In what is claimed to be a first, EMS Technologies last month said that an AMT-50 multi-channel satcom antenna and HSD-128 high-speed data terminal have been installed aboard a helicopter. TC Communications of Irvine, Calif., performed the installation in a Boeing 234 (civil Chinook) twin-rotor helicopter for the National Fire Administration of Taiwan used for disaster management and search-and-rescue missions.
The company that has given satcom service providers the most competition in the phone and Internet arena will now compete in the market for airborne flight-information services, too.
Satcom Direct (Booth No. 1949) yesterday introduced FlightDeck Freedom, a suite of datalink services designed to let business jet crews use existing data communications links to receive content from the flight-information providers of their choice.
It’s a small world, after all, and the one-two combination of a business airplane and an Internet connection for the cabin can make it seem even smaller.
AirCell’s Axxess satellite communications system has gained European certification aboard a Cessna Citation 650. The Axxess system includes two Iridium satcom channels for making voice calls and transmitting low-rate data in flight. The unit’s capabilities can be expanded to four Iridium channels as well as a single Inmarsat satcom channel allowing Internet access through the Swift64 aero data service.
The TopFlight satellite communications terminal that Thales launched at last year’s Farnborough airshow will be installed later this year on new-build corporate aircraft produced by an as-yet unidentified OEM and should be certified to support WiFi-based passenger use by the second quarter of next year.
AirCell’s Axxess satellite communications system has gained European certification aboard a Cessna Citation 650. Performed by Ruag Aerospace in Germany, the installation obtained approval last month from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The Axxess system includes two Iridium satcom channels for making voice calls and transmitting low-rate data in flight.
The ability to surf the Internet while cruising through the lower stratosphere continues to get easier, and faster, thanks to the incremental upgrades being made to the capabilities of current high-speed data satcom systems.
Iridium disclosed plans for a future constellation to replace the 66 low-earth-orbit satellites that make up its current satcom network. Speaking at the Satellite 2007 conference in Washington, D.C., company officials said the “Iridium Next” constellation will maintain the current service’s “cross-linked” architecture but will use Internet Protocol technology to deliver broadband data and voice communications services to users.
The six-ton, London-double-decker-bus-size Inmarsat-4 communications satellite that Inmarsat launched in late March has taken over satcom transmission routing responsibility from the previous Inmarsat-3 satellite covering the Indian Ocean Region, according to company officials.