Satcom Direct Launches Plane Simple Ka/Ku-band Antennas

 - February 18, 2020, 11:54 AM

Satcom Direct today launched a new tail-mounted satcom antenna system for midsize and larger business jets. Dubbed SD Plane Simple, the system offers two antenna variants—one each for Ku- or Ka-band frequencies—but has the same two modular, network-agnostic line-replaceable units (LRUs) and wiring.

This system simplifies installation and provides a connectivity system that can adapt to future technological developments, according to Satcom Direct. Satcom Direct is developing SD Plane Simple’s antennas in partnership with Germany-based QEST Quantenelektronische Systeme.

The Ku-band variant is expected to be STC’d in early 2021, followed by the Ka-band version later that year. Satcom Direct said it has established partnerships with Inmarsat for Jet ConneX (Ka-band) service delivery and Intelsat for FlexExec (Ku-band) for SD Plane Simple.

Support will also be streamlined and enhanced with the new antenna system, it said. “Until now, customers may have had to contact two or three companies to integrate or troubleshoot the equipment and services needed for consistent connectivity,” said Satcom Direct founder and CEO Jim Jensen. “Now with the Plane Simple antennas added to the SD portfolio, we can rapidly predict and respond to issues before or as they occur.”

Meanwhile, Satcom Direct continues to make progress on an electronically steered, fuselage-mounted phased-array antenna announced at NBAA-BACE in October. The lightweight, low-profile, modular antenna, which is also being co-developed with QEST, will deliver high-speed connectivity for aircraft as small as light jets via upcoming low-earth-orbit constellations scheduled to be available in 2022.