Rockwell Collins has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with OneWeb Ltd to be the exclusive developer and provider of satellite communication (satcom) terminals for OneWeb’s global aviation high-speed broadband service. Rockwell Collins will also be an authorised Value Added Reseller of OneWeb connectivity services.
The constellation of more than 600 satellites is expected to provide global broadband services to consumers by 2019, with airlines able to make use of aircraft e-enablement and passenger connectivity benefits.
“This collaboration is a significant next step in our information management and connectivity journey,” said Kent Statler, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Commercial Systems for Rockwell Collins. “By working with OneWeb to bring unprecedented bandwidth and connectivity speed to the aviation industry, we’re strategically positioned to rapidly change the way airlines operate and to provide passengers with a connected experience that mirrors their daily lives.”
Under the agreement, OneWeb will team up with Rockwell Collins to develop and certify the satcom terminals, which will utilise electronically scanned array (ESA) antenna technology developed by Rockwell Collins’ Advanced Technology Center. Using rapid beam movement and reconfigurable antenna patterns, ESA antennas provide high levels of performance to ensure that aircraft stay connected during flight.
John Borghese, Vice President, Advanced Technology Center, Rockwell Collins added: “The antenna is a fraction of the size and weight of a traditional airborne satcom antenna, which means significant long-term cost savings for airlines from reduced fuel consumption.”
When launched, OneWeb, formerly known as WorldVu, will provide approximately 10 terabits per second of low-latency, high-speed broadband globally.