The first Inmarsat-5 Ka-band Global Xpress satellite was launched successfully on December 8. The satellite was expected to reach its final position in a geo-synchronous elliptical orbit by the end of last month. This is the first of three satellites that will create the seamless GX Aviation high-speed satcom network, with performance up to 50 Mbps that can deliver streaming video. GX Aviation mobile broadband service is slated to begin next year, after two other satellites are sent aloft this year. Each satellite weighs more than six metric tons and can provide 89 Ka-band beams.
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.
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.
Montreal, Canada-based Innotech Aviation (Booth 1115) announced here at EBACE 2013 the successful installation and certification of a dual Ku/SatTV system on a Bombardier Global jet. Called the I-Ku Diamond system, the installation offers Global operators simultaneous operation of satellite TV, Ku-band satellite high-speed broadband service, voice over IP and other office-in-the-sky applications. Speeds average 1.5 Mbps with options to select even faster speeds.
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.
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.
Mobile satellite communications provider Inmarsat and Honeywell offered a preview of avionics designed to support Inmarsat’s “game-changing” GX Aviation service at AIX in Hamburg, where the components were on display for the first time .
With the Aviator SwiftBroadband series now part of its repertoire, newly formed Cobham business unit Cobham Satcom has signaled its intent to lead the way in the in-flight communication sector.
Cobham Satcom was formed last October after British defense equipment manufacturer Cobham acquired Danish satellite telecommunications group Thrane & Thrane in July last year. The business unit now consists of the skilled experts and engineers who created the Aviator and the Omnipless brands.
Satellite communications provider Satcom Direct, well known in the business aviation market, is expanding rapidly, investing in its capability and in a production ramp-up, and introducing service innovations as it prepares to open an office in Hong Kong to cover the Asian market.