Ball Aerospace and Stellar Blu Solutions are collaborating to bring a series of Ku-band satellite communications (SATCOM) terminals to the in-flight connectivity market. The terminals will provide highspeed, reliable broadband connectivity for regional, narrow and wide body aircraft. The terminals are optimized for low earth orbit (LEO) networks, but offer extensibility to multi-orbit constellations including various LEO MEO and GEO configurations.
The terminals utilize Ball Aerospace’s modular, scalable subarray products that implement electronically steered arrays (ESA), which are essential to realize the breakthrough performance on LEO networks. Stellar Blu is developing the aircraft integration package and internal avionics to support LEO, MEO and GEO networks at Ku-band. The Stellar Blu terminal will assure operators a “purpose built” aviation solution capable of meeting the diverse airline use cases, reliability, and maintainability necessary for a “gate to gate” experience. A prototype of the new LEO terminal will be on display at the Ball Aerospace booth #509 at SATELLITE 2022.
“Fast, secure and reliable in-air connectivity has been sought after for years and this new product puts us closer than ever to achieving this goal,” said Dr. Jacob Sauer, vice president and general manager, Tactical Solutions, Ball Aerospace. “The lightweight ESA terminals meet airlines’ budgetary requirements and, more importantly their technological needs, including size, weight and power requirements.”
ESA terminals are ideal for mobile applications, especially in-flight communications and connectivity. The speed at which aircraft move requires an antenna that can instantaneously move beams to ensure that it’s always pointing at the satellite. Moreover, their low-profile, small size and light weight makes them ideal for airlines, which are constantly seeking new ways to shed any extra weight increase fuel efficiency and lower operating costs.
Ball Aerospace is leveraging 50 years of experience building phased arrays for operational defense applications to develop technology for commercial applications. With no moving parts, Ball ESA terminals can connect with satellites in multiple orbits and provide long-term reliability with lower maintenance costs.
Stellar Blu Solutions (Stellar Blu) is a leader in the development of cutting-edge connectivity, network and avionics solutions for next generation satellite networks. GDC Technics, one of the largest aircraft modification establishments in the world launched Stellar Blu as an independent company focused on continuing the development of aircraft communications technologies for the world’s leading airlines, as well as solutions for other aerospace and mobility markets. Together these firms provide turn-key inflight connectivity solutions including terminal development, aircraft integration and certification and installation packages.
“We are pleased to formally announce our relationship with Ball Aerospace,” said Tracy Trent, CEO of Stellar Blu. “This announcement builds upon over 2 years of collaboration with airlines, network operators, and a network of MRO Partners. We are excited to move to the production phase with Ball and our other Partners, with a singular focus of product availability early next year.”
Powered by endlessly curious people with an unwavering mission focus, Ball Aerospace pioneers discoveries that enable our customers to perform beyond expectation and protect what matters most. We create innovative space solutions, enable more accurate weather forecasts, drive insightful observations of our planet, deliver actionable data and intelligence, and ensure those who defend our freedom go forward bravely and return home safely. Go Beyond with Ball.® For more information, visit www.ball.com/aerospace or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter. For more information on Stellar Blu Solutions, visit www.stellar-blu.com.
About Ball Corporation
Ball Corporation supplies innovative, sustainable aluminum packaging solutions for beverage, personal care and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ 24,300 people worldwide and reported 2021 net sales of $13.8 billion. For more information, visit www.ball.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.