• SITA OnAir provides nose-to-tail connectivity

Geneva, Switzerland | March 9, 2015– Solar Impulse 2 HB-SIB, which has just started on its round-the-world flight from Abu Dhabi this morning, is the world’s first aircraft with full nose-to-tail connectivity.

“Solar Impulse is driving the next generation of aviation technology”

HB-SIB uses SITA OnAir satellite connectivity for pilot voice and data communications, as well as operational applications such as live weather updates and real-time aircraft monitoring. Thousands of sensors on the aircraft send a constant stream of data during the flight, including power and resistance information, and performance data covering every piece of equipment. The system also allows the public to experience the flights real-time via the video stream and messaging on social networks.

“This aircraft is pushing the boundaries of technology in many ways,” said Bertrand Piccard, Chairman of Solar Impulse. “The batteries are based on new brand-new electrolytes that allow the energy density to be increased. We are using carbon fiber that is lighter than any previously seen. And thanks to SITA OnAir connectivity, we are able to monitor every aspect of the plane at all times.”

SITA OnAir provides Solar Impulse HB-SIB with Inmarsat SwiftBroadband-based satellite technology. The related airborne and ground infrastructure has been designed specifically for the aircraft by Solar Impulse’s Official National Partner, Swisscom. The combination of the two means HB-SIB has reliable and consistent communications whenever and wherever it flies.

Swisscom engineers spent a year devising the communications solution. The airborne element is very light and is designed to use as little power as possible, while providing uninterrupted connectivity.

In parallel, the design and building of HB-SIB has required the optimization of new kinds of technology and a drastic reduction in energy consumption. Solar Impulse’s 80 engineers and technicians, led by André Borschberg, have had to apply highly innovative solutions. It is an airborne technology lab.

“Solar Impulse is driving the next generation of aviation technology”, said Ian Dawkins, CEO of SITA OnAir. “It is a great accolade to SITA OnAir to be involved. This shows that innovations are already filtering through to commercial aviation. It is absolutely clear that nose-to-tail connectivity is a reality.”

  • Ground-to-Ground Satellite Communication Specialists to Enable Connectivity at Every Stop along the Solar Impulse Journey

Luxembourg and Yverdon | February 26, 2015 | Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I), the world’s leading provider of satellite services, and ITC Global, the leading provider of satellite communications to remote and harsh environments, announced today that the companies will provide ground-to-ground satellite communication services to Solar Impulse during its first round-the-world solar flight.

The Round-the-World Mission Flights will take place over five months from the beginning of March to the end of July 2015. Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, has been named Host City of Solar Impulse for the First Round-The-World Solar Flight, and will be the departing and landing destination.

As Specialized Partners of the Solar Impulse project, Intelsat and ITC Global will enable the ground crew and support teams to communicate from anywhere to anyone in the world. Using a 1.8 meter, quick deploy antenna, the crew will leverage Intelsat’s global satellite network for broadcasts, webcasts, email, phone, data and video communications during its 35,000 km (22,000 mile) journey which is expected to take approximately 550 flight hours to complete. Intelsat and ITC Global will also provide 24×7 operations center support during the trip around the world.

“At Intelsat, we value the spirit of innovation that underlies the Solar Impulse adventure. We know what it means to push the limits of technology,” said Jean-Philippe Gillet, Vice President, Europe, Middle East & Africa Sales, “and are pleased to be able to help the Solar Impulse team share its remarkable journey with the world.”

“At ITC Global, we appreciate the commitment to renewable energy that underscores the Solar Impulse initiative,” said Roland Loos, COO and EVP. “With expertise in the energy markets, we are excited about the challenge of flying an airplane around the world with zero fuel on board, and proud to be a Specialized Partner to this pioneering feat.”