Ball Aerospace and Stellar Blu Solutions are collaborating to bring a series of Ku-Band satcom terminals to the in-flight connectivity market. The terminals will provide highspeed, reliable broadband connectivity for regional, narrow and wide body aircraft. The terminals are optimized for low earth orbit (LEO) networks but are compatible with multi-orbit constellations including medium earth orbit (MEO), geostationary (GEO) and LEO configurations.
The terminals use Ball Aerospace’s modular, scalable subarray products that implement electronically steered arrays (ESA), which are essential to realize the breakthrough performance on LEO networks. Stellar Blu is developing the aircraft integration package and internal avionics to support LEO, MEO and GEO networks at Ku-band.
“Fast, secure and reliable in-air connectivity has been sought after for years and this new product puts us closer than ever to achieving this goal,” said Dr. Jacob Sauer, vice president and general manager, Tactical Solutions, Ball Aerospace. “The lightweight ESA terminals meet airlines’ budgetary requirements and, more importantly, their technological needs including size, weight and power requirements.”
ESA terminals are ideal for mobile applications, especially in-flight communications and connectivity. The speed at which aircraft move requires an antenna that can instantaneously move beams to ensure that it’s always pointing at the satellite. The Stellar Blu terminal will assure operators a “purpose built” aviation solution capable of meeting the diverse airline use cases, reliability and maintainability necessary for a “gate-to-gate” experience.
“We are pleased to formally announce our relationship with Ball Aerospace,” said Tracy Trent, CEO of Stellar Blu. “This announcement builds upon over two years of collaboration with airlines, network operators and a network of maintenance, repair and operations partners. We are excited to move to the production phase with Ball and our other partners, with a singular focus of product availability early next year.”
Stellar Blu Solutions develops cutting-edge connectivity, network and avionics solutions for next generation satellite networks. GDC Technics, one of the largest aircraft modification establishments in the world, launched Stellar Blu as an independent company focused on continuing the development of aircraft communications technologies for the world’s leading airlines, as well as solutions for other aerospace and mobility markets. Together these firms provide turn-key in-flight connectivity solutions including terminal development, aircraft integration and certification and installation packages.
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