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  • Satellite Evolution Group

ThinKom inks deal for regional jet antenna production

ThinKom inks deal for regional jet antenna production
ThinKom's Ka1717 provides the ultimate combination of satcom performance for the regional jet market

ThinKom’s ThinAir® Ka1717 terminal is ready to take flight. The company secured a contract to deliver 500 shipsets of the system, allowing for broad deployment of the innovative solution. The Ka1717, with its advantages in weight, power, and efficiency, has become the leading satcom antenna solution for the regional jet market.

“ThinKom is delighted to bring forward this groundbreaking, multi-orbit capable IFC solution to the challenging regional jet market,” said Bill Milroy, ThinKom’s Chief Technology Officer. “Regional jets come with a set of unique weight, drag, packaging, and power constraints. The Ka1717 excels across these key metrics, ushering in a new era of in-flight connectivity for this heretofore un(der)-served IFC market.”

The system’s low power draw also supports unlimited gate-to-gate operation, even under severe on-the-ground thermal conditions. This “time on the tarmac” operation is key, in that it represent a larger proportion of the overall passenger experience for shorter regional jet flights.

ThinKom inks deal for regional jet antenna production
The pronounced drag penalty of flat-top ESAs is evident on the CRJ700, with the Ka1717 delivering up to 90% lower cruise weight penalty.

The Ka1717 joins the larger members of the ThinAir family in securing significant installation commitments from multiple service providers. The Ku3030 provides high-speed internet service for more than a dozen airlines across the globe. Similarly, hundreds of Ka2517 terminals are now flying on commercial aircraft, delivering streaming levels of service throughout the Americas, with global expansion on the horizon. The Ka1717 builds on this established high-performance pedigree, with a significant install base across North America expected by the end of 2024.

Since successfully completing flight testing earlier this year, ThinKom has actively supported its partners’ sales efforts. This includes highlighting the significant drag/weight advantage that the Ka1717’s streamlined radome uniquely offers compared to competing “flat-top” models.

The Ka1717 builds on the proven reliability of ThinKom’s patented VICTS antenna technology. VICTS-based solutions have logged more than 40 million hours on commercial aircraft, with a MTBF exceeding 100,000 hours. The high beam agility of ThinKom’s VICTS antennas enables this solution to operate effectively on LEO, MEO, GEO, and HEO constellations, creating a future-proof “multi-constellation” and “multi-orbit” solution for airlines.

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