Satellite communications solution provider Satcom Direct (Booth No. N4107) announced Monday that its avionics-grade Satcom Direct Router (SDR) will have 3G cellular data connectivity built in, enabling pilots to update onboard systems on the ground as well as allowing other new functions.
The SDR, built under license by True North Avionics and announced earlier this year at a Satcom Direct customers conference in San Antonio, Texas, will “seamlessly” switch between satellite data and 3G service, according to the company.
Ken Bantoft, vice president for satcom technologies and development, said the company has an agreement with telecommunications provider AT&T to provide a “private network” with global roaming across AT&T’s 3G network that channels traffic into the Satcom Direct satellite data network. The service will support electronic flight bag and Jeppesen chart updates as well as “pushing” data off the aircraft for analysis.
Satcom Direct will provide the hardware and also the billing for the 3G data service as part of its consolidated billing, so that customers will continue to receive a single bill for aircraft data and voice services. The 3G data service functionality will be available upon certification of the SDR, which is expected by the end of the year, the company said. The router is on display at the Satcom Direct booth at the Las Vegas Convention Center and also in space 170 at the static display at Henderson Executive Airport.
Satcom Direct also announced that its customers will have access to Aircraft Performance Group (APG) data, including aircraft performance calculations, runway analysis and aircraft weight and balance calculations using data link messages or through Satcom Direct’s FlightDeck Freedom and FlightDeck 360 services.
The company revealed a new offering called “MYflight,” a subscription-based service that allows passengers using an iPad or iPad mini to view real-time flight data and aircraft information. Future releases will be available on other mobile platforms. The service requires the aircraft to be Internet-enabled but does not require any special onboard hardware. Passengers can download the MYflight app from the iTunes store.