HAI Convention News

ICG unit offers Iridium services for helicopters

 - September 29, 2006, 7:30 AM

International Communications Group (ICG) is at Heli-Expo’06 with its newest Iridium-based cabin tele-communication unit (CTU), a single-channel system optimized for helicopter and very light jet use.

Jeff Saucedo, newly appointed ICG v-p for sales, told HAI Convention News that the company’s ICS-100 satellite communications system is a smaller, lighter and less expensive solution to providing pole-to-pole world- wide satcom coverage to operators who require only voice and narrowband data exchange. List price of the ICS-100 is approximately $10,000 (about $15,000 including all required antenna, wiring and connectors and installation hardware).

Features of the 3.5-pound CTU, on display at the Dallas Avionics booth, No. 3917, include extension-to-extension dialing, call transfer and conferencing, using a wide variety of telephone handsets. The ICS-100 CTU provides two cabin area handsets and one for the flight deck. It can be interfaced with a General Dynamics Sectera secure wireline terminal voice module for Type 1 encryption.

Saucedo said that where higher data rates such as those provided by Inmarsat, for instance, are not required, the Iridium service (2.4 kbps and 10 kbps with data compression), is far less expensive. He noted, “The most you’ll ever pay for Iridium service is $1.45 per minute,” adding that current Inmarsat services run up to $12 per minute.

Virginia-based ICG also introduced this week its newest Iridium aviation satcom products distributor, Dallas Avionics. Said Scott Davis, Dallas Avionics v-p, “I’ve already seen strong interest among the helicopter OEMs about installing the ICS-100 at the factory.”