SmartSky Networks has appointed David Claassen to the newly created position of Chief Technology Officer.

SmartSky appoints David Claassen as Chief Technology Officer

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SmartSky Networks has appointed David Claassen to the newly created position of Chief Technology Officer.

SmartSky Networks has appointed David Claassen to the newly created position of Chief Technology Officer. Claassen will direct SmartSky’s technology strategy and execution, including development and delivery of innovative technical solutions from its portfolio of patents, as the company moves forward to empower the growing connected aircraft market.

Classen was previously Vice President of Network and Service Architecture at SmartSky, leading the successful design, development and integration of many key aspects of the company’s core technical capabilities, including subscriber devices, Radio Access Network, IP core, cybersecurity, voice and data services, all which ultimately led to the deployment of the aviation industry’s first virtualized nationwide network architecture.

SmartSky is launching its advanced inflight connectivity service later this year. As part of its offering portfolio, the company is developing pioneering aviation data products through its open digital applications platform, Skytelligence, to improve safety and efficiency while providing the industry with novel ancillary revenue sources. SmartSky’s unique single-beam-per-aircraft in-flight communications approach is backed by more than 200 patents and over 1,000 hours of flight testing.

OneWeb is preparing for the launch and deployment of 36 satellites by Arianespace from the Vostochny Cosmodrome.

OneWeb set for latest launch from Vostochny Cosmodrome

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OneWeb is preparing for the launch and deployment of 36 satellites by Arianespace from the Vostochny Cosmodrome.

OneWeb is preparing for the launch and deployment of 36 satellites by Arianespace from the Vostochny Cosmodrome.

This will be the second of five launches that will enable OneWeb to deliver connectivity services north of 50 degrees latitude by the end of the 2021. These initial regional services will begin in UK, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Artic Seas, and Canada with global service becoming available in 2022.

OneWeb’s fifth launch will bring the total in-orbit constellation to 146 satellites, part of the company’s 648 LEO fleet designed to deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity.

OneWeb recently announced a contract with Satixfy for an in-flight terminal to deliver aviation grade Wi-Fi.

OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture with Airbus, is manufacturing the satellites and has returned to full production. In addition, OneWeb has already secured global ITU priority spectrum rights.

QuiverTree and iKono TV are brining art to IFE screens under a new partnership

QuiverTree Media streams masterpieces in-flight

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QuiverTree and iKono TV are brining art to IFE screens under a new partnership

A new partnership is bringing art from worldwide collections, archives, galleries and museums in-flight.

QuiverTree Media has teamed up with art streaming platform ikonoTV to bring the art world in a silent streaming format onboard to personal devices and also seat-back screens.

“Continuing to inspire guests onboard with fresh, remarkable experiences made possible with digital expertise is part of QuiverTree Media’s DNA. We are privileged to lead the transformation of the in-flight content offering as a disruptive CSP and unlock exceptional new opportunities for airlines with technical innovation,” said Guillem Gassó, VP Commercial at QuiverTree Media.

The partners have already introduced content onboard several launch airlines including Iberia Express, Volotea, Air Nostrum, Pegasus and Sun Express.

Founded in 2011 by Elizabeth Markevitch, a curator with over 20 years of experience, ikonoTV showcases a collection of more than 500.000 works. The service offers subscribers access to Silent Streaming of Art in addition to interviews with artists, documentaries, exhibitions and performances, as well as the opportunity to meditate in museums.

“People can often be intimidated by art, concerned they may not understand it, when in fact, one only needs the opportunity to relax and feel in order to experience it and feel fulfilled.” notes Elizabeth Markevitch. “Providing the world with opportunities to access artistic experiences daily, contributes to greater openness in an environment that can increasingly appear to be full of barriers,” she added.

OneWeb and Satifxt are partnering to develop a n new IFC terminal

OneWeb and SatixFy to develop in-flight connectivity terminal

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OneWeb and Satifxt are partnering to develop a n new IFC terminal

OneWeb has signalled its commitment to aviation with news it will develop a new in-flight connectivity terminal.

Partnering with SatixFy UK, the terminal will work over the OneWeb network as well as on Geostationary (GEO) satellite networks. The product is based on SatixFy’s Electronically Steered Multibeam Antenna (ESMA) technology, developed together with JetTalk, a joint venture with Singapore Technology Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering).

SatixFy, has recently completed the development of Tx tile of 576 elements and Rx tile of 1024 elements, that can be used as building blocks for the planned terminal. The tiles, which have been co-developed together with JetTalk, have completed initial testing and are currently being implemented inside a terminal product. The OneWeb IFC terminal will integrate the OneWeb modem as well as a GEO network one, inside the terminal.

Ben Griffin, VP Mobility at OneWeb, said: “OneWeb is creating IFC solutions which offer a significant increase in the whole passenger travelling experience. This agreement with SatixFy represents a major milestone for OneWeb Aviation, as we plot our path to facilitating onboard connectivity, globally, on commercial airliners and corporate jets, large and small.”

