AirCell is introducing two new airborne telecommunications products, the AST 3500, which combines cellular technology with the Iridium satcom system, and the ST 3100, which relies exclusively on Iridium. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in November.
Using AirCell’s patented airborne cellular technology, the AST 3500 provides telephone, fax, e-mail, data and weather information to the cockpit virtually anywhere in the continental U.S. The system’s Iridium transceiver accesses Iridium Satellite’s global network of low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites that provide seamless worldwide satcom telephone and data services. Both networks feature air-to-ground and ground-to-air operation.
The networks can be used independently or the AST 3500’s integrated dual-network capability gives customers the ability to initiate or receive telephone calls through the Iridium Satellite network, while simultaneously sending or receiving data through the AirCell cellular network.
The light and compact AST 3500 consists of a remote-mounted transceiver unit, a cellular and an Iridium antenna and as many as nine handsets per installation.
The new ST 3100 Iridium-only system provides telephone and data capability through the worldwide Iridium Satellite network. It is identical in size and has the same installation flexibility as the AST 3500. Both systems are designed for easy retrofit into most existing AirCell installations.
AirCell (Booth No. 4949) said both systems offer extensive flexibility, since their remote-mounted transceivers can be either rail- or rack-mounted outside an aircraft’s pressure vessel.
The AST 3500 and ST 3100 are undergoing final flight and ground testing procedures. Limited-time, introductory pricing of the AST 3500 is $26,995, which includes the remote-mounted transceiver unit, blade-style cellular antenna, patch-style Iridium antenna and two flush-mounted handsets. The limited-time, introductory price for the AirCell ST 3100 is $19,995, which includes the remote-mounted transceiver unit, patch-style Iridium antenna and a standard and flush-mounted handset.
AirCell, headquartered in Louisville, Colo., designs, manufactures, markets and supports a line of airborne cellular and satellite telecommunication systems and services for the business aviation, general aviation and air transport markets. According to the company, it is the only FCC-authorized provider of airborne cellular telephones and telephony services, including voice, fax, e-mail, data and Internet connectivity, as well as Nexrad weather radar imagery, to the cockpit.
Iridium claims to be the only provider of truly global satellite voice and data solutions with complete coverage of the Earth (including oceans, airways and polar regions). The company delivers communications services through a constellation of 66 LEO satellites operated by Boeing.