sd supports new one more orbit record in honor of apollo 11 landing

July 12, 2019

Executives from Satcom Direct, the business aviation solutions provider, welcomed the One More Orbit team’s Gulfstream G650ER as it landed at the Space Florida Launch and Landing Facility, formerly known as the Shuttle Landing Facility, today to complete its record-breaking attempt to complete the fastest aerial circumnavigation of the earth via both geographical poles. The flight, which took 46 hours 39 minutes and 38 seconds, (to be officially confirmed) knocked some eight hours off the existing record and was followed online around the world by aviation enthusiasts logging into the live stream broadcasting the voyage.

The live stream, as well as connectivity and flight deck communications support, were supplied by SD combining its powerful connectivity and security infrastructure with the Global Xpress network from satellite partner Inmarsat. The full ecosystem of SD solutions kept crew, ground control, support teams, the documentary production unit and enthusiastic social media supporters connected for the flight duration, using more than 33GB of data throughout the mission.  

To match the needs of the fastest-flight endeavor, the SD team installed equipment and services to deliver the fastest broadband inflight connectivity available for private aviation. The One More Orbit team were connected across the network service area with the SD state-of-the-art equipment, including the Satcom Direct Router (SDR®) and SD Operating System, supporting multiple real-time streaming and communication capabilities.

The first of a kind set-up, which had to support the mission team and a documentary filming team, as well as the live stream, underwent rigorous testing ahead of the ambitious attempt. SD was committed to ensuring the One More Orbit team had the resources needed to successfully complete their goal of honoring the brave Apollo 11 astronauts. The communications equipment was tested in the UK at SD’s Farnborough facility with Inmarsat and the film production crew. Testing was repeated in Savannah at the Gulfstream Service Center and was put through its paces again on-wing ahead of take off at Space Florida Launch and Landing Facility.

SD’s flight operations software platform, SD Pro®, kept the aircraft synchronized with ground operations and enabled crew and mission control to exchange valuable flight data to improve operational efficiency, which was essential for successfully beating the existing record. It also enabled live flight tracking which was publicly accessible through the One More Orbit website for supporters to watch completion of every one of the 22,422 nautical miles of the journey.

The high-profile event required high-level cybersecurity which SD delivered through its SD Threat Monitoring service. Real time detection, identification and mitigation of any attempted cyber-threat was supported by the SD network infrastructure, the SD Data Center and worldwide Points of Presence (POPS), ensuring a secure voyage for data and crew.

“We are thrilled to have been a part of this inspiring adventure which pays homage to our great Apollo 11 astronauts who boldly took that momentous flight to the moon fifty years ago. We wholeheartedly congratulate the One More Orbit crew and mission team for successfully completing this incredible record attempt. It highlights that visions can be made reality and we are privileged to have played a part in making modern-day history,” said Jim Jensen, SD Founder and CEO.  “We pride ourselves on being at the leading edge of aviation connectivity, as the only dedicated provider in the business aviation sector. The One More Orbit mission aligns with our company philosophy of always pushing boundaries, looking for new solutions and delivering effective connectivity, as we take on the challenges and make the seemingly impossible, possible. Business jet users will only benefit from this adventure as we have learned a few things along the way. Not only has this set a new world record, it has raised the bar for business aviation connectivity expectations.”