Honeywell has received FAA supplemental type certificate approval for installation of its Sky Connect Tracker III in S-76, AW139 and AS350 helicopters. Sky Connect Tracker III uses the Iridium satellite network to provide all-in-one voice, text and tracking services. Honeywell said its dual-redundant servers currently handle more than 5 million tracking, text and telemetry messages each month.
Aircell will shut down the Airfone air-to-ground communications network as scheduled on December 31, and after that date Airfone users will no longer be able to make calls. Business aviation Airfone users have been using MagnaStar systems to make calls, and a variety of options are available to upgrade or replace those systems.
Blue Sky Network (Booth No. C13021) is featuring its new HawkEye 7200 portable “multi-national” satellite tracking unit, which also supports Iridium satellite communications for mobile devices.
After only four years in Brazil, Blue Sky Network, which offers satellite tracking of and communication with vehicles operating in the air, on land and at sea, has built up a sizable client base, including the Líder fleet that serves Petrobras, the Helisul air taxi operator and energy exploration company HRT. Here at LABACE show-goers can see how Blue Sky’s New SkyRouter and other systems work at the company’s display in the exhibition hangar (Stand 5020).
With the new Xplore system Arinc Direct is jumping into the market for small portable Iridium-powered onboard communications devices that use Apple’s iPad as the control/display unit for cockpit and cabin data services.
Xplore is a small box, two inches thick and no larger than an iPad, that users will carry onto the aircraft, thus no installation of an avionics unit is required. Xplore needs to be attached to power and to an external dual Iridium/GPS antenna to enable communication with Iridium satellites.
ITT Exelis has been awarded a $42 million contract from the Aireon venture to provide automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data processing and distribution for its satellite-based air traffic surveillance system. Aireon, a joint venture of Iridium Communications and Nav Canada, will provide aircraft position reports to subscribing air navigation service providers (ANSPs) using hosted ADS-B payloads on the Iridium Next constellation of satellites.
Honeywell’s Sky Connect Tracker III combines voice, text and flight-tracking technologies into a single system designed for helicopters. Sky Connect uses the Iridium satellite communications network, and operators can use Sky Connect to make voice calls at the same time as sending text messages and tracking the helicopter’s position anywhere in the world.
Flight Explorer, exhibiting at the ABACE show here in Shanghai for the first time, claims to offer much more than flight tracking, although that is one of the company’s core products. It can track aircraft equipped with Iridium satellite communications systems anywhere in the world, and provide a private feed of that data to customers who operate those aircraft. Flight Explorer (Booth H525) is a Sabre group company, and also provides flight tracking via global radar feeds of aircraft flying in airspace controlled by the U.S.
Honeywell’s latest iteration of its Iridium satellite-based communication and aircraft tracking product, Sky Connect Tracker III, has been joined with its Zing health and usage monitoring system (HUMS) to create an integrated system that can now also send alerts of potential maintenance problems back to base.
Blue Sky Network unveiled the new HawkEye Portable Tracker (PT) Plus fleet management tool at Heli-Expo ’13, which offers more consistent, accurate and reliable connectivity throughout a customer’s multimodal network.
“We sell not just the hardware, but also software, service and airtime,” said Paul Duran, v-p of marketing and sales. “We have customers with fleets in the Gulf, in Canada–all around the world–so we’re growing to help manage our customers’ fleets, wherever they may be and whatever types of assets they may have: air, sea, or ground.”
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