A series of comprehensive tests using In Flight Communications supplier Global Eagle, and with Canada-based Telesat’s Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) Phase 1 satellite and its ANIK F3 geostationary satellite, provided the “shortest-ever connection time” for the round-trip from the aircraft to the associated ground equipment.
A statement from technology provider Gilat Satellite Networks said that using Global Eagle’s test-bed aircraft ‘Albatross One’ the complete system managed the journey in just 13 milliseconds.
The aim is to see LEO satellites improve connection speeds for broadband users on board aircraft.
This was the first-ever real-world test of connectivity between a LEO satellite and the seamless switchover to the higher orbiting geostationary AMIK F3 craft. The tests maintained multiple air-to-ground two-way videoconferencing sessions during satellite transactions and managed secure cloud and VPN applications for the participants.
“Telesat is pleased to be collaborating with innovative companies like Gilat and Global Eagle who recognise the potential of Telesat’s LEO system to transform the in-flight broadband experience for millions of passengers worldwide,” said Erwin Hudson, VP/Telesat LEO. “This flight on Global Eagle’s Albatross aircraft test-bed with Gilat’s aero modem confirms that Telesat’s state-of-the-art LEO architecture satisfies Global Eagle’s requirements for seamless connectivity and terrestrial-like broadband performance for multiple applications, including the capability to switch between LEO and GEO constellations.”