Sponsored feature: Satcom Direct (SD) is set to introduce a new device that will revolutionise connectivity for smaller business aircraft.
The new SD LTE Hub, which will be launched at NBAA in October, provides fast connectivity to the cabin, both while on the ground AND in the air.
Smaller Business aircraft generally have a single SATCOM or Air-to-Ground solution for cabin connectivity, and are size, weight, power, and cost conscious.
SD has the optimised solution to meet the needs of owners of shorter-range aircraft that want to be connected.
SD LTE Hub
The SD LTE Hub has an LTE cellular modem and antenna for use on the ground, providing fast, reliable data to a number of passenger devices via its built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology and supporting data transfer rates of up to 867 Mbps.
Once in the air it switches to the aircraft’s inflight SATCOM or air-to-ground (ATG) solution, allowing passengers and crew to stay connected through all phases of the flight.
Measuring approximately 17cm x 14.7cm x 2.5cm and weighing just 725gm, the hub is designed for ease of installation in a variety of places on the aircraft where space is at a premium. SD says it can be neatly fitted onto new aircraft, or retrofitted for cabin upgrades, thereby bringing powerful connectivity to a wider range of aircraft types.
With the single hub, owners and operators can now benefit from faster data speeds, high-speed wireless internet, and improved connectivity stability. In addition, the SD LTE Hub has 64GB of on-board storage for media or other files.
It is configurable and customisable too. It works like an internal network on-board the aircraft, so once you get on board your phone and laptop will recognise the system and connect you according to your data policies – that is, with or without a password, automatically.
The SD LTE Hub is also “rotary qualified”, bringing powerful connectivity to both turboprops and helicopters as well.
On the ground and in the air
While on the ground its higher LTE cellular data speeds reduce buffering and latency during file transfers, while improved wireless broadband makes HD video streaming and gaming possible.
A continuous connection between networks will also support voice and texting from anywhere in the world.
The LTE Hub works harmoniously with SD Pro, the digital dashboard that provides real-time information to support and manage flight operations and maintenance. In addition, ARINC 429 inputs are available to enable near real-time on-screen moving maps.
Jason Sperry, SD’s LTE Hub Director of Hardware Products, said: “The introduction of the LTE Hub to the market means we can bring the office-in-the-sky experience through improved data speeds to the smaller cabin, in a compact, lightweight, powerful unit.
“We know operators and private owners of the smaller cabins want access to the same connectivity options as the large jets and anticipate this will fill a growing need in the market.”
The latest LTE Hub extends the SD router series which already includes the Satcom Direct Router (SDRTM) and SDR Gateway (previously known as the Optelity Pro from TrueNorth), both of which provide nose-to-tail connectivity for mid to large-size jets.