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  • Satellite Evolution Group

Orbit Communication Systems announces AirTRx-30 business aviation terminal upgrade

Orbit Communications Systems Inc announced a cooperation with Viasat, which will add enhanced connectivity capabilities to its AirTRx-30 business aviation terminal.

Currently in its final development stage, the Orbit AirTRx-30 terminal commences over-the-air testing from later this month. It will initially support Viasat’s existing and future Global Xpress (GX) satellites, with qualification and type certification on track to start shipping terminals from Q1/2024.

A simple upgrade program will also be made available, enabling customers who have already installed the AirTRX-30 terminal to access the high-powered ViaSat-3 satellites, in addition to the GX satellites. By unlocking the full power of Viasat’s Ka-band network, including its redundancy, resiliency and seamless global coverage wherever aircraft fly, business aviation passengers and crew will benefit from 'everywhere, all-the-time' access to in-flight connectivity.

The system can be installed on a range of business jets – from super midsize to large cabin jets – using industry-standard installation processes and procedures. With only two line-replaceable units (LRUs), the terminal’s installation, servicing and upgrades are straightforward, reducing the cost and weight of the installation kits themselves.

Dany Eshchar, CEO of Orbit Communications Systems, said:

“Orbit is proud to continue its cooperation with Viasat, bringing enhanced SATCOM capabilities to

business jets. The new integrated solution gives customers a market-leading, future-proof approach, with long-term support provided by the dedicated Viasat and Orbit teams. Orbit’s airborne systems are already installed, flying and proven, by customers across the globe. This new solution is part of a multi- phased approach by Viasat and Orbit for the integration of their respective technologies, serving both the short-term and long-term needs of highly-demanding business aviation users worldwide.”

Kai Tang, Viasat’s Head of Business Aviation, said:

“Viasat’s recent acquisition of Inmarsat has created exciting new opportunities to redefine fast,

consistent and reliable in-flight broadband. Our partner ecosystem will play an important role in

unlocking enhanced capabilities and we are delighted that business aviation customers will have access to our complete Ka-band network, comprising of the Viasat-3 and GX satellites, through a simple upgrade to Orbit’s AirTRx-30 terminal, without needing to change any aircraft wiring or interfaces. Such innovation will ensure we remain one step ahead of growing expectations around seamless onboard connectivity, from take-off to landing, even over the world’s busiest flight corridors.”

Currently undergoing qualification and type certification, the AirtTRx-30 complies with industry

standards, including RTCA DO-160G, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and European

Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

Customers who purchase and install the AirtTRx-30 will be able to take advantage of Viasat’s GX satellites as soon as the terminal enters commercial service in 2024 and it will be forward compatible with future GX satellites too. In 2025, a trade-in program will also be launched for the exchange of LRUs for ViaSat-3 capability, at a nominal cost, without the need for any changes to aircraft wiring or interfaces.

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