Airbus and Eutelsat Oneweb link up for VIP aircraft satellite connectivity


Airbus Corporate Jets and Eutelsat Oneweb are jointly developing a satellite connectivity solution called ACJ Connect Link for the company’s family of aircraft.

The companies signed an agreement at the NBAA-BACE event this week to develop the satellite connectivity solution for the Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) family of aircraft, starting with the ACJ 220, the luxury VIP version of the A220 narrow body aircraft.

Chadi Saade, acting president of Airbus Corporate Jets, said, “We will develop a solution so that no matter where you are flying you have an internet connection ten times faster using a smaller antenna. It will provide unrivaled satellite connectivity.”

The main development from the partnership will be an antennae tailored for ACJ aircraft. Eutelsat Oneweb’s technology uses electronic arrays to track satellites. This significantly reduces the profile of the antenna so that they are flat compared to existing pod-like mechanical receivers, making them more aerodynamic when fitted to the exterior of the aircraft, while providing higher connection speeds .

The antenna will be ready within months not years and be available as an option on the aircraft said Seadle.

Jason Sperry, head of business aviation at Eutelsat OneWeb said, “The low latency and higher speed that is inherent in OneWeb’s latest generation Low Earth Orbit network will facilitate a broad range of applications for passenger productivity and entertainment that to date have been out of reach while inflight.”

Eutelsat OneWeb’s service uses a constellation of hundreds of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to provide high-speed, low latency global coverage. This is enabled by the satellites’ lower position compared to geostationary satellites and large number of the satellites in orbit.

The satellite connectivity can provide a connection up to ten times faster than the current Ka/Ku solutions allowing multi devices high quality streaming, live TV and video conferencing.

OneWeb’s satellites LEO network has a total usable capacity of over 1.1Tbps, with each of the 648 satellites able to deliver 7.2 Gbps and hundreds of Mbps to individual aircraft.

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 20 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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