Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Show Me the Gbps: When 1 + 1 > 2

Some airlines offer passengers connectivity for free, others make the passengers pay, and in the end most will offer a mix of free and pay services.  Will the airplane radio be able to meet the needs of the passenger?  What about the radio network?  How will that evolve over the next ten years?  This feasibility analysis takes a look at the US market to reveal the technical requirements for a satellite network to meet the demand from a "typical" large US airline and from four such large US airlines.

Both Ku-band satellites and Ka-band satellites can serve any foreseeable airline passenger connectivity market.  Because of concentrated demand, a single large US airline under the heaviest demand cannot be served from a single orbital slot by 2026.  It takes a family of orbital slots with satellites offering overlapping coverage to aggregate the spectrum needed at the busiest airports.  A family of satellites offers a robust and scalable solution to grow as demand grows, applying the newest technology incrementally along the way.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Average Data Rate and Usage - Use Cases

Every Internet access session is a unique experience generating a unique amount of usage (as measured broadly in MBytes). Light, average, heavy and future make up four categories. For each usage scenario, there are three use cases: all streaming, all Internet access, or split evenly between the two. The session duration and the amount of time off-line is another dimension. A short session will have less off-line time than a longer session.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Satellite 2016 - Day 1

Software defined payloads, beam-forming arrays, and unfurling antennas are just a few of the technologies to power the digital satellite revolution.  The challenge is to reach a price point that is competitive with terrestrial alternatives and with enough capacity to serve the addressable markets.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Reflecting on the Boeing 727

The first flight of the Boeing 727 began with a center-engine surge after takeoff.  It settled down quickly.  In any case, the tail-mounted configuration made engine-out handling much easier than wing-mounted engines. The outer leading-edge slats got stuck deployed (symmetric) as the aero loads overwhelmed the actuator.  It was going to take more than a few hiccups to keep Lew Wallick and his crew from two plus hours inflight, including landing configuration stalls, using flaps 40, using less than 2000 feet of ground roll in the first landing - and a big thumbs-up!  The first flight was on Feb. 9, 1963, fifty three years ago. I was almost five years old, living about 150 miles north in Vancouver and completely oblivious.  Yet my own personal first flight would be on a 727 just six years later.