“The ability to deploy multibeam, multi-satellite, multi-orbit IFC terminals is key in SatixFy’s offering developed in partnership with ST Engineering through our Joint Venture – JetTalk.” said Yoel Gat, SatixFy’s CEO. “Aggregating capacity from multiple satellites will give customers the grade of service they expect on flights. This great leap forward is made possible thanks to the continuous support by ESA and UK Space Agency.”

Catherine Mealing-Jones, Director of Growth at the UK Space Agency, added: “The new aviation terminal will make use of the Prime, Beat and Sx3099 ASIC chips developed with UK Space Agency backing, showing how supporting our most innovative companies leads to results that make a real difference for people all over the world.”

Turkish Airlines Boeing 737

Global Eagle secures Boeing 737 in-flight connectivity certification

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Turkish Airlines Boeing 737

Global Eagle has received two Supplemental Type Certificates (STC) for the installation of its Airconnect Global Ku in-flight connectivity (IFC) system onboard a Boeing 737 aircraft.

Developed internally by Global Eagle, the new certifications are part of a series of new homegrown STCs the company is pursuing for narrow-body aircraft, and also allow the company to install server and wireless access point components developed by Turkish Technic.

Working with Turkish Technic, the second new STC will see the installation of Airconnect Global Ku satellite IFC solution on Turkish Airlines’ narrow body fleet and, in conjunction with Global Eagle and Profen’s teleport infrastructure, the team will offer in-flight connectivity solutions on Turkish Airlines’ short-haul international and domestic routes.

According to Mike Pigott, Executive Vice President Connectivity Operations, Global Eagle: “We are incredibly proud to have achieved this homegrown STC as we now have ready-made approval to install our connectivity solutions on any aircraft within the Boeing 737 family, one of the world’s most widely-operated airframes.”

Onder Havuzlu, Profen’s Chief Executive Officer, added: “Combining our national engineering experience with Global Eagle’s IFC expertise and Turkish Technic’s superior maintenance capabilities will enable us to provide secure, high-quality data connectivity solutions for Turkish Airlines and the Turkish commercial aviation market.”

SpiceScreen, a wireless IFE platform was developed in-house by SpiceJet with local partners

SpiceJet partners with Fern Hotels to offer hotel bookings via SpiceScreen

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SpiceScreen, a wireless IFE platform was developed in-house by SpiceJet with local partners

Indian “environmentally sensitive” hotel chain Fern Hotels & Resorts has partnered with SpiceJet to showcase its 55 selected properties on the SpiceScreen in-flight entertainment platform.

In addition to in-flight meal ordering and viewing in-flight entertainment, SpiceScreen, the systems allows passengers to book hotel rooms.

“We have tied-up with SpiceScreen (official marketing partners of SpiceJet), to showcase our hotels on this platform. SpiceJet has selected 55 of our Fern, Zinc by The Fern, Beacon and independently branded hotels depending on their flight routes. Our hotels will feature on 320 SpiceJet flights on 70 sectors for the next three months on this platform,” said Mohit Sharad, General Manager – Sales & Marketing (North & East India).

All 55 participating hotels will offer SpiceJet guests booking their hotel rooms through this platform a flat 20% off on hotel’s BAR rates on Brand.com. Guests will also get a 20% discount on food and beverages and complimentary room upgrades as well as late check-out till 4 pm, both subject to availability.

Satcom Direct (SD) is bolstering access to its Crewmember Network and Connectivity Training certificate program, aeroCNCT, through a new agreement with DaVinci Inflight Training Institute, the Florida-based flight crew training company.

SD offers aeroCNCT training with DaVinci Inflight Training Institute

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Satcom Direct (SD) is bolstering access to its Crewmember Network and Connectivity Training certificate program, aeroCNCT, through a new agreement with DaVinci Inflight Training Institute, the Florida-based flight crew training company.

Satcom Direct (SD) is bolstering access to its Crewmember Network and Connectivity Training certificate program, aeroCNCT, through a new agreement with DaVinci Inflight Training Institute, the Florida-based flight crew training company. The SD aeroCNCT certified course is now being taught by an SD training professional at the DaVinci Institute on a quarterly basis. Theoretical and practical teaching leads to a professional credential upon successful completion of the course and examination.

The addition of aeroCNCT to the DaVinci curriculum aims to support the needs of an increasing amount of flight crew requiring comprehensive understanding of in-flight connectivity solution management. Designed to familiarise students with multifaceted connectivity concepts, the course includes modules on cabin network management, network applications and tools, and flight operation preparation. The resulting accreditation gives the flight professional the confidence to troubleshoot connectivity issues and serves to raise industry standards.

