Collins Aerospace has announced it has reached a critical milestone in the development of its higher bandwidth Iridium Certus airborne satellite communications (SATCOM) system. The company has successfully connected with and transmitted data to an orbiting Iridium satellite using the Iridium Certus service with a high-gain antenna (HGA).
A similar transmission was recorded in August 2020 using Collins Aerospace’s new Active Low Gain Antenna (ALGA). This latest connection puts Collins Aerospace among the first companies to successfully connect with both Iridium Certus systems.
The two SATCOM solutions, which are both currently still in the development stages, are intended to provide customers with faster speeds, lower weight and a smaller antenna footprint than legacy SATCOM systems, bringing benefits in terms of drag and power usage. This will provide operators with additional options for use in both the cockpit for safety services and in the cabin