Home Digitalisation Inmarsat and GDC Technics develop advanced GX Aviation terminal

Inmarsat and GDC Technics develop advanced GX Aviation terminal

Inmarsat has unveiled details of a next generation terminal for its award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband solution.

Developed in collaboration with GDC Technics, an industry leader in engineering and technical services, modifications and electronic systems, the innovative lightweight, low drag terminal is available to airlines across the world today. It has been designed to meet the connectivity needs of data-hungry passengers now and in the future, allowing them to stream high definition videos, enjoy online video games, download documents and more using their personal devices.

Following a range of technology assessments and test flights over the past 12 months, the powerful new terminal has demonstrated its ability to consistently deliver the highest levels of connectivity on board aircraft, even in the world’s busiest airspaces. In addition, upcoming enhancements to Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network will further bolster the terminal’s performance in the near future.

Gold standard

The next generation terminal includes a robust flat panel antenna developed by Thinkom, which has millions of flight hours behind it. In addition, it has been integrated with smart dual aero modem technology that supports Inmarsat’s ground-breaking new GX+ North America service, announced with Hughes Network Systems last week.

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “GX Aviation is well established as the gold standard in inflight broadband and we have a fully-funded technology roadmap to ensure it remains the unrivalled choice for aviation connectivity. This includes the addition of seven more satellites into our global GX network over the next four years, as well as cutting-edge hardware innovation such as this new terminal.

“As a result, our existing and future customers are perfectly positioned to meet increasing passenger expectations for consistent, reliable, high-speed connectivity wherever they fly. There is already interest and excitement for this solution – especially around the terminal’s enhanced performance and its simple integration with both legacy systems and existing partners. GDC, as an experienced and credible aerospace company, has proved an exceptional partner on this project.”

Fast evolving

Brad Foreman, Chief Executive Officer of GDC Technics, said: “The global inflight connectivity market is fast evolving and we have enjoyed working with Inmarsat to develop this next generation terminal for GX Aviation, which is not only lightweight and low drag, but also boasts one of the lowest engineering failure rates in the market. We are hugely excited about the partnership and look forward to working with Inmarsat and its partners to bring this new terminal to airlines across the world.”

The new GDC Technics terminal has been certified and is now flying on Boeing 737-700 aircraft. Additional retrofit and linefit certifications are currently in progress and expected to be available by the end of this year, including retrofit options for the Airbus A320/330 family, and the Boeing B787 and B777 aircraft.

Customers can select either a low profile configuration for the terminal, which drives exceptional operational efficiency, or an option with standard tri-band radomes for the retrofit market. Both options, coupled with a very high reliability antenna, ensure a reduced cost of ownership.