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Satcom Direct Validates Dual Dissimilar Hardware Offering

Redundancy Elevated

Founded in 1997, Melbourne, Florida’s Satcom Direct has grown to become a leading provider of fully integrated, end-to-end, global satellite communications solutions. The company’s expertise and experience are ideally suited to the unique requirements of its business aviation, government, land mobile, and marine customers.

At its inception, Satcom Direct set out to solve a single problem: how to call an aircraft in flight on its own unique number, regardless of the aircraft’s and the caller’s locations. The solution the company created is known today as Global One Number, and is currently in use on over seven-thousand aircraft.

On 13 February 2023, Satcom Direct announced it intended to add Dual Dissimilar terminal capabilities to its expanding hardware portfolio. Subject technology equips aircraft with Satcom Direct’s Plane Simple Ku- and Ka-band tail-mount antennas (Dual) for purpose of supporting two discrete satellite constellations (Dissimilar), thereby affording Satcom Direct customers the best aspects of each network; delivering full redundancy; and ensuring uninterrupted, consistent global connectivity.

Successful validation of the Dual Dissimilar service has been ongoing during daily operations aboard Satcom Direct’s Gulfstream G550 testbed aircraft. Building on initial positive results, the jet completed a January 2023 transatlantic crossing from the Netherlands’ Rotterdam Airport (RTM) to Florida’s Melbourne Orlando International Airport (MLB). During the nearly ten-hour flight, forty devices optimized constant coverage for video streaming, avionics, onboard entertainment, and multiple applications for airframe and personal devices. 

The doubling of antennas increases the amount of data transmittable to and from the aircraft and, consequently, the bandwidth available to persons and systems aboard. Such a configuration enhances digital communications, aircraft performance monitoring, and crew management of both cockpit avionics and cabin WiFi.  Data—by dint of Satcom Direct’s Dual Dissimilar architecture—can be prioritized to chosen passenger devices, ensuring principals and key stakeholders maintain required connections in perpetuity—even when cabin data demand is high.

Satcom Direct founder and CEO Jim Jensen stated: “We know that aircraft owners are already installing more than one connectivity solution on their aircraft to satisfy the growing requirement for consistent data for passengers and crew. As Satcom Direct’s Plane Simple antenna series is the industry’s first network-agnostic connectivity solution, we can add real value for our customers choosing the Dual Dissimilar option.”

Mr. Jensen added: “We purpose-built the technology on modular, scalable, open architecture, which means that in the future, customers will have access to the best available network services to meet their mission requirements. When integrated with our hardware, software, airtime services, and infrastructure, customers can acquire, manage, upgrade, and troubleshoot all their connectivity services with just one phone call.  Our cohesive offering future-proofs the aircraft for software and satellite advancements, making staying connected much more convenient, cost-effective, and simple.”

The Dual Dissimilar technology will be integrated with each satellite provider’s network infrastructure and Network Operations Center (NOC). This scheme gives the Satcom Direct NOC clear visibility into network and data behavior, which enables the expert team to predict potential service interruptions, communicate such to the network partner, and devise resolutions by which aircraft connection remains unaffected.  The option is anticipated to be available for purchase when the Plane Simple Ka-band tail-mount antenna is commercially introduced in Q4 2023. Owners of large jets, or any business jet airframe capable of supporting two Plane Simple terminals, will be able to avail themselves of the new technology.



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