Hughes Network Systems has unveiled its groundbreaking Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Electronically Steerable Antenna (ESA) for In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFEC) at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX).

This state-of-the-art technology is poised to transform the aviation industry by providing enterprise-grade, low latency, high-speed connectivity for global commercial aviation.

“The introduction of our Hughes In-Flight Connectivity LEO ESA is a game-changer for the aviation industry,” said Reza Rasoulian, Senior Vice President of the Aviation Business Unit at Hughes.

“It represents a significant leap forward in our ability to provide unparalleled connectivity solutions. Passengers can now enjoy a frictionless high-speed, low-latency internet experience from their seat.”

The Hughes In-Flight Connectivity LEO ESA is only a fraction of the size and weight of traditional IFEC SATCOM antennas.

It leverages the core technology used in adjacent verticals such as business aviation and enterprise connectivity and is built at the Hughes state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Germantown, Maryland.

Optimised for the Eutelsat OneWeb LEO system, the Hughes In-Flight Connectivity LEO ESA will deliver a living room experience to passengers in the skies.

“We are excited about the capabilities of the Hughes In-Flight Connectivity LEO ESA and the benefits it brings to commercial airlines,” said Massimiliano Ladovaz, Chief Operations Officer at Eutelsat OneWeb.

“Together, we are setting new standards for in-flight connectivity, ensuring that passengers have reliable, low latency, high-speed connectivity wherever they fly both on commercial and business jets worldwide.”

The Hughes In-Flight Connectivity LEO ESA is not only technologically advanced but also compact, lightweight, and energy-efficient, making it an ideal choice for airlines looking to implement or upgrade their in-flight services without compromising on performance or passenger comfort.

Rasoulian added: “With this launch, Hughes reaffirms its position as a pioneer in the satellite communications industry, continually pushing the boundaries of what is possible.”

The Hughes In-Flight Connectivity LEO ESA builds on decades of experience with LEO systems and Hughes understanding of the Eutelsat OneWeb system. The first aviation variants are shipping in Q4 2024, with the core technology already in operation.
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