CesiumAstro Jumps into IFC Market With New Phased Array Antenna

By Rachel Jewett | March 17, 2023
Send Feedback

This week, CesiumAstro unveiled its new in-flight connectivity satellite communications terminal. Pictured above is a Ka-band IFC terminal installed on a commercial aircraft. (Photo: CesiumAstro)

CesiumAstro is jumping into the in-flight connectivity (IFC) market, unveiling a new multi-beam flat panel terminal for aviation on Monday, March 13. It is an active phased array that can support multiple Ka-band constellations for airborne commercial and defense markets.

CesiumAstro designs phased arrays for satellites. This is its first user terminal for the aero market.

With the multi-beam, phased array technology, the antenna is able to track multiple satellite beams for seamless handoffs to perform make-before-break connections, CEO Shey Sabripour told Via Satellite.

“This is a seamless handoff. One of the features of having a multi-beam antenna is that all of this is done electronically. It’s flat, you don’t have any connectivity issues when the aircraft banks or has turbulence. It automatically tracks the satellite, you don’t lose connectivity,” Sabripour said.

It can also connect to multiple satellites and multiple constellations at once, including Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geostationary Orbit (GEO) at the same time. The back end of the array is software-defined, and it can be compatible with several different modems to be compatible with different constellations.

The company plans to demonstrate the antenna with Airbus this year. CesiumAstro was one company Airbus selected to build an IFC antenna prototype. The company plans to deliver its  prototype to Airbus in a couple of months to be flown on a commercial aircraft demonstration later this year.

“Airbus R&T is committed to evaluating the latest technologies in the industry so that we can provide our customers best in class connectivity,” said Olivier Hauw, leading Fast Track Connectivity at Airbus, said in a press release. “CesiumAstro’s flat panel array technology is at the cutting edge, and we look forward to working together further.”

It is not an exclusive deal with Airbus, and Sabripour said CesiumAstro has also own government contracts to demonstrate the antenna for government applications.

This article was originally published by Via Satellite, a sister publication to Avionics International. Click here to read the original version >>

Receive the latest avionics news right to your inbox