First LEO In-Flight Connectivity Demonstration Complete

Gilat, Global Eagle, and Telesat engineers with the IFC over LEO test plane in Canada. Photo, courtesy of Gilat.


Gilat Satellite Networks, Global Eagle, and Telesat played a key role in the first demonstration of an in-flight aircraft communicating at broadband speeds with a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite system.

The industry milestone was achieved using Global Eagle’s Albatross Onetest aircraft with Gilat’s aero modem and Telesat‘s Phase 1 LEO satellite, launched earlier this year. The testing included a successful demonstration of seamless connectivity and switchover between Telesat’s Geostationary Orbit (GEO) and LEO satellites.

Global Eagle is a provider of satellite-based broadband connectivity, television, and entertainment services, content and data analytics to aviation, maritime, enterprise, and government markets

“Global Eagle is confident that Telesat’s planned LEO constellation will fundamentally improve the passenger experience for in-flight broadband with industry-leading latency, throughput, and global coverage,” said Global Eagle Executive Vice President (VP) Per Noren. “We chose to collaborate with Gilat on LEO baseband technology due to their proven multi-application platform and clear LEO roadmap.”

“Gilat’s solution has now proved its technological advantage of supporting not only multiple applications, satellites, bands and beams, but also a world first transition between satellites in multiple orbits,” said Gilat VP of Mobility and Global Accounts Ron Levin.