on the successful test flight, Ben Griffin, OneWeb’s VP Mobility said, “This test flight represents a fantastic milestone for OneWeb. Broadband in-flight connectivity, delivered to a commercial aircraft via low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites and an electrically steered antenna (ESA) is now – finally – a reality. Together with our partners Stellar Blu and technology from Ball Aerospace, we are now well and truly on our way to delivering consistently reliable, game-changing, affordable inflight connectivity to commercial aviation users everywhere.”
Tracy Trent, Stellar Blu CEO, similarly celebrated the successful flight:
We are delighted by the performance of the terminal during the test flight… We are very confident the Sidewinder terminal will present operators with a purpose-built aviation solution, delivering new breakthroughs for passenger experience, and redefining aircraft operating expectations for reliability and maintainability.
The Sidewinder terminal is ARINC 791 compliant to ease integration on commercial aircraft, with a smaller form factor option for installation on regional jets and single-aisle aircraft.
Based on the electronically steered antenna technology developed by Ball Aerospace, the terminal is significantly lower profile, lighter, and smaller than existing aviation antennae. It will enable airlines to connect their aircraft, passengers, and crew over OneWeb’s low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication network.
More news from Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022
- ThinKom targets regional jets with smaller antenna solution
- Philippine Airlines adds streaming IFE with Inflight Dublin
- AERQ brings Welcome Board to Stelia’s Opera business class cabin
- Bluetooth pairing coming to Delta’s long-haul fleet
- Carlisle delivers ESA mount kit for Gilat
- Burrana secures power line-fit access for A320 family
- OneWeb, Stellar Blu confirm successful LEO in-flight connectivity tests on 777
- The future of aircraft interiors: Winners of the Crystal Cabin Awards 2022 announced
- Inflight Dublin expands deployments with Wideroe, Drukair
- Euphony promises top-quality sound without headphones
- Astronics boosts cabin WiFi, power offerings
- Starlink Scuttlebutt: Skepticism and Support
- Airbus advances 5G ATG connections in China
- Air Canada selects Intelsat 2Ku for A321 internet service
- In-flight connectivity’s next major hurdle: Smaller planes
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