Panasonic Avionics and ThinKom are jointly developing ThinAir, a next-generation Ku-band antenna, which will begin being delivered to airline customers from 2023 onwards.
From 2023, Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) will offer its airline customers a new, next-generation Ku-band antenna developed in partnership with ThinKom Solutions.
Known as ThinAir, the antenna will be based on ThinKom’s proven Variable Inclination Continuous Transverse Stub (VICTS) technology. ThinKom claims VICTS combines the benefits of both mechanically steered and electronically scanned arrays. It explains the technology in simple terms as “layers of lightweight discs rotating around a single axis to steer the beam and control polarization.”
ThinAir will be available as both a line-fit and retrofit option, and will connect aircraft with Panasonic Avionics’ network of Ku-band satellites. The low-profile antenna will offer airlines greater aerodynamic efficiency, and will support both low Earth orbit (LEO) and geostationary orbit (GEO) satellite networks.
Mark Silk, president at ThinKom Solutions, said, “This agreement with Panasonic Avionics is an important validation of our VICTS phased array antennas, which are designed to seamlessly roam on both LEO and GEO networks, delivering unparalleled flexibility and resiliency to ensure the highest level of bandwidth services and availability to airline customers.”
Jeff Sare, VP In-Flight Connectivity Solutions at Panasonic Avionics, said, “Panasonic is committed to delivering seamless, scalable, and future-proofed in-flight connectivity to our airline customers and their passengers. Our new antenna offering with ThinKom is an integral part of our network and will allow airlines to access both current and future satellite constellations.”
Over 2,300 aircraft are connected to Panasonic Avionics’ global communications network, and more than 3,750 aircraft from various airline customers are currently committed to the company’s in-flight connectivity services.