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There is a significant market across the world for providing broadband "on-the-move" communications to aircraft, covering both the commercial air transport market and other military and security applications. Currently, the preferred delivery method is via Ku-Band satellites. Various services have been launched, but many have either failed, or are struggling to get the necessary take-up. One of the key barriers to success has been the size and performance of the antennas deployed in these systems. A number of existing products exist; however, these are not attractive because either:
ERA?s new array based low profile antenna will be designed to operate in both the Ku-Band RX and Ku-Band TX bands using a single aperture. The aim of the current programme of work is to take the technology through to pre-production.
The work will be split into three phases. Phase 1 will be to undertake technology de-risking activities. It will also include a full definition of the antenna System Specification and component specifications. In Phase 2, the antenna system will be designed and a number of demonstration units manufactured. Phase 3 will consist of system integration and qualification activities.
The key issue is to design a cost-effective, very low profile antenna that can be accommodated on a wide range of aircraft, using as wide a range of different satellites and transponders as possible.
The antenna must also be designed with other market opportunities in mind to maximise the market potential for the design.
Providing a European-designed and supplied low profile antenna to meet the market needs of commercial air transport operators to provide data communications for passengers
Phase 1 will take place over a timeframe of approximately 6 months and will:
Phase 2 will take place over a period of about 12 months and will:
Phase 3 will take place over a period of about 6 months and will: