ViaSat Antenna Receives FAA and International Certification

ViaSat demonstrated the use of its Ka-band satellite service for remote news gathering at the NAB Show last year. This year perhaps they'll show their recently approved VR-12 Ka-band satellite antenna system. Last week ViaSat announced the antenna passed industry standard DO-160G testing. It said the standard applies to virtually every aircraft, from general aviation and business jets, helicopters, and commercial jets to civilian aircraft modified for government use.

ViaSat previously announced flight tests that showed the system's ability to handle simultaneous transmission of HD video, video teleconferencing, VoIP applications, and Internet at aircraft-to-satellite transmission rates “upwards of 10 Mbps.”

Paul Baca, VP and GM of ViaSat Global Mobile Broadband Systems said, “We designed the VR-12 Ka system to be a form and fit interchange with its Ku-band counterpart. Customer experience has shown that an antenna swap is possible with a simple flight line maintenance action, allowing for a very quick adaptation of the aircraft BLOS [beyond line of sight] communications capabilities to meet mission requirements.”

ViaSat said new qualified production units are expected to be shipping within a few weeks. I wonder which TV station will be first to add Ka-band satellite capability to its helicopter fleet.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.