LEO constellations are going to help revolutionize inflight connectivity, but they’re also very expensive and aviation cannot support the industry alone. Telesat scored a major investment from the Canadian government this week that helps ensure its 298 satellites will take flight.
Telesat Phase 1
ThinKom’s new Ka2517 aero satcom antenna is the latest to prove its viability for mixed orbit satellite constellations. The company successfully tested with the Telesat Phase 1 LEO satellite from June 10-14 at Telesat’s Allan Park facility in Ontario, Canada.
The market for antennae with a proven track record of successful connections to LEO satellite constellations continues to grow. This week's news brings another Ka-band supplier into the fold.
Low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations promise higher capacity and lower latency for connections. They also bring significant challenges, mostly owing to far more frequent satellite switching to maintain a connection. Add in an airplane moving though the sky and the complexity increases further. Multiple vendors are now moving through the testing process, with plans to deliver functional solutions as early as 2019, well ahead of the satellite constellations being ready for such connections.