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  • Satellite Evolution

Gilat’s ESA Antenna for IFC hits breakthrough on Airbus flight tests operating on Spacecom satellite

Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd., a worldwide leader in satellite networking technology, solutions, and services, announced today a breakthrough in electronically steerable antenna (ESA) technology for in-flight connectivity (IFC) with the conclusion of flight tests conducted by Airbus Defence and Space, marking the successful completion of the final phase of the five-year Clean Sky 2 IFC ESA project. Connectivity was demonstrated on Spacecom’s AMOS-17 advanced digital Ka band satellite.

Gilat’s ESA technology, operating with Gilat’s SkyEdge II-c platform and Taurus aero MODMAN, is proven to be at the forefront of the next-generation of the ESA IFC market. Gilat’s ESA is a flat antenna that is fully-integrated and validated on the Airbus C295 Flight Test Bed 2, an in-flight demonstrator of the European Clean Sky 2 research and innovation program, part of the EC Horizon 2020 initiative.

“Gilat’s ESA demonstrated a high level of robustness throughout the test flights, maintaining a stable link during quite aggressive maneuvers of the aircraft, and over-achieving performance expectations,” said Luis Benitez, Chief Engineer of Clean Sky 2 Regional FTB2 at Airbus. “Gilat’s ESA, conformally integrated within the wing-to-fuselage fairing of the airplane without adding aerodynamic drag, supports a more efficient, quieter, and more advanced aircraft for a wide variety of applications.”

“Spacecom is excited to have provided the satellite capacity to enable the successful flight-test milestone for our partner, Gilat,” said Ofer Asif, SVP of Business Development, Marketing and Strategy at Spacecom. “Spacecom’s Amos-17 Ka satellite was used with a steerable beam pointed to the flight area in Southern Spain, and cross linked to a fixed beam serving the SkyEdge II-c Hub.”

“The successful flight-test of our fully integrated ESA technology was done in collaboration with our long-standing partners FBM, Airbus, and Spacecom, setting the standard for next generation of SATCOM systems for IFC,” said Alex Volodarsky, Director of SatCom On-the-Move Programs at Gilat. “We have proven our ability to develop and deliver state-of-the-art ESA technology operating with Taurus, our globally-deployed aero MODMAN, that adheres to the most stringent requirements of the aerospace industry. We expect our ESA technology to be widely adopted in the IFC market in the coming years, especially in view of numerous NGSO constellation deployment plans.”


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