Satcom Direct (Booth 980) is seeking to boost knowledge of satellite communications and connectivity technology with a series of training programs aimed at aircraft operators. The Satellite Beach, Fla.-based company is arranging classes and seminars in Farnborough, UK; Geneva; Hong Kong; and Dubai with a view to boosting technological awareness in growing international markets. In 2015, it intends to introduce classes aimed more specifically at customers in the Americas.
Jet Aviation St. Louis received an STC to install the Satcom Direct Router (SDR) in the Bombardier Global Express, XRS, 5000 and 6000. The SDR allows users to manage all cabin communications systems with simultaneous use of Inmarsat Swift 64, SwiftBroadband, Ku-Band and Ka-Band satellite connections with intelligent traffic control, according to Satcom Direct. It is compatible with most Wi-Fi access points and supports up to four wireless networks.
At last week’s Black Hat USA 2014 conference, Ruben Santamarta, the principal security consultant at IOActive Security Services, raised the issue of whether satellite communications systems have security vulnerabilities that might allow hackers to gain access to aircraft systems. Santamarta and IOActive published a white paper that discusses security vulnerabilities in air, sea and land satcom systems. “Today we are disclosing details to help people verify those findings,” Santamarta explained.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based consultancy firm MAZ Aviation and satellite airtime provider Satcom1 (Booth 821) are joining forces to design a new, faster satcom system for the Airbus ACJ and Boeing BBJ. According to the partnership agreement, the system will be based on Ka- and Ku- band solutions and will offer greater bandwidth for airborne communications. Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband and its safety services features will be used for cockpit communications needs.
ViaSat is extending the availability of its cabin and cockpit connectivity solutions for business aircraft through new partnerships with other communications systems providers. Here at the EBACE show this week, the California-based company is announcing the integration of its VMT-1500 satellite connectivity system and Yonder Internet service with ICG’s new cabin router and NxtLink series transceivers to connect aircraft via the Iridium satellite network.
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.
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.
Business aviation stands to be one of the beneficiaries of Cobham Satcom’s new Aviator S family of satellite communications systems, which should be FAA-approved some time in 2015. The UK-based group, which last year acquired satcom specialist Thrane & Thrane, unveiled the Aviator S technology at June’s Paris Air Show. The key breakthrough is the company’s success in reducing the number of boxes required for the system from three to two, by incorporating the amplifier and diplexer into the antenna unit.
Looking to tap the growing Russian market for in-flight connectivity, Satcom Direct has announced plans to open an office in Moscow. The U.S. company is here at the JetExpo show this week demonstrating its latest capability, including the new Satcom Direct Router (SDR), its first certified hardware product.
Cobham Satcom (formerly Thrane & Thrane, Booth 2107) has announced that its Aviator 300 SwiftBroadband solution has been approved by EASA under a supplemental type certificate (STC) for installation in the Cessna 550, 550 Bravo and S550.
The STC was developed in partnership with Danish company Scandinavian Avionics (Booth 373). The companies are also looking at certifying the system for additional aircraft in the Citation family, such as the 500, 552 and 560. SwiftBroadband is already approved for the Citation X, Embraer Legacy 600/650 and Bombardier Challenger 300.
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