Brazilian Operator First To Install Ku-band System

Satcom Direct
Brazil’s Fototerra is first special mission customer for Satcom Direct’s Plane Simple Ku-band antenna.
Credit: Satcom Direct

Satellite connectivity provider Satcom Direct announced the first planned installation of its Plane Simple Ku-band antenna system on a first special mission aircraft, an Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante operated by airborne data capture company Fototerra of Brazil.

The Plane Simple antenna, which connects with Intelsat’s 18-satellite Ku-band network, will be mounted on top of the fuselage of the twin turboprop, in the center of the aircraft to heighten operating efficiencies, according to aircraft certification company and Satcom Direct reseller Jazz Engenharia Aeronáutica.

Jazz is completing the first installation and liaising with the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC), to generate supplemental type certifications for the broadband satcom system. Plans call for the installation to begin in late August, with delivery to Fototerra in late September, followed by crew training, Satcom Direct said.

Melbourne, Florida-based Satcom Direct is collaborating with Pro Aero, an aviation consulting company, as well as Jazz on the installation. 

“The advanced antenna system will replace current microwave technology that Fototerra uses to monitor the maritime coast on behalf of the oil and gas industry,” Jazz Sales Director Felipe Nardi said. “The existing technology requires Fototerra to stay near the coastline to communicate images effectively. Once we’ve installed the terminal, this limitation will be removed.”

The Plane Simple terminal, designed exclusively for business aviation, requires two line replaceable units: an SD Modem Unit and the Plane Simple Antenna to activate data transmission. The first special-mission aircraft project also represents the first installation of the Plane Simple Ku-band terminal in the Latin American region, Satcom Direct said.

Bill Carey

Based in Washington, DC, Bill covers avionics, air traffic management and aviation safety for Aviation Week. A former daily newspaper reporter, he has covered the commercial, business and military aviation segments as well as unmanned aircraft systems. Prior to joining Aviation Week in November 2017, he worked for Aviation International News and Avionics and Rotor & Wing magazines.