Posted on: 16 September 2014 by Mark Howells
Panasonic is to introduce an ultra low profile phased array antenna that is the same height as an iPhone.
The 140lb antenna is designed to curve over the aircraft, eliminating the need for a radome, offering huge reductions in both weight and drag.
Dave Bruner (pictured), vice president of global communications services explained that the equipment is geared to narrowbodies especially in the Asia Pacific region and China. He said that the low-profile architecture “cuts operational expenses for Wi-Fi equipped aircraft."The firm is developing the broadband electronically steered with Boeing Network and Space Systems. It will deliver Panasonic’s eXConnect broadband in-flight Wi-Fi service, and, thanks to its low profile, reduces fuel burn and emissions through what the company says will be a 65 percent reduction in operational weight and drag “without compromising connection speed.”The new antenna will be available to the commercial aircraft market in 2016. In addition, Panasonic plans to offer it to a much broader range of narrow- and wide-body aircraft. Bruner added that there is potentially a market for widebodies, too, with several Boeing 777-300 types operating in regional airways throughout Asia.