At the April 2014 Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, we announced our newest technology: 2Ku. 2Ku is unique to Gogo and uses two low-profile, high efficiency Ku-band satellite antennas. The new technology will deliver peak speeds to the aircraft of more than 70 Mbps.
The advantages of the 2Ku antenna are significant – The antenna is approximately two times more spectrally efficient than other antennas in the commercial aviation market, which means it will produce more bandwidth at less cost. The spectral efficiency also makes it the most TV friendly solution in the market. The antenna itself is only 4.5 inches tall, which reduces drag on the aircraft compared to other satellite solutions. 2Ku’s performance benefits will be even more dramatic in the tropical regions of the globe where other satellite solutions degrade significantly due to restrictions associated with operating at high skew angles.
The 2Ku antenna and its increased spectral efficiency are compatible with today’s Ku satellites and future Ku satellites, including future spot beam satellites. Because the antenna can be used with any Ku-satellite, it avoids the single point of failure that comes with reliance on a single satellite for connectivity in a given region, and offers airlines much desired redundancy and reliability.
2Ku uses mechanically-phased-array antennas. These antennas represent the next generation of airborne antenna design. Rather than physically pointing toward the target satellite, these antennas create a beam in the desired direction by mechanically rotating a series of internal plates with carefully designed resonance characteristics. These antennas are symmetric in design, which results in a symmetric beam shape. Compared to gimbaled antennas, they are even lower in profile and more aerodynamic, effectively reducing the amount of drag.
We demonstrated our 2Ku system to the media during a live test session at our “all access day” in June 2014 – as you can see in the image above, we were able to reach significant speeds using the technology.