Deliveries of the first RCOM-100 satphone equipment, designed for use with the Globalstar Satellite system, will begin this November, Arnav Systems announced at NBAA 2002. As detailed at the Puyallup, Wash. company’s exhibit (Booth No.
Mobile phone companies
Wireless communications company Qualcomm last month put on an impressive demonstration of its medium data rate satcom system (MDSS) on the show floor at NBAA in New Orleans. The system used a 128-kbps satellite connection to the Internet to uplink live video and audio from Qualcomm’s exhibit-floor display to a company Challenger 604 flying over San Diego.
Neither company has a product that it intends to put on the market anytime soon, but both Qualcomm and Globalstar are demonstrating a satellite-based airborne Internet link for business jets aboard Qualcomm’s Challenger 601. Both companies one day hope to market such a system, which would provide airborne Internet data connections to aircraft cabins and cockpits at speeds of 128 kbps or higher.
Some three months after an enthusiastic announcement, cabin-entertainment specialist Airshow of Tustin, Calif., and low-cost satellite data provider GlobalStar have halted development of high-speed airborne Internet services in light of GlobalStar’s increasingly desperate financial situation.
Northern Airborne Technology, a British Columbia-based subsidiary of the Chelton Group, last month introduced a lightweight satcom system that routes calls through the Globalstar network of 48 low-earth-orbit satellites. The system consists of the STX100 transceiver, PTA12 dialer/adapter and a Globalstar antenna, and provides coverage over about 80 percent of the earth, including polar regions and some mid-oceanic regions.
AT&T Wireless has sent letters to customers of Claircom air-to-ground telephony services, telling owners of the Claircom telephones it will no longer offer services to the business aviation market after September 1.
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.
The successful launch of the second Inmarsat-4 communications satellite late last year brings the introduction of SwiftBroadband airborne high-speed-data capability one step closer to reality.