Tecom and Qest, which have partnered to bring a new Ku-band antenna system to market, are in the process of finalizing a first flight test prototype and expect to start serial production in the middle of 2009.
Named KuStream 1000, the antenna system will support Ku-band-based connectivity systems. Airlines worldwide are now considering whether to bring such systems in-flight to provide passengers with Internet and other entertainment options.
At the end of November 2008, the performance parameters of Qest's horn array aperture were verified in an anechoic chamber.
"Meeting all relevant, stringent FCC [Federal Communications Commission] criteria for airborne Ku-band antennas in transmit mode up to a geographical skew angle of min +/- 35 degrees, the Qest aperture takes an outstanding competitive position," says Qest director of sales and marketing Michael Stobinski.
In the middle of December, the first functional prototype of the antenna system was assembled and successfully powered-on at Tecom's premises in California. Since mid-January of this year, selected customers have been given fully functional system demos at the Tecom location.
While testing Internet connections over satellite, ultra-high-speed transmit data rates are being obtained, says Stobinski.