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.
Satellite communication specialist Satcom1 appointed Henrik Zinck its new CFO. In that position he will develop the company’s finance and IT departments. Zinck has held management positions at several satellite and telecommunications companies, including VSAT, Emperion and CBB Mobil. He is based at the company’s Copenhagen headquarters.
Satellite communications solution provider Satcom Direct (Booth No. N4107) announced Monday that its avionics-grade Satcom Direct Router (SDR) will have 3G cellular data connectivity built in, enabling pilots to update onboard systems on the ground as well as allowing other new functions.
China Satellite Communications and Row 44 owner Global Eagle Entertainment have signed a memorandum of understanding to help Chinese airlines that want to add in-flight connectivity services. The agreement will also allow Row 44 customer airlines to continue delivering in-flight connectivity services while flying into and over China. The agreement calls for Row 44 to provide hardware and software to support satellite-based in-flight connectivity.
With the continuing strains on the U.S. national budget and the possibility that the Administration’s sequestration program could last for several more years, Pentagon planners are said to be worrying that the costs of the future GPS III system could become out of reach, despite its major advances and the need to have modernized replacement satellites ready to be deployed as the orbital lives of current satellites end.
Honeywell has entered the detailed design phase of the satellite communications (satcom) system hardware it is developing for Inmarsat’s new Global Xpress Ka-band satellite network. The company aims to secure Inmarsat network access approval for the satcom system in 2014.
Eurocopter Japan has delivered a Eurocopter AS365N3 Dauphin retrofitted with a high-speed, real-time satellite transmission system to the country’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency. The helicopter satellite communication system enables direct transmission to relay satellites, without being interrupted by the helicopter’s moving rotor blades. Mitsubishi Electric developed the system, intended for use when ground-based networks are unavailable.
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.
One of Satcom1’s fastest-growing markets is China, and the Danish company is exhibiting here to highlight its capabilities as a satellite communications service provider. “The potential in China is growing by the day,” said Satcom1 international sales manager Jimmy Larsen.
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