EBACE Convention News

TrueNorth delivers greater comms control

 - May 15, 2011, 10:40 PM

Airborne telecommunications specialist TrueNorth Avionics (Stand 2234) is now offering what it calls the industry’s first touch-screen graphical telecom display, facilitating communications management in larger executive/VIP aircraft in the single-aisle and twin-aisle category from an Airbus Corporate Jetliner up through the Boeing 747-8. The hardware unit, called the Simphonē master console, features a full-color, touch-screen graphical display of all communications links and stations, enabling active management of all aircraft telecommunication functions.

“We’ve actually found a way to design a system that lets aircraft operators manage all their in-flight cabin communications from a single station, including all links and more than 100 onboard handsets,” said TrueNorth president Mark van Berkel.

The initial installation is being performed on a variety of Airbus corporate aircraft by Gore Design Completions in San Antonio, Texas.

The Canadian company continues to expand its telecom application solutions offering, recently adding three new apps to its software-centric Simphonē OpenCabin system. The new apps provide VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) capability, allowing “virtually limitless” voice channels, an ISDN interface to provide a high-quality voice channel, and more robust faxing over Inmarsat SwiftBroadband and data optimization technology that boosts broadband data transfer performance by up to 400 percent.

Also new from TrueNorth is what it claims to be the industry’s first FAA-approved and DO-160-qualified wireless telephone handset, using high-capacity lithium-ion battery technology to meet the stringent TSO criteria. The handset is currently being installed on a number of aircraft types, but most notably an Airbus A318 Elite being completed by Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg, Germany.

The company has also announced that its TrueNorth Express, a worldwide BlackBerry email, BlackBerry Messenger and BlackBerry PIN provider, has received Transport Canada certification through the Mid-Canada Mod Center in Mississauga, Ontario. TrueNorth Express is a compact, plug-in hardware module that lets aircraft operators use their BlackBerry smart phones to send and receive email worldwide over their existing Iridium satcom phone “for a fractional of the cost of other units.” The initial installation was in a Falcon 50 and additional installations are being planned. The system is being offered at an introductory price of $10,995, plus installation.