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  • Writer's pictureEBAA

Satcom Direct: Simplifying the Inherently Complex

Updated: Sep 9, 2022

Satellite technology is inherently complex, that is unless your provider is Satcom Direct. Celebrating 25 years in business, the company remains committed to simplifying the technology so customers can experience the full power of satcom connectivity.

Twenty-five years is a long time to be in business. But when your business is technology, a quarter of a century is the equivalent of lightyears.

“In a timespan of just 25 years, we’ve gone from being tethered to a landline to being constantly connected,” says Michael Skov Christensen, Senior Vice President at Satcom Direct.

As the terrestrial world accelerated from analogue to digital, so too did the business aircraft. “When Satcom Direct was founded 25 years ago, our goal was to make it easier to direct dial an aircraft while in flight,” notes Christensen. “Since then, we’ve evolved from dial-up modems to the office-in-the-sky to being able to stream live events on multiple devices.”

Yet, despite this myriad of change, Satcom Direct’s guiding principle remains the same: keep things simple.

“Satellite technology is inherently complex,

but the goal of this technology is rather straightforward – to give customers the power to do what they need to do,” adds Christensen. “Our aim is to replace the complexity with products that are intuitive and customer friendly, so all users can experience the power of satcom without having to be knowledgeable about how it all works.”

This mantra of simplicity is exactly what is behind

the company’s Plane Simple™ Antenna Series. True to its name, the Ku-band antenna is comprised of just two Line Replaceable Units, a tail mount antenna and the Satcom Direct modem, which are linked by fewer cables than other systems. Purpose built for business aviation, not only does the solution raise the bar in connectivity, it also redefines the upgrade process.

Keeping it plane simple

As Christensen explains, because technology changes so fast, the lifespan of the communication system is often far shorter than the aircraft itself. “For many operators, this means having to adapt your aircraft to different technologies multiple times over the course of its life,” he says.

One must bear in mind that these adaptations are a little more complex than buying the latest iPhone – if only things were so simple. Traditionally, they require a retrofit, which involves ripping out the old system and installing the new one – a process that is both extremely expensive and time consuming, meaning the aircraft is grounded during the installation. But even with the shiny new system fully installed, you still find yourself stuck in the same hamster wheel of being tied to a specific network until you install an even newer technology.

Believing there had to be a better way, Satcom Direct set out to create a solution designed to not only provide the best service available today, but also foresee – and accommodate – the even better services of tomorrow.

Plane Simple does exactly that.

Agnostic and modular, Plane Simple lets you have your cake and eat it too. “This system lets you choose the network that is the best fit for your needs today,” notes Christensen. “But when your needs change, you can switch to a new technology while using most of the original Plane Simple installation.”

With Plane Simple, there’s no ripping out – just changing out. “Simply change out the module, the antenna, and the terminal card, everything else stays the same,” says Christensen. “Because the process is minimally invasive, it saves operators costs and time.”

Thinking big

So, what’s next for Satcom Direct? According to Christensen, the future involves Big Data.

“Because today’s business aircraft are completely connected, they produce a huge amount of data,” he says. “As a data management company, we are creating efficient systems for taking this data and turning it into something that can be readily used.”

That use could include everything from ensuring safer, more sustainable flights to conducting automatic predictive maintenance procedures. “Our hardware excels at collecting the data, now we’re focused on making sure the data from the aircraft is useful to the people on the ground,” adds Christensen.

However, it’s not enough to just provide data, one also has to ensure that the data is secure – something that requires the use of both the latest technology and the right procedures. Satcom Direct offers both.

“Nobody in business aviation has invested more in cybersecurity than Satcom Direct,” says Christensen. “We are the only provider offering the technology, assessment, training and ongoing support needed to address both the technological and human components of cybersecurity.”

The company is also the only data provider in business aviation that operates a wholly owned data centre dedicated to safeguarding your connectivity and communication streams.

“As with all of our services and solutions, our cybersecurity services are built on the mantra of simplicity,” concludes Christensen. “Our experts handle the complexity of cybersecurity so you can simply use your technology – whether it be in the cockpit or cabin – with confidence.”

Want to know more about Satcom Direct? Visit their profile here.



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