“We understand that connectivity is an essential element of the flight experience and that for flight crew it is a growing area of responsibility. DaVinci recognises that providing reliable training enhances the opportunity for greater professional development, so it makes sense to team up to offer our dedicated course through the institute. The aeroCNCT course complements existing DaVinci modules, and we hope that by providing a wide selection of courses at a single location, attendees can optimise the full training potential available at the institute,” explained John Kummer, SD SVP Strategy.

DaVinci offers a wide range of courses for flight attendants and crew, including culinary, cabin safety, and service training among others. “We believe that by adding tangible value to professional development with certified courses we are improving career prospects for our students and enhancing the business aviation sector. We are frequently asked for educational support relating to connectivity, so we are excited to add the SD connectivity module to our curriculum. We know it will appeal to many of our existing customers and be of great interest to new ones too,” said John Detloff, Chief Operating Officer at DaVinci.

ffya BLuetooth connectivity has been installed on a Wizz Air A321.

First Iridium window antenna installed on a Wizz Air A321

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ffya BLuetooth connectivity has been installed on a Wizz Air A321.

AS-IP Tech has installed the fflya Bluetooth connectivity kit onboard a Wizz Air UK Airbus A321.

AS-IP’s President Ron Chapman said: “A key component of the installation is our revolutionary window antenna system. We wanted a certified system that was simple to install with minimal components. The installation was carried out by Storm Aviation Limited in co-operation with Wizz Air UK Technical services.”

The original concept of a Bluetooth passenger network connecting via Iridium utilising a window antenna was tested by AS-IP in 2010. The company commercialised the first dual window antenna installation on a private jet in 2016. In 2018, AS-IP embarked on the airline version conducting further tests with a dual Iridium platform on an Airbus A340.

The company will soon embark on testing to support airline operational approval.

SmartSky Networks aicraft

SmartSky surpasses 200 patents

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SmartSky Networks aicraft

SmartSky Networks has confirmed it has surpassed 200 granted patents.

“SmartSky set out to transform aviation through innovations in communications technology and services,” said SmartSky CEO David Helfgott.  “Our expanding patent portfolio represents the latest advances in a host of sophisticated tech needed to deliver on the promise of the truly connected aircraft, from our cutting-edge radio and antenna hardware to our sophisticated next-generation network and new aviation-related digital services.”

SmartSky’s patents cover a breadth of areas crucial to providing office-grade in-flight communications and related services, including air-to-ground specific features of network architecture, operation in the 2.4 GHz unlicensed band, beamforming, spectrum re-use, seamless handoff, and signal processing. In the digital services arena, patents cover topics including an aerospace commerce exchange (Skytelligence), uses of blockchain relevant to aviation, dynamic 5-dimensional aircraft trajectory management and more.

The Plane Simple Ku-band tail mount antenna installed on SD Gulfstream aircraft for validation.

SD begins airborne validation of Plane Simple

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The Plane Simple Ku-band tail mount antenna installed on SD Gulfstream aircraft for validation.

Satcom Direct has begun airborne testing of its purpose-built Ku-band tail mounted antenna system, Plane Simple.

Inflight trials aim to validate the full performance capabilities of the Ku-band terminal and confirm the system’s integration with the SD ecosystem of hardware, software and supporting ground infrastructure.

The antenna, which is now equipped on SD’s Gulfstream aircraft, will provide empirical feedback about its functionality in an aerial environment.

“It is our company philosophy to always bring products to market that we have validated internally, and we are in a unique position to have the ability to undertake system testing on our own aircraft which gives us direct performance feedback,” said Satcom Direct Founder and CEO, Jim Jensen. “The aerial validation is the next step in becoming a single source provider of end-to-end connectivity solutions for business and government operators worldwide, which will streamline the connectivity ownership experience and customer support services.”

The aerial testing follows successful completion of intense drive testing completed in Melbourne, Florida using a customised mobile platform. The Plane Simple tail-mounted antenna system will support super-mid to large-size jets and is being developed in partnership with Germany-based QEST, Quantenelektronische Systeme.

“Aviation is moving toward a digital industry, and data is the foundation for informed decision making by operations, finance and maintenance departments. It is essential that we can offer powerful connectivity solutions to a much broader business aviation audience which also support enhanced data management and analytics. The start of our in-flight testing within a year of announcing the hardware expansion highlights just how committed we are to meeting these market needs,” concluded Jensen.

The Plane Simple Ku-band antenna is the first in a series of antenna systems being developed by SD. As a Value-Added Manufacturer (VAM) and service provider (SP) for Iridium Certus, SD is also designing and manufacturing a Plane Simple antenna system for compatibility with the new network offering from Iridium, while also providing the service direct to the business aviation community. The company is aiming to launch a Ka-band variant tail mount antenna in 2022, followed by an electronically steered, fuselage mounted phased-array antenna which will deliver high-speed connectivity via upcoming LEO constellations.