April 4, 2017 – At Aircraft Interiors Expo, Viasat has unveiled the latest generation (Gen-2) in-flight internet equipment for its ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 class satellites, optimized to take advantage of the claimed “massive capacity increases” expected from the satellites.
“What we’re bringing to the in-flight internet market is drastically different from 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, vice president and general manager, 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.”
The Gen-2 equipment is designed to be forward and backward compatible across ViaSat’s satellite platforms, allowing airlines to take advantage of the more than 3.5 terabits per second (Tbps) of total expected future global capacity ViaSat says it will be bringing to market. Additionally, the Gen-2 equipment is compatible with most other Ka-band satellites, giving airlines greater choice in satellite solution provider.
The ViaSat Gen-2 equipment is available today for early access testing. It will be production-ready and available for installations starting in May 2017. According to ViaSat, it has a number of airline customers committed to the Gen-2 equipment, with those airlines having immediate access to the ViaSat-2 satellite platform.
The Gen-2 equipment includes upgrades in short:
• Antenna: ViaSat’s Gen-2 antenna supports the full Ka-band spectrum defined by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), doubling useable satellite capacity and enabling the full range of capabilities on ViaSat’s satellites. An upgraded Gen-2 antenna power supply is designed to make use of ARINC 791 provisions for simple installation.
• Radome: ViaSat optimized its Gen-2 radome and ARINC 791-compatible mounting plate for reduced weight and minimal signal distortion, enabling full performance on ViaSat’s satellites while reducing fuel consumption.
• Modem: ViaSat’s Gen-2 modem is capable of supporting throughput levels of up to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps), allowing airlines to make the most of the advanced capabilities expected from ViaSat’s current and next-generation satellite platforms.
• Wireless Access Points (WAPs): 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.
• On-board server: ViaSat is enabling airlines to host more in-flight crew, ground crew and passenger-focused applications with its open platform server. ViaSat’s future-focused platform is backed by a quad-core Intel CPU and 30TB of solid-state storage.
• Advanced diagnostics: ViaSat’s Gen-2 equipment offers enhanced tracking and diagnostic software to provide in-flight and operational ground crews with real-time health insight of the in-flight internet system.