SD named preferred service provider for Sidewinder

Business aviation solutions provider Satcom Direct (SD) has signed an agreement with next-generation satellite communications technology business Stellar Blu.

The Stellar Blu fuselage-mounted, electronically steered array (ESA) terminal is designed to retrofit executive aircraft to support a full suite of connectivity services. Satcom Direct will be responsible for selling and activating the airtime, customer service, cybersecurity monitoring and additional value-added services associated with airtime plans to Sidewinder terminal customers. The multi-network terminal supports connectivity to Ku-band airtime networks, including the OneWeb LEO constellation with which SD already has a relationship.

Stellar Blu said it had chosen to work with Satcom Direct because of its long heritage and reputation for supporting military, government, VVIP, and head-of-state heavy jet connectivity solutions. The addition of the Stellar Blu terminal equipment enables the narrow-body business jets to harness the benefits of a fuselage-mounted antenna. Consistent, reliable performance for aircraft with heavy passenger loads is bolstered by the Sidewinder terminal and OneWeb network, ensuring video conferencing, remote command and control, and other applications are optimized with reduced latency.


“We have successfully developed our advanced technology SD Plane Simple terminal series to meet the increasing and diverse connectivity demands of small to large jets. Adding the Stellar Blu Sidewinder solution to the portfolio complements the series and gives even more choices for our executive airliner customers. The versatility of the SD eco-system of software, hardware, and ground infrastructure enables customized solutions to meet the specific missions of these elite heavy jets,” said Michael Skou Christensen, chief commercial officer Satcom Direct.

“We are also integrating added value by enhancing the turnkey solution through collaborative integration of software tools for improved insight into end-to-end connectivity performance. Our open architecture system is a force multiplier in harnessing the power of the service. We can share aircraft performance data, connectivity usage and management data information to improve service quality, streamline operational efficiencies and augment the customer experience.”

Stellar Blu will begin in-service evaluation of the Sidewinder ESA terminal in Q2 2023, after which a full suite of STCs is anticipated for Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer airframes. The ESA terminal is currently being type-approved on the OneWeb network. Customers can expect high-speed broadband connectivity on every mission, including routes transiting polar regions, before the end of 2023.

“The Sidewinder terminal is redefining the performance and total cost of ownership for SATCOM systems for this class of aircraft. We are excited to team with a company that appreciates the importance of delivering these tangible and commercial benefits to its VVIP and government customers. SD is motivated to enhance the overall solution performance in which the SATCOM equipment is part of the value chain,” said Tracy Trent, CEO of Stellar Blu.

“SD’s experience and understanding of the importance of keeping these customers connected, the unwavering commitment to customer experience, and the company’s reputation all contributed to our selection process. We’re looking forward to working with them to help our customers optimize the capabilities of our antenna, including its unprecedented speed, latency and lowest carbon footprint, with SD’s Ku services offered by OneWeb.”

Jason Sperry, head of business aviation at OneWeb, added: “Connectivity has become an integral part of any business aviation itinerary, and nowhere is this more vital than within the VVIP and government sector.  Passengers expect to be as productive and entertained as they are in the office and home. OneWeb’s low earth Orbit satellite connectivity will enable the use of the tools and applications passengers require. Together with Satcom Direct and Stellar Blu, we are looking forward to bringing game-changing connectivity to the VVIP market.”


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