Creating and sharing knowledge for telecommunications

Project BEACON brings high-speed internet to flight passengers

on 02-05-2018

... Who among us has never wished for a faster internet connection during a flight? IT is part of the international consortium working on the European R&D project “Beacon”, that may have found the solution for this problem. Based on a flexible photonic architecture - patented by IT -, this project prepared a new generation of telecommunications satellites, that stands out for their greater capacity of data transmission. The photonic technology also allows reducing the energy consumption, weight and launch cost.

This research emerges from a context where the demand for high-speed broadband bandwidth has been exponentially increasing, a process that requires the development of satellites that guarantee an even greater high-speed connectivity and a wide coverage. However, currently - and despite operators pushing for a 10x increase in broadband capacity - weight, size and power limitations still represent significant challenges.

The international consortium that worked in project Beacon – recently concluded - includes companies from the United Kingdom (Airbus Defense and Space, Gooch & Housego and aXenic), Germany (IHP GmbH) and Poland (INPhotech). In Portugal, the participation was assured by IT in Aveiro and the startup Watgrid