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  • Satellite Evolution Group

Stellar Blu and Boeing to work together on open and portable AeroSATCOM Terminal

Stellar Blu Solutions and Boeing Commercial Airplanes have signed an agreement to review and evaluate an open satellite terminal for high bandwidth communications to and from the airplane. Leveraging Stellar Blu’s Sidewinder electronically steered antenna (“ESA”) platform, the solution installs into existing Boeing provisions, and offers portability across leading LEO/MEO/GEO Ku-band service offerings. This evaluation will include the 737 MAX, 777-9 and 787 Dreamliner.

Key to the project is an emphasis on maximum flexibility for operators. The resulting

solution is entirely “open” offering IFE/IFC providers a simplistic approach to integrate with

the terminal using applications and/or APIs. In addition, Sidewinder will leverage Stellar Blu’s

existing work with leading satellite network operators like Intelsat and OneWeb, ensuring a

wide range of multi-orbit capabilities and service plans at the point of introduction. Also, the

project will emphasize a “minimalist” impact on the airframe, assuring that the Sidewinder

System aligns with existing Boeing provisions. The resulting solution will initially emphasize

Ku-band networks, while Stellar Blu also envisions a K/Ka-band offering leveraging similar

packaging and avionics.

The Sidewinder terminal is a fuselage-mounted, electronically steered antenna (ESA),

designed with an IFEC and network agnostic integration approach supporting multiple

service providers, and satellite constellations in any orbit. The approach will maximize service

provider choice, managed by the aircraft operator, with Boeing supporting the initial line fit

hardware configuration. Stellar Blu provides ongoing, real-time health monitoring of Sidewinder, and post-delivery configuration support to enable aircraft owners to easily change service providers.

The Stellar-Blu terminal has been selected by multiple airlines for entry into service at the

end of this year. The terminal has been designed to provide a broadband connection for consistent, reliable performance for aircraft with high load factors and heavy demand for in-

flight connectivity. By offering connections to multiple satellite constellations, it enables redundancy and true global coverage, including polar routes.

“The Sidewinder terminal is a gamechanger for our airline customers. Core to the terminal

design was openness and portability. We’ve listened to the airline community, and have

embraced the key architectural factors to assure longer terminal lifecycles and longevity on

customer aircraft” said Tracy Trent, CEO of Stellar Blu.


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