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How Cabin Tech Enhances Passenger Experience During Private Jet Flights?

How Cabin Tech Enhances Passenger Experience During Private Jet Flights?


Empire Aviation recently became the first operator in the UAE to deploy Satcom Direct’s advanced technology Plane Simple Ku-band terminal.

This system is being installed in aircraft across the company’s managed fleet. The move is in response to advancing technology and the rising demand from owners and charter clients- more simply, commercial value and passenger satisfaction.

What is the Satcom Direct System?

The Satcom Direct (SD) system offers a single resource to meet all connectivity needs, from the cockpit to cabin, with leading-edge technology backed by a network of top MRO partners and access to expert support 24/7/365 to keep aircraft connected. Satcom Direct’s Cabin Solutions allow passengers to stay in touch, informed, and entertained with the optimal onboard connectivity experience.

Why is Empire Aviation Deploying the Satcom Direct System?

It’s an approach that gives owners peace of mind when deploying this new advanced technology. It’s a technological miracle and, at Empire Aviation, we go behind the scenes with SD to see how they make this work. 

The company partners with industry-leading satellite network operators to deliver the most advanced in-flight connectivity available, working closely with owners and operators to understand aircraft, travel patterns, the desired capabilities and budget to build a customised, fully integrated solution.

What Makes Satcom Direct System Reliable?

We all expect our inflight internet to be as fast and reliable as it is at home or in the office, wherever we fly in the world. This is exactly what SD delivers – high-speed connectivity on board to enable video and audio streaming, Live TV, video calls, transferring large files and access to corporate VPN.

Challenges Associated with Airborne Connectivity

As SD describes the challenge – we all compare our connectivity experience with our homes or offices – a persistent, high bandwidth, low latency connection. Replicating this experience in an aircraft at 45,000 feet flying near 0.9 Mach is a technical challenge.

Unlike a house or office building, the aircraft is manoeuvring, the antenna and satellite are in motion, and there are clouds and rain in between both, latency varies depending on how far away the satellite is. Therefore, the connection can be interrupted as the system switches between satellite beams and/or between satellites. 

Mostly, these technical challenges are transparent to the user. However, there are a couple of applications such as gaming or video teleconferencing that demand a persistent high bandwidth low latency connection that can be challenging to replicate in an airborne environment.

How does the SD System Tackle these Challenges?

Airborne connectivity represents a significant investment for an aircraft owner or operator. The result of that Investment should be a system that supports the passenger’s needs and the aircraft’s missions for 7-10 years. SD’s solution is Plane Simple – a family of antennas that are modular, easy to install, frequency and network diverse, with a flexible system architecture that can adapt to future network changes.

The decision on which solution to install on an aircraft to best achieve its connectivity goals is a factor in the mission requirements of the given aircraft. This includes: what are the passengers and crew trying to do and where are they flying?

The first step is to look at the critical applications that are needed as well as the most prevalent flight routes. Secondly, It’s important to understand how many passengers are typically on board. This will help identify the key requirements in terms of capacity, latency, and consistency that are needed.