SatCom Direct has added SwiftBroadband “always on” position data from Inmarsat to its SD Flight Tracker mapping solution, enhancing the ability to track aircraft globally. The company blends the Inmarsat information with position data from other sources, including its own Flightdeck Freedom datalink, to provide what it claims is “the most comprehensive flight tracking service available.” SD Flight Tracker can be accessed from any Internet-connected device.
AirSatOne has added features for users of its satellite communications services, including data compression to make more efficient use of available bandwidth and the ability to filter data use by passengers to avoid high airtime charges. The new Flightstream SA services are free to any AirSatOne customer, according to Jo Kremsreiter, president of AirSatOne, and do not require that AirSatOne’s Flightstream AOC router be installed.
Associated Air Center (AAC) has received STC approval for Boeing 737 (-300 through -900ER) Wi-Fi solutions for the Satcom Direct Router (SDR). The dual-band unit can manage multiple systems such as Swift64, SwiftBroadband, Ku band, Ka band and X band both airborne and on the ground. The SDR also has a 3G cellular service feature for use on the ground. The system can be integrated with existing platforms and systems manufactured by Cobham, Thrane & Thrane, Honeywell and Rockwell Collins.
Satcom1, a satellite communications service provider, announced the recent activation of its AvioIP advanced router software on an Emteq eConnect airborne router installed on a Bombardier Global Express. This upgrade, installed by Ruag Aerospace Services, was certified by EASA and validated by the FAA and Transport Canada, according to Satcom1, “the first-ever installation of such advanced features on [the] Global Express.”
The next major step in satellite communication services will be the deployment of Inmarsat’s new Ka-band GX (Global Xpress) satellite constellation. Satellite service provider Satcom Direct (Booth P212) has ordered 10 shipsets of the new satcom system for its business aviation clients. The three Inmarsat-5 satellites are scheduled to be in orbit by the end of this year, and GX Aviation services should start in the first half of 2015.
Aircell received STC approvals from the EASA for installation of in-flight connectivity and entertainment systems on Bombardier Challenger 300s. Specifically, the certifications cover the Aviator 300 datacom system and UCS 5000 “smart” router and media server. The company said the Aviator 300 STC data package is being offered to Challenger 300 operators for a “nominal fee” when they install the system at an authorized Aircell dealer and activate a new SwiftBroadband service plan. Aircell entered the European market in 2002 and the region is now its second-largest market.
Honeywell BendixKing’s new AeroWave 100 satcom system, introduced yesterday at the Aircraft Electronics Association convention, offers 3G-like data speeds in a system designed for installation in light aircraft, from piston twins to turboprops and light jets. AeroWave is an Inmarsat L-band satcom that offers speeds of 150 to 200 kbps, and its price of $20,000 is about a third of the cost of Honeywell’s Aspire SwiftBroadband satcom (about 400 kbps).
Upgrades to the cabin of charter operator Fly Comlux’s 767 BBJ are complete and the aircraft is back in charter service. The Bahrain-based jet’s interior enhancements include re-upholstered seats in the executive cabin and entourage section, and new in-flight entertainment system, humidification system and carpeting. SwiftBroadband satcom for high-speed Wi-Fi Internet and a GSM onboard system has been installed throughout the cabin.
One of a number of maritime patrol aircraft being promoted at the Singapore Airshow is the Saab 340 MSA, which is undertaking a demonstration tour to several countries in Asia. As part of its mission suite the aircraft is fitted with Cobham Satcom’s Aviator 350 SwiftBroadband solution, which utilizes an HGA-7000 high-gain antenna.
Honeywell and Inmarsat have finalized the critical design review of the GX Aviation avionics, which is promised to bring “home equivalent” high-speed broadband service to both business jets and airliners. Certification of the avionics is expected later this year, followed by product introduction during the first half of next year.