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  • Satellite Evolution Group

New high-speed connectivity and IFE retrofit solution for 50 plus narrow-body airline fleet

ThinKom's Ka2517 antenna will deliver industry-leading performance for the Eclipse Global Connectivity installation on 50+ single-aisle planes from later this year.
ThinKom's Ka2517 antenna will deliver industry-leading performance for the Eclipse Global Connectivity installation on 50+ single-aisle planes from later this year.

Eclipse Global Connectivity, ThinKom, Kontron and Display Interactive have embarked on an innovative collaboration to retrofit a fleet of more than 50 narrow-body aircraft with the ultimate high-speed connectivity. This groundbreaking solution is set to revolutionize in-flight connectivity for airlines worldwide.

The comprehensive, end-to-end solution is designed to deliver unparalleled benefits for airlines and passengers. It includes equipment, certifications, and software, fully customized for airline deployment.

In addition to designing the system’s shipset and installation, Eclipse is providing a turnkey Satcom install kit, including certifications, designed and tailored explicitly for the ThinKom ThinAir® Ka2517 Ka-band Satcom system. ThinKom’s field-proven and exceptionally reliable antenna delivers high throughput via multiple satellite constellations. This will connect via an SES terminal to provide multi-orbit Satcom service via the company’s significant Geostationary satellites, and the O3b classic and mPOWER Medium Earth Orbit constellations. This multi-orbit capability includes the option to operate in both GEO and MEO networks simultaneously.

The connectivity service will be enabled by Skywaves® software components, provided by Display Interactive.

The connectivity network will be supported by high-performance Kontron solutions comprising of the Ace Flight 4783 MODMAN for the SATCOM connection, the Cab-n-Connect A200 providing Wi-Fi to passengers, and the Ace Flight 4608 server enabling entertainment onboard. Deploying multiple Wi-Fi 6 radios, the Kontron system can support concurrent streaming-level performance for hundreds of devices onboard.

The Supplemental Type Certificate test flights are scheduled for Q3 2024, marking a significant milestone for this innovative solution. Following STC flights, production installations are scheduled for Q4 2024 with full deployment concluding in early 2025. This rapid certification and deployment timeline further demonstrates the maturity and reliability of the solution.

Marc Pinault, CEO of Eclipse Global Connectivity, said: "We're thrilled to unveil the latest innovation from our design division, Eclipse Technics, in collaboration with our respected partners. It's a significant move forward in connectivity. We are building on our track record of delivering top-notch universal large satcom installation solutions. They are validated with EASA and FAA STCs and fly on 150-plus aircraft. We are pleased to forge ahead with this innovative and unparalleled offering."

Bill Milroy, ThinKom Chairman and CTO, said: "Our flight-proven ThinAir® antennas bring unmatched throughput, spectral efficiency and reliability to our MSP partners. We will continue this tradition by seamlessly harnessing the power of SES's Skywave™ multi-orbit and multi-constellation services. With over 1,600 commercial aircraft installations and 45 million operating hours, ThinKom Phased Arrays continue to set the standard in today's (and tomorrow's) top-tier IFC systems."

Jason Larocque, CEO of Kontron Canada said: "Kontron is proud to partner with respected industry leaders in delivering unmatched inflight experiences. Leveraging our unique connectivity solutions, airlines can expect nothing short of enhanced reliability, robust data processing capabilities and seamless connectivity. With Kontron’s proven expertise, alongside SES's multi-orbit satellite constellations, we're poised to redefine connectivity services for airlines worldwide, setting a new standard of excellence in aviation technology."


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