Inmarsat’s aviation division has started to “take off” in 2022 as demand grows for their inflight connectivity services, Todd McDonell, president of the company’s global government arm, said.

“Aviation has started to really – no pun intended – takeoff,” he said at the Space-Comm Expo 2022. “The numbers are going up a lot. And what we’re seeing now is that people have an even greater expectation to communicate in flight.

“We provide a lot of those services, so that’s really driving utilisation in aviation. But also shipping is a crucial way to move things around the planet. We provide connectivity for the vast majority of ships at sea.”

Climate change

He added: “Even in government. We’re doing a lot of work in everything from supporting operations in various countries right through to helping manage climate change, deal with natural disasters and so on. So 2022 is proving to be a big year.”

Commenting on the challenges that Inmarsat is facing in the space domain, McDonell said: “There are many challenges. Some of them are technological.

“We’re developing new technology all the time, and then that has to be proven because classically, when you do something in space, once you’ve put it there, you can’t get it back.”

Multifunctional space objects

“Now, I can contradict that a little bit because we’re already working on that technology today where we will change the way something works in space. So the idea of perhaps making something multifunctional might be launched to do four jobs instead of one.”
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