eaa3
Topic Author
Posts: 938
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:49 am

JetBlue Sat. Tv And FlyFi Coverage

Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:15 pm

I'm curious about why the satellite signal that JetBlue (and other airlines) uses for it's TV and FlyFi internet stops working so soon after leaving the continental United States. The TV signal is provided by DirectTV satellites which are in geostationary orbit, meaning that they always sit at the same location over earth i.e. their orbit is 24 hours. Geostationary orbit is at 35,786 km. With such a high orbit I doubt that the plane is not able to get a signal just after leaving US shores. Plus, you can get DirectTV in the Caribbean. It makes me think that the cutoff is artificial.

Does the plane truly lose signal or is there some other reason why there is no coverage?
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: JetBlue Sat. Tv And FlyFi Coverage

Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:35 pm

It truly does lose signal. DirecTV's satellites don't cover over-ocean areas, as their service area very closely mirrors the borders of the continental US. So unless the extent of your over-ocean flying is the ARs going from the Northeast to Florida or the Bahamas, you'll be out of range quite quickly.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
eaa3
Topic Author
Posts: 938
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:49 am

RE: JetBlue Sat. Tv And FlyFi Coverage

Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:17 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 1):
It truly does lose signal. DirecTV's satellites don't cover over-ocean areas, as their service area very closely mirrors the borders of the continental US. So unless the extent of your over-ocean flying is the ARs going from the Northeast to Florida or the Bahamas, you'll be out of range quite quickly.

I realize that they don't cover those areas with satellites siting over the ocean. I'm just surprised that they can be that accurate when they are at over 35km above earth.
 
shamrock137
Posts: 325
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 7:10 am

RE: JetBlue Sat. Tv And FlyFi Coverage

Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:26 am

Its also linked to GPS, they only have the license to provide internet within the US. I was on a flight to the west coast that took a brief route through Canada and the internet dropped offline as soon as we crossed the border, and was switched on as soon as we came back in US territory.
Time to spare? Go by air!
 
rwessel
Posts: 2448
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: JetBlue Sat. Tv And FlyFi Coverage

Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:09 pm

Quoting eaa3 (Reply 2):
I realize that they don't cover those areas with satellites siting over the ocean. I'm just surprised that they can be that accurate when they are at over 35km above earth.

They make a fairly major effort to focus the beam on the useful service area. Any signal going elsewhere is just wasted, and just consumes extra power (and the associated bigger electronics) to support, which just increases cost (alternately you can take the hit in effective power, and equip all the receivers with bigger antennas to compensate – which, obviously, brings its own problems).
 
Chaostheory
Posts: 1134
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:09 am

RE: JetBlue Sat. Tv And FlyFi Coverage

Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:53 am

Quoting eaa3 (Thread starter):
I'm curious about why the satellite signal that JetBlue (and other airlines) uses for it's TV and FlyFi internet stops working so soon after leaving the continental United States. The TV signal is provided by DirectTV satellites which are in geostationary orbit, meaning that they always sit at the same location over earth i.e. their orbit is 24 hours. Geostationary orbit is at 35,786 km. With such a high orbit I doubt that the plane is not able to get a signal just after leaving US shores. Plus, you can get DirectTV in the Caribbean. It makes me think that the cutoff is artificial.

Does the plane truly lose signal or is there some other reason why there is no coverage?

Due to the extensive satellite coverage in the region with DirectTV, SES, Hughes, Eutelsat etc, the cut off you experience is most likely due to the service level agreement between B6 and DirectTV.

Interestingly, B6 is one of a few airlines to operate a hybrid antennae which is able to receive ka band and ku band satcom services through ViaSat.

B6 uses the ka band (directly from ViaSat) for basic stuff like email whilst the ku band is provided as you state by Direct TV.
 
FlyBTV
Posts: 113
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:01 am

RE: JetBlue Sat. Tv And FlyFi Coverage

Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:02 am

Quoting shamrock137 (Reply 3):
Its also linked to GPS, they only have the license to provide internet within the US. I was on a flight to the west coast that took a brief route through Canada and the internet dropped offline as soon as we crossed the border, and was switched on as soon as we came back in US territory.

Yes, you are correct. It is an artificial cutoff, as ViaSa-t1 definitely provides coverage in Canada. The Canadian focused beams are owned by Telesat (a separate company from ViaSat). I imagine that once you're over the border, they are no longer permitted to provide internet, because that portion of the satellite's capacity is owned by Telesat.
 
User avatar
dlednicer
Editor
Posts: 541
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:35 am

RE: JetBlue Sat. Tv And FlyFi Coverage

Mon Oct 26, 2015 5:09 am

Quoting ChaosTheory (Reply 5):
nterestingly, B6 is one of a few airlines to operate a hybrid antennae which is able to receive ka band and ku band satcom services through ViaSat.

The FlyFi installation is not one antenna. Its two, one for Ku band TV and one for Ka band broadband - see the attached image. The secret sauce is how the radome can handle both Ku and Ka band.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 27 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos