Iridium Communications Inc is located in McLean, Virginia and it is the operator of 66 active satellites used for worldwide voice and data and the only company that offers coverage. Matt Desch, Iridium CEO provided updates on Aireon’s place : the pilots and flights operations department will have speedier cockpit connections due to ADS-B service and new L-band airplane terminals.
Certus, Iridium’s multi-service communications platform, is intended to allow connectivity to numerous industries, mostly maritime and aviation operators. Commercial airliners and general aviation will benefit from this decision with lower cost hardware for fixed and rotary wing aircraft.
Sailor 4300 has been already launched for maritime operators by Cobham Sarcom as the first Iridium Certus connected terminal. Moreover, in 2016 at National Business Aviation Association, Thales launched FlyLink connected cockpit and crew operational satellite. Mat Desch, CEO of Certus, explained how their focused will be more on the cockpit and operational services contrary to the cabin. He also added that the speed will improve as well with new software and satellites as they become available.
The terminals will be able to operate both on its existing satellites and the next constellation with a speed varying between 128 kbps and 350 kbps. Eventually the speed will reach 700 kbps and ultimately 1.4 mbps featuring the advantages of the new satellites.
Commercial airliner market will benefit of the higher speed connections while the lower speed will be available for general aviation fixed and rotary wing aircraft.
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