ThinKom Antenna Supports In-flight Connectivity Through Inmarsat Satellite

ThinKom Solutions-built phased array antenna completed a test series that demonstrated in-flight connectivity on a high-altitude long-endurance aircraft via Inmarsat's broadband satellite network.

ThinAir Ka2517 delivered a forward link rate of 5 megabits per second and a return link rate of 25 Mbps through the Ka-band Global Xpress satellite while the antenna was mounted on Scaled Composites' Proteus aircraft flying above 50K feet during the test, ThinKom said Monday.

The antenna also supported data transmission speeds of 12 Mbps at elevation angles as low as 15 degrees and full data transfers from the plane at an elevation angle of 25 degrees.

Trials initally occurred in Chantilly, Va., and the Mojave Air and Space Port in California and culminated at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

Scales Composites, ThinKom and Inmarsat's government business jointly developed the satellite data communication package of Proteus.

The experimental aircraft is built to carry up to 2K lbs of payload and operate at an altitude of up to 63K feet for more than 14 hours.

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