Inmarsat successfully launched the first of three satellites in the Global Xpress constellation network, which–when fully operational–will provide airborne broadband around the globe at speeds of up to 50 Mbps. The just-launched satellite will cover the Indian Ocean region. The remaining satellites are expected to launch in the second and third quarters of next year, providing global coverage by the end of the year. Honeywell is exclusively developing, producing and distributing the onboard hardware that will connect users to the Global Xpress network.
Chicago Jet Group has received the first-ever FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) for a future air navigation system (FANS) 1/A+ and controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) retrofit. The FANS/CPDLC system is installed in a Dassault Falcon 50 managed by Chicago Jet and also represents the first FANS-over-Iridium retrofit for a business jet. FANS capability will be required for flying the most efficient tracks across the North Atlantic, and this retrofit not only enables that capability but also meets the upcoming Eurocontrol Link 2000+ mandates. These mandates kick in on Feb.
Business aviation stands to be one of the beneficiaries of Cobham Satcom’s new Aviator S family of satellite communications systems, which should be FAA-approved some time in 2015. The UK-based group, which last year acquired satcom specialist Thrane & Thrane, unveiled the Aviator S technology at June’s Paris Air Show. The key breakthrough is the company’s success in reducing the number of boxes required for the system from three to two, by incorporating the amplifier and diplexer into the antenna unit.
Looking to tap the growing Russian market for in-flight connectivity, Satcom Direct has announced plans to open an office in Moscow. The U.S. company is here at the JetExpo show this week demonstrating its latest capability, including the new Satcom Direct Router (SDR), its first certified hardware product.
Satcom Direct has signed an agreement with Honeywell to be a distributor for the Inmarsat GX Aviation Ka-band service, for which Honeywell itself is a value-added reseller. The Florida-based communications specialist will also be a distributor of GX avionics equipment. The service is scheduled to be commercially available early in 2015 and is designed to offer “consistent, high-capacity broadband coverage around the world.” For example, users should be able to stream Internet content live or hold uninterrupted video calls from 30,000 feet.
The era of the Airfone air-to-ground radiotelephone system comes to an end on December 31 when Aircell, the new owner of the Airfone network, plans to shut the service down. Aircell purchased the Airfone network from LiveTV earlier this year and will use the Airfone frequencies to expand and meet growing demand for its Gogo and Gogo Biz airborne broadband Internet services. The Airfone frequencies are adjacent to those used by the Gogo service.
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.
Cobham Satcom (formerly Thrane & Thrane, Booth 2107) has announced that its Aviator 300 SwiftBroadband solution has been approved by EASA under a supplemental type certificate (STC) for installation in the Cessna 550, 550 Bravo and S550.
The STC was developed in partnership with Danish company Scandinavian Avionics (Booth 373). The companies are also looking at certifying the system for additional aircraft in the Citation family, such as the 500, 552 and 560. SwiftBroadband is already approved for the Citation X, Embraer Legacy 600/650 and Bombardier Challenger 300.
Satcom Direct (Booth 455) has signed an agreement with Honeywell to be a distributor for the Inmarsat GX Aviation Ka-band service, for which Honeywell itself is a value-added reseller. The Florida-based communications specialist will also be a distributor of GX avionics equipment. The service is scheduled to be commercially available early in 2015 and is designed to offer “consistent, high-capacity broadband coverage around the world.” For example, users should be able to stream Internet content live or hold uninterrupted video calls from 30,000 feet.
Arinc Direct (Booth 1200) is showcasing the preproduction version of Xplore, a communications service that offers, on an iPad, Acars messaging, voice and a messaging platform for SMS and instant messaging and BlackBerry email services. The new product is “in the final stages of testing before certification and full production,” according to Arinc Direct, which is taking pre-orders at the EBACE show.
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