Does the Connected Aircraft Need Electronically Steerable Antennas?

 In In the News, LEO/MEO/GEO, ThinAir

Avionics International: Does the Connected Aircraft Need Electronically Steerable Antennas?

On the “Satellite Tech Focus” panel at the 2019 Global Connected Aircraft Summit in San Diego, ThinKom CTO Bill Milroy and other panelists discuss if it’s absolutely necessary to use electronically steerable antennas for inflight connectivity.

Below are a few excerpts from Avionics International’s article on the panel discussion:

But not all of the panelists are entirely convinced that electronic steering is the ultimate end goal for the next generation of in-flight connectivity antennas. One main reason for this, as ThinKom points out at its GCAS 2019 booth, is that despite several years of development effort, there still are currently no electronically steerable antennas in-service on commercial airplanes.

Meanwhile ThinKom is increasingly focused on spectral efficiency and enabling the most bits per hertz performance on its antennas. Bill Milroy, chairman and chief technology officer of ThinKom, said he likes phased arrays and believes phased array antennas can be efficient whether they’re electronically or mechanically steered.

Read the full article at Avionics International.

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