Deliveries of the first RCOM-100 satphone equipment, designed for use with the Globalstar Satellite system, will begin this November, Arnav Systems announced at NBAA 2002. As detailed at the Puyallup, Wash. company’s exhibit (Booth No. 5843), this is an all-digital telephony system “that uses a true packet-data modem and Qualcomm CDMA digital modulation to deliver high-quality voice telephony without the time delay common to analog voice satellite systems and without the dropout associated with high bank angles and geographic positioning.” The RCOM-100 has an MSRP of $19,995, including the remote-mounted 2MCU satphone installation kit and antennas.
As an inducement for new customers, Arnav is launching a “Buy in ’02, Talk for Free in ’03” campaign. This will provide 12 months of free airtime under the company’s Silver Service Plan to the first 100 purchasers of the equipment. That plan, Arnav stated, which includes the basic monthly connection fee plus 60 minutes of airtime excluding tax and tariff, is priced at $100/month or a $1,200 value for a year. Subscribers qualifying for the promotional arrangement, Arnav indicated, can apply that Silver Plan value to the more extensive Gold, Platinum or Fleet Plans if desired.
Packet-data delivery rate is 9600 bps through TCP/IP Internet connection. Type One Government Encryption is also available. Three handset options are offered including a crew phone, a traditional retractor-reel handset and a 2.4-GHz cordless handset that allows the user to walk around the cabin while using the satphone. Arnav also offers an optional telephone dialer/adapter with touchtone keypad that permits the crew to access the phone system through the aircraft audio panel.
Another option for the RCOM-100 is WxLink Weather Services, a worldwide text and graphical weather reporting system for display on a cabin PC or cockpit multi-function display. Also available is an Autonomous Reporting Aircraft Security System (ARASS). This performs data collection from aircraft sensors, crew or ground-induced event triggers and video camera for transmission to an onboard router that autonomously reports pitch, roll, yaw and flight plan excursions via one RCOM-100 and can open a second RCOM-100 for voice communications.