Avionics Update: Icarus introduces Iridium satphone

 - May 27, 2008, 6:44 AM

Icarus Instruments of Tokoma Park, Md., has introduced SatTalk II, a low-cost satcom system that uses the Iridium network of satellites to route calls around the globe. The $6,000 system consists of a Motorola Series 9505 portable telephone, aircraft-mounted docking station and external antenna. The satphone can be removed from its docking station and used on battery power on the ground away from the airplane. Pilots can use aviation headsets to place and receive calls while simultaneously monitoring ATC communications. ATC transmissions will automatically override an in-progress call. The system, said Icarus, can be “easily installed on all aircraft types, including turboprops, light jets and helicopters.” Icarus introduced a similar system a couple of years ago when Iridium first came online. The subsequent bankruptcy of Iridium forced Icarus to shelve the SatTalk concept until now. Iridium was relaunched earlier this year with backing from private investors.