Rockwell Collins has selected WSI InFlight to provide up-to-date weather briefings to aircraft equipped with Collins Pro Line 21 flight-deck displays. WSI Corp.’s InFlight system uses satellite technology to continuously broadcast accurate, up-to-date weather and near-term forecasts to any aircraft equipped with WSI’s special-purpose antenna and receiver.
Global mobile satellite communications group Inmarsat plans to offer in-flight Internet connections of speeds of up to 64 kbps to aircraft operators at “a fraction of the cost” of rival broadband services. The new Swift64 platform is expected to be available by the end of the year.
Enhanced security and improved data acquisition are prime concerns of today’s business aviation community, subjects Universal Weather and Aviation of Houston seeks to address with two new programs.
DeCrane Aircraft Holdings’ e-Cabin.Connect system, featuring long-awaited 512-kbps high-speed in-flight Internet access, is in the final stage of testing and the El Segundo, Calif.-based company expects to begin deliveries by late December.
Exhibitors who prepared to make big announcements in New Orleans last month were scrambling to draw up alternative plans in the weeks following NBAA's decision to reschedule its annual convention for December 12, 13 and 14 in the wake of last month's terrorist attacks.
International Communications Group (ICG) has created an interface between its NxtLink Iridium satellite communication systems and the Tempus remote medical monitoring system from global medical security specialist RDT of the UK. Recent testing showed NxtLink provides Tempus with reliable access to an RS232 port for data transmissions, as well as with additional ports for fax or voice communication.
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.
With apologies to Mark Twain, recent rumors of the impending demise of the Be-A-Pilot program have been greatly exaggerated.
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.
The first commercially available airborne Internet link for business jets has arrived in the form of Swift64, a global satcom data service from Inmarsat designed to rival the data transfer rates of ground-based ISDN connections.