SD CEO and Founder Jim Jensen with Plane Simple Ku-band tail-mount antenna.

Satcom Direct has announced that its Plane Simple® antenna series is officially entering commercial service.

This follows two years of development, rigorous testing and a thorough customer in-service evaluation. The company says the first antenna in the ground-breaking technology series is now commercially available for aircraft owners and operators seeking reliable, global, customised connectivity solutions that are future-proofed for evolving connectivity needs.

Jim Jensen, CEO and founder of Satcom Direct commented on the announcement: “We had an idea that we believed would change how aircraft owners and operators think about connectivity. Together with our partners, we are developing, building, testing and proving the Plane Simple technology, a product line that helps our customers be prepared for now and the future.”

“Prior to the Plane Simple offering, high-speed connectivity options were limited by capacity, restrictive pricing plans, invasive installation, and were incompatible with changing satellite markets. The Plane Simple antenna series resolves these needs, and we’re proud to make this advanced, innovative antenna technology available to new and existing customers.”

Purpose-built design

According to Satcom Direct, the SD Plane Simple Ku-band tail-mount terminal has a purpose-built design that has been developed to meet the specific needs of the business aviation sector and is powered by the multi-layered, high-throughput Intelsat FlexExec network.

The Plane Simple Ku-band technology has been test flown using the company’s Gulfstream G550 to ensure the system exceeds customer expectations and over 560 total hours of flight time have been logged to confirm the global commercial readiness of the system.

The company says that all those participating in the in-service evaluation have transitioned to customer status. David Utley of Executive Jet Management which evaluated the system on its Bombardier Global 5000 said: “The tools and service provided by SD are impressive. We particularly welcome the opportunity to integrate third-party tools as it helps us operate more efficiently.

“These capabilities, combined with SD’s advice and recommendations on which tools to use and how to optimise them and troubleshoot in flight, empower me to maximise our connectivity. This consultative approach means I always know what is going on. That is important for a busy aircraft frequently flying around the globe.”

Satcom Direct manufacturing division, Satcom Direct Avionics, developed the state-of-the-art hardware with innovative aeronautical antenna provider QEST. The singular design of the first antenna consists of just two line replaceable units, the SD modem unit and tail-mount antenna. This minimises installation times and reduces maintenance fees. In addition, as the location is in the unpressurised part of the fuselage, this frees up valuable cabin space.

Satcom Direct says the system has already received FAA STCs for Bombardier Global 5000, 6000, Express, Express XRS, Dassault F2000LX/LXS and Gulfstream GIV, GIV-X, G450, GV, GV-SP, G550 types with the European Aviation Safety Agency also confirming STCs for Bombardier Global 5000, 6000, Express, Express XRS and Dassault F2000LX/LXS models.

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