MCLEAN, Va. A next-generation suite of aviation products and services from four avionics manufacturers use Iridium Certus technology from Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM) in McLean, Virginia, to enable global broadband connectivity for cockpit and passenger communications, a major focus for general aviation and business jet operators and customers.
Scheduled to launch commercial service in 2017, Iridium Certus is the company’s next-generation multi-service communications platform enabled by its new Iridium NEXT satellite constellation. Iridium Certus is designed to deliver higher throughputs, enterprise-grade reliability and global overage. After completion of the Iridium NEXT constellation, Iridium Certus will deliver speeds reaching 1.4 megabits per second (Mbps) through some of the smallest and most cost-effective antennas in the industry.
Iridium is installed on more than 30,000 business aviation and rotorcraft today, officials say. Iridium Certus will offer a turnkey upgrade path delivering greater performance, utility, and value for cockpit and cabin communications through a platform designed to support connectivity needs for the next decade.
“We believe it’s now safe to say that everyone in the business and general aviation community will soon have a viable option, with no prerequisites or strings attached, to fulfill their connectivity needs especially where they may not have thought it possible before,” says Brian Pemberton, vice president of strategy and aviation line of business at Iridium.
The Iridium Certus service portfolio will feature a range of data speeds utilizing either high gain antennas (HGA) at 352 Kbps, 704 Kbps, or 1.4 Mbps, or low gain antennas (LGA) for speeds of 88 Kbps or 176 Kbps. These solutions may serve as stand-alone connectivity options or be integrated with Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) solutions offering redundancy and expanded coverage. Further, the HGA speeds will serve as an ideal business aviation cabin connectivity solution for most users.
“The business aviation community is challenged to find cost-effective connectivity. Iridium Certus will provide a suite of scalable solutions that meets their diverse needs,” Pemberton adds. “Whether for business jets, rotorcraft, fractional and charter operators or general aviation, aircraft operators can choose what makes the most sense for them in the most competitive manner possible.”
Iridium NEXT, the company’s next-generation, global satellite constellation, will replace its existing network of low-earth orbit satellites in what will be one of the largest “tech upgrades” in history, according to company officials. Iridium and SpaceX are partnered for a series of seven launches, deploying 10 Iridium NEXT satellites at a time. Iridium NEXT satellite deployment is scheduled to be completed in 2018.
Iridium Communications Inc.’s mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations, and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications. The company has a major development program underway for its next-generation network — Iridium NEXT. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va.
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