Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. (NASDAQ, TASE: GILT) has announced that Gilat’s first-to-flight Electronically Steered Antenna (ESA) terminal achieved another industry-first with in-flight connectivity over NGSO (Non-Geostationary Orbit) — this success well-positions Gilat to win opportunities within the ESA market.
The demonstration showed high performance and instantaneous Ka-band switchovers between and operating on Telesat’s Phase 1 LEO satellite and its Anik-F3 GEO satellite, onboard Honeywell’s Boeing 757 commercial test aircraft, across several flight tests.
Gilat’s high throughput and small form factor ESA operated continuously over GEO and then instantaneously switched connectivity to operate on LEO when it came into view and then back to GEO after operating on LEO. The ESA terminal demonstrated high performance, with broadband throughput of up to 58 Mbit/sec on both FWD and RTN, round trip delay as low as 18 msec. and robust operation at low elevation angles of down to 20 degrees.
Gilat’s ESA has a no moving parts and is a full electronic beam steering flat panel antenna with an extremely low profile. The company’s innovative design combines the benefits of ESA with the advantages of Ka-band, as highlighted by the performance achieved in this testing. The ESA terminal serves both GEO and NGSO constellations and, as such, opens the market to low latency, real-time applications.
Michel Forest, Director of Systems Engineering for the LEO Program at Telesat, said that Gilat’s multi-orbit ESA switchover capabilities will enable airlines to future-proof their connectivity decisions. Airlines will be able to access high-performing Ka-band connectivity today and easily incorporate LEO low-latency connectivity without replacing terminals. The company's ongoing development efforts with valued partner Gilat will ensure airlines have flexibility and ability to meet their inflight data requirements of the future.
Roni Stoleru, the VP of Antenna Products & Strategy at Gilat, added that the company's innovative ESA terminal opens up great opportunities in the commercial and business aviation markets with a winning proposition that addresses the two major ESA industry growth dynamics: mobility, with emphasis on in-flight connectivity and the upcoming NGSO constellations. Gilat is appreciative of the collaboration with the firm's long-standing partners, Honeywell and Telesat, and looks forward to continued cooperation.
Note: Gilat’s ESA terminal will be displayed at Satellite 2020 in Washington DC, booth #1017.