ThinAir Ka1717 Will Provide the Same Inflight Connectivity Experience on Regional Jets as Is Currently Only Available on Larger Mainline Fleet Aircraft
ThinKom Solutions, Inc. and Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (CarlisleIT) today announced plans to bring to market a new fully integrated phased-array Ka-band satellite antenna solution to meet the increasing demand for high-speed in-flight connectivity on regional jet fleets.
The ThinAir Ka1717 uses the proven VICTS (Variable Inclination Continuous Transverse Stub) technology that is currently in use on thousands of narrow- and wide-body aircraft. The new lightweight, low-profile VICTS antenna system has been designed to meet the specific weight and space requirements of regional jet fleets and to optimize fuel efficiency.
The complete antenna subsystem, including the antennas, solid-state power block (SSPB) amplifier, adapter plate, fairing, and radome, is six inches high and weighs under 160 pounds (73 kgs). ThinKom has integrated the Ka antenna networking data unit (KANDU) and the Ka radio frequency unit (KRFU) functionality inside the crown-mounted radome to accommodate the in-cabin space limitations of regional jets.
The system’s low power draw ensures gate-to-gate operation, even under conditions of high thermal and solar loading.
As with all of ThinKom’s VICTS antenna systems, the Ka1717 has been designed to meet the ITU Article 22 and WRC 5G earth station in motion (ESIM) requirements to ensure the system does not interfere with GEO satellites when operating on NGSO networks or with 5G terrestrial networks that share the same Ka-band spectrum.
ThinKom and CarlisleIT are collaborating on development and certification of a fully integrated Ka1717 package, including the radome, adapter plate, fairing, power supply, connecting cables and installation kits for the regional jet market. The full satcom system, including installation hardware, connecting cables, and in-cabin networking equipment, will be comfortably below 250 pounds (115 kg).
“Until now, it has been impractical for regional jet operators to offer their passengers the same level of in-flight connectivity experience as larger passenger jets, mostly because of the size, weight and drag of existing aero antenna systems,” said Bill Milroy, CTO and chairman of ThinKom Solutions. “The Ka1717 addresses this need with an antenna system that is the ideal form factor for regional jets, designed to operate on any Ka-band constellation the customer chooses and is based on ThinKom’s existing, highly reliable and efficient VICTS antenna designs. This system is a key enabler to contracting with airlines to a very high service level agreement.”
Chris Rawley, CarlisleIT product line manager for connectivity, added, “The Ka1717 form factor has enabled CarlisleIT to optimize the installation footprint for the narrower fuselages of regional aircraft. This supports a dorsal mounted SATCOM solution without the typical drag penalties of larger antennas.”
About ThinKom Solutions, Inc.
ThinKom Solutions, Inc. is a leading provider of innovative, highly affordable, compact broadband multi-beam antennas and products for aeronautical, vehicular, user terminal, gateway, satellite and man-portable applications. The company’s primary products uniquely enable near-term worldwide availability of high-data-rate connectivity across all major satellite communication frequency bands.
ThinKom offers a range of reliable, proven technology solutions for the consumer, enterprise, first responder, civil, military and intelligence communities.
About Carlisle Interconnect Technologies
Carlisle Interconnect Technologies is one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of high-performance wire and cable, including optical fiber. Since its inception in 1940, the company has grown its product portfolio to include specialty and filtered connectors, contacts, integrated systems and cable assemblies, complex harnesses, racks, avionics trays, satcom structures, and installation kits. In addition to its vast product breadth, CIT provides customers with a higher level of support by offering engineering and certification services for the demanding environments of the commercial aerospace, military and defense electronics, industrial, test and measurement, and medical industries. For more information, visit www.carlisleit.com.