Anuvu — formerly Global Eagle — is well into the development of its second generation Ka-band antenna, which is being optimized for hybrid GEO/LEO operations, including full capability across the Ka-band set, according to company CEO Josh Marks.
In an interview with RGN at the recent Satellite 2021 conference and exhibition in Maryland, Marks divulged that the new Ka antenna that Anuvu will be deploying boasts “significant improvements” over its first generation hardware, which was tested over the Telesat LEO satellite in 2018.
With that said, the new system is still designed for ease of retrofit and commonality with Anuvu’s previous-generation systems (including its very latest three-axis Ku-band antenna system rolling out on Air France).
Even as some major players gravitate towards ThinKom’s VICTS — and a multitude of ESAs are under development for aero — Marks is confident that Anuvu’s Qest-made mechanically-steered Ka platform can meet the needs of its aviation clients in the near-term, perhaps especially given the flexibility afforded by Anuvu’s planned microGEO satellites as well as the unique architecture of the forthcoming Telesat Lightspeed LEO network over which Anuvu intends to operate.
“Remember that the Telesat network requires a very high degree of precision and pointing and actually conveys a lot of advantages to a mechanically-steered antenna as opposed to a flatter design,” he said.
“As we look forward, we continue to think that we’re three to five years away from a fundamental change in antenna technologies… And that’s one of the reasons why we haven’t wanted to make a five- to ten year-commitment on current generation systems. We think that we can deliver all the performance and value that our customers need today with iterations of our current antenna and focus our R&D on the real requirements of five-plus years from now.”
Anuvu has linefit offerability on the Boeing 737, and will continue to take its antennas through linefit qualification, “definitely with Boeing and we’re evaluating other platforms as well. I think, as we look to the next generation of antennas, that’s where we expect to make moves across a broader range of aircraft types,” revealed the Anuvu CEO.
Adopting a hybrid GEO/LEO approach could even open up opportunities for Anuvu to support the widebody IFC market in the future (Anuvu has largely focused on region-specific narrowbody deployments over the last several years).
- Anuvu to launch microGEO satellite constellation, stays band flexible
- Aircraft retrofit market readies for new IFC system installs
- Telesat to forge multiple aero antenna partnerships for Lightspeed
- Inmarsat positions GDC terminal for global GX
- ThinKom Ka aero antenna to integrate on Telesat Lightspeed LEO network
- With the future in focus, Global Eagle rebrands as Anuvu
- Collaboration between Global Eagle, Telesat to fill gaps for both sides
Featured image credited to Anuvu