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Hong Kong-based AsiaSat has been granted a US patent to improve satellite connectivity to aircraft, and which AsiaSat says will help supply better In Flight Entertainment (IFE) coverage with aircraft and yet achieve this with fewer satellite beams.
AsiaSat says: “The patent is about the methods and systems that enable effective aviation communication via satellite over a broad area at high altitude. Example methods include the use of a wide-beam antenna on a satellite to provide a wide flatten coverage by transmitting signals at a frequency higher than 10 GHz and at a relatively low satellite power (EIRP) to avoid interference with ground stations or adjacent satellites. At the same time, the satellite system is configured with a spot beam antenna to receive signals from a mobile antenna on the aircraft at a different frequency of at least 13.75 GHz to achieve better gain for higher data throughput rate of the connection.”
The end result is a much less complex suite of equipment on board the aircraft, and improved communication. AsiaSat also sees benefits for military and governmental use of aircraft including unmanned aerial ‘drones’.