Connectivity

ViaSat Gen-2 Internet Equipment Should Be Production-Ready in May

By S.L. Fuller | April 7, 2017

Gen-2 equipment optimized to take advantage of highly-anticipated massive capacity increases in ViaSat satellites. Photo courtesy of ViaSat Inc. via Twitter

Gen-2 equipment can take advantage of massive capacity increases in ViaSat satellites. Photo courtesy of ViaSat Inc.

ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 class satellites can now carry Gen-2 in-flight internet equipment, ViaSat Inc. said. The equipment is available for early access testing and should be production-ready and available for installations starting in May.

The company unveiled its latest generation solution at Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany. It is designed to be forward- and backward-compatible across ViaSat's satellite platforms. It also has more than than 3.5 terabits per second of total expected future global capacity ViaSat plans to bring to market. Gen-2 compatibility will exist across all of ViaSat's satellite platforms, which includes its first-generation spacecraft and its most advanced spacecraft. Airlines would have the ability to choose its satellite solution provider, as the Gen-2 equipment is compatible with most other Ka-band satellites.

ViaSat said the equipment is able to use its satellite capacity increases and includes upgrades to:

  • Antenna:  Full Ka-band spectrum support, defined by the International Telecommunication Union, doubling useable satellite capacity and enabling the full range of capabilities on ViaSat's satellites. Gen-2 antenna power supply is designed to make use of ARINC 791 provisions for simple installation.
  • Radome:  Gen-2 radome and ARINC 791-compatible mounting plate reduce weight and minimal signal distortion, enabling full performance on ViaSat's satellites while reducing fuel consumption.
  • Modem: Support capability of throughput levels of up to 1 gb per second, allowing airlines to make the most of the advanced capabilities expected from ViaSat's current and next-generation satellite platforms.
  • Wireless access points: ViaSat's 802.11ac Wave 2 WAPs deliver higher speeds from the modem to each connected device on the aircraft by removing potential bottlenecks caused by the cabin design.
  • Onboard server: Capability for more in-flight crew, ground crew and passenger-focused applications with open platform server. ViaSat's future focused platform is backed by a powerful quad-core Intel CPU and 30 terabytes of solid-state storage.
  • Advanced diagnostics: Enhanced tracking and diagnostic software to provide in-flight and operational ground crews with real-time health insight of the in-flight internet system.

"What we're bringing to the in-flight internet market is so drastically different than anything else coming on the market. We're delivering a vertically-integrated system — from the satellite to the terminal and the access points on the aircraft — that is optimized to keep pace with the most powerful communications satellites in the world, ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3," said Don Buchman, VP and general manager of commercial mobility at ViaSat. "As a result, our Gen-2 equipment extracts greater productivity, performance and higher throughput levels from the integrated system, and raises the standard for delivering best performing in-flight internet and streaming experiences at scale."

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