Transferring the digital life from the ground to the aircraft is the main concern and challenge of a modern airline. Inflight connectivity has extended its benefits beyond the passengers to the airline operations, the aircraft systems and the cockpit. This requires a robust and future-proof solution, to make the best out of inflight connectivity services.
There are a number of practical challenges attached to providing a high-speed connection inflight. The first is ensuring the provider is capable of delivering the capacity and bandwidth expected in the present and the future. Second is delivering a high-speed connection that covers all routes flown by the aircraft, delivering the same reliable, consistent and secure service throughout. Finally the time and effort required to install and maintain an effective solution needs to compliment, not increase, the existing workload of ground and air staff.
Link ONAIR can address these challenges…
Link ONAIR provides the connection between the satellite and the aircraft, and is managed by SITAONAIR.
Link ONAIR provides the significant advantages of an inflight broadband connection using the Inmarsat GX Aviation satellite network. The wider bandwidth, reduced risk of frequency contention and higher frequency allocation supplied by the Ka band used by GX Aviation, within the same physical dimensions as existing technology, provides a faster, more secure and more reliable connection at up to 50Mbps to the Honeywell Jetwave satcom.
Further satellites will be launched to compliment the three already in geostationary orbit, with a fourth due this year alongside two more by 2020. This will provide network coverage to parallel the increase in data requirements by mobile devices and the ever-expanding Internet Of Things.
Each satellite connects to the terrestrial telecommunications networks via two redundant Satellite Access Stations (SAS) gateways, in each satellite coverage region, for a total of six SAS’s.
The network consists of three pairs of Satellite Access Stations (SAS) located around the globe, with each pair serving one satellite to provide rain-fade protection through diversity of the feeder link, and complete failover in the event of a catastrophic disaster.
Features and benefits
Link ONAIR over GX Aviation comes with a peace-of-mind integrated solution
Link ONAIR over GX Aviation comes with a turnkey solution compatible with any Inflight Entertainment (IFE) system. It allows fast installation either by selected aircraft type or with retrofitted services through STC capabilities. Once installed, this solution is managed and monitored around the clock by SITAONAIR. This ensures coordination with all stakeholders and ensures end-to-end performance with very little implication required from the airline.
Link ONAIR over GX Aviation evolves with the airline data growing needs
Link ONAIR is also flexible enough to offer upgradable bandwidth, allowing airlines to adapt to changing needs in connectivity. An airline can select which bandwidth to allocate to each aircraft out of a selection of packages, offering various uplink and downlink speeds. Each bandwidth selection comes with a Guaranteed Data Rate both for the uplink and downlink side, which is a guaranteed speed that aircraft will benefit from during flights. In the likely event that there is still available bandwidth to be shared, aircraft will benefit from it at no cost.
GX Aviation performances and capacities
GX Aviation is a satellite network designed for mobility services. Each offers 89 spot beams per satellite, bringing up to 50 Mbps each, with 72 active at any one time. Thanks to this spot beam architecture being able to reuse frequency, capacity and bandwidth are uniformly distributed whatever the number of aircraft flying in a satellite area, and wherever the aircraft is in the beam. In addition to the 89 spot beams, six steerable beams of 150 Mbps each can be directed anywhere within the footprint within the satellite. Those steerable beams can be redirected and moved to a location in a matter of minutes, which allows a rapid reconfiguration of the network capacities.