SD, the business, military, and government aviation solutions provider, is expanding its hardware portfolio with the launch of a new tail-mounted antenna series. The announcement, which heralds the launch of the SD Plane Simple™ antenna portfolio, positions SD as a single source provider of end-to-end connectivity solutions for business jet and government operators worldwide.
The new tail-mounted antenna system offers two variants for operation in Ku- or Ka-band frequencies. The Ku-band variant is expected to be available for STC in early 2021, followed by the Ka-band version later in the year. With only two line-replaceable units (LRUs) and a network agnostic design, the common form factor and wiring simplify the installation, which allows owners and operators to equip aircraft with a connectivity system compatible with future technological developments. Partnerships with Inmarsat for Jet ConneX service delivery and Intelsat for FlexExec connectivity have already been established.
The Plane Simple antenna series also provides SD with greater insight into system performance thus streamlining and enhancing the SD support process. "Until now customers may have had to contact two or three companies to integrate or troubleshoot the equipment and services needed for consistent connectivity. Now with the Plane Simple antennas added to the SD portfolio, we can rapidly predict and respond to issues before or as they occur," says Jim Jensen, SD Founder and CEO.
SD is investing in antenna development to make secure, flexible, reliable solutions available to a wider segment of the business and government aviation communities than ever before. The tail-mounted antennas will support super-mid to large-size jets and are being developed in partnership with Germany-based QEST Quantenelektronische Systeme GmbH, a worldwide market leader in innovative aeronautical antennas. SD is already partnered with QEST to develop an electronically steered, fuselage mounted phased-array antenna. The lightweight, low profile, modular antenna will deliver high-speed connectivity via upcoming LEO constellations, when it comes to market in late 2022. SD is also developing the Plane Simple Certus terminal, which will enhance operational safety and provide access to consistent connectivity through the global Iridium NEXT constellation. This builds on the existing agreement which sees COMSAT, an SD company, as the exclusive Iridium Certus service provider for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
"We are committed to delivering the best-in-class aircraft connectivity experiences, which augment operational efficiencies through the SD ecosystem of hardware, software, infrastructure, and data synchronization, all of which is supported by an award-winning customer care team. For the first time, operators will be able to choose the connectivity system that best meets their mission requirements and also positions their aircraft ahead of technological changes in the satellite sector," concludes Jensen.