The biggest question remaining about Europe’s homegrown satellite navigation project appears to be not whether the satnav network will ever be built but rather who will run the multibillion-dollar Galileo system after the first of its 30 satellites are launched later this year.
Choosing the right data satcom system has never been easier thanks to an array of choices from manufacturers. Several suppliers are now offering high-speed data satcom equipment that uses the Inmarsat Swift64 satellite link, a digital network operating over the same satellites that carry voice and low-speed data signals.
During a short trip aloft from Newcastle International Airport in Northern England, passengers along for a demonstration flight aboard a Boeing Business Jet were treated to a sampling of top stories from BBC World News, courtesy of in-flight entertainment system supplier Airia. But they weren’t able to switch over to watch their favorite sitcoms or game shows.
Aircraft passengers should be able to use their own cellphones in flight safely and conveniently before the end of this year through a new service developed jointly by satellite operator Inmarsat, aircraft communication systems specialist Arinc and mobile telephone service provider Telenor.
Customer knowledge today about office-in-the-sky communications technology seems to be similar to the level of understanding of personal computers 10 to 15 years ago. Buyers then knew they needed a PC of some sort but many remained unclear about exactly what kind of computer they needed.
Today’s world, including the business jet, is all about being connected. The executives now moving into the cabins of these aircraft are more aware than any previous generation of the need to stay in touch with events below.
These are customers for whom being isolated for just a few hours can cost a deal. Every day, in every way, they are connected–to the office, the broker, the stock market, the clients, and to the wife and kids.
Cessna Aircraft has selected the AirCell Axxess satcom system as a factory option on the Citation X, Sovereign and XLS. Axxess, introduced at the NBAA Convention last month, is a multi-channel, wireless broadband-ready satcom system designed for midsize to large business jets. The standard Axxess system includes two Iridium satellite communications channels for voice and narrowband data services. Two more channels are available as an option.
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.
The Boeing 777-200LR making its airshow debut here this week is to be fitted with AeroMobile mobile cellular technology later this year. The 777-200LR here is the second prototype and is being used primarily for interior certification. AeroMobile, the result of a partnership formed by Arinc and Telenor, is designed to leverage Inmarsat’s “classic” Aero-H, -H+ and -I satellite communications services currently available.
Satellite communications specialist Thrane & Thrane is here at the Dubai airshow with a new compact portable satellite terminal. The Explorer 500 weighs less than three pounds, but offers data rates up to 432 kbps.