New chief for antenna-maker Tecom
California-based aeronautical satcoms antenna manufacturer Tecom Industries has appointed Arsen Melconian as its new president. Melconian takes over from Ralph Philips, recently appointed president of Tecom parent company Smiths Interconnect.
Previously Tecom’s engineering VP and chief technology officer, Melconian joined the company, which has interests in both the L-band and Ku-band satcoms worlds, in 2002 as director of engineering. Under his leadership the engineering department more than doubled in size and moved a number of commercial and military programmes from concept to production.
Among the initiatives for which he now has top-level responsibility is Tecom’s collaboration with German Ku-band antenna developer QEST. In September the two companies announced that they would work together to commercialise QEST’s range of innovative designs in an effort to make headway in the airline Ku-band connectivity market.
The deal mirrors a similar arrangement between Starling of Israel and US-based EMS Technologies which paid off recently in a major order from Panasonic for equipment to support its emerging eXconnect service.
Based at Holzgerlingen in southern Germany, QEST first came to the attention of the industry when it unveiled a unique, highly compact dual L/Ku-band design at the WAEA show in Toronto 15 months ago. The solution is designed to exploit the high bandwidth of Ku-band to deliver large volumes of data to the aircraft, while using available L-band capacity such as Inmarsat to send smaller volumes of reply traffic in the opposite direction.
QEST has now teamed with Tecom to bring its ideas to the hotly contested Ku-band market. This already contains players such as AeroSat (supplier to service provider Row 44), ViaSat (supplying ARINC/Rockwell Collins SKYLink/eXchange) and EMS Technologies/Starling.
The QEST/Tecom tie-up covers collaboration at the engineering development level. The German company will provide core RF components such as the antenna aperture and signal-processing modules, with Tecom responsible for overall systems engineering, antenna positioning and control subsystems, product qualification and certification, and after-sales support.