MEBAA Convention News

Stellar Blu To Provide Satcom Direct Service

 - December 6, 2022, 12:01 AM
Stellar Blu Solutions successfully delivered high-speed, low-latency inflight LEO satellite connectivity on a Boeing 777 test flight in May. (Photo: Stellar Blu)

When the OneWeb satellite communication (satcom) network goes live later next year, Stellar Blu’s Sidewinder system will be available to connect a variety of VIP bizliners to OneWeb’s high-speed service. The company selected Satcom Direct (Stand 230) to be the preferred service provider for customers who install the Sidewinder satcom system.

Under the agreement, Satcom Direct will sell and activate satcom airtime and provide customer service, cybersecurity monitoring, and other value-added services to Sidewinder customers. Supplemental type certificates (STCs) are under development for installation of the Stellar Blu fuselage-mounted electronically steered array (ESA) antenna and satcom terminal system on Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer aircraft.

With no moving parts, the ESA technology, developed by Ball Aerospace, allows for a streamlined antenna installation that requires less maintenance than traditional mechanically steered satcom antennas. The Stellar Blu equipment allows owners and operators to access multiple Ku-band satcom networks, including OneWeb’s low-earth orbit (LEO) constellation.

Stellar Blu plans to start in-service evaluation of Sidewinder in the second quarter of 2023. An advantage of the OneWeb LEO network is that full high-speed service will be possible on polar routes, something that is currently unavailable with geostationary satellite systems.

Sidewinder will enable bandwidth- and capacity-intensive services such as videoconferencing, remote command and control, and other applications that require low latency, according to Satcom Direct. This includes software tools for insights into end-to-end connectivity performance and the ability to share aircraft performance, satcom usage, and management information “to improve service quality, streamline operational efficiencies, and augment the customer experience,” according to Satcom Direct chief commercial officer Michael Skou Christensen.

Satcom Direct also offers its SD Plane Simple terminals and antennas for high-speed connectivity on midsize and large-cabin business jets. “Adding the Stellar Blu Sidewinder solution to the portfolio complements the series and gives even more choices for our executive airliner customers,” said Christensen.

“The Sidewinder terminal is redefining the performance and total cost of ownership for satcom systems for this class of aircraft,” said Stellar Blue CEO Tracy Trent. “We are excited to team with a company that appreciates the importance of delivering these tangible and commercial benefits to VVIP and government customers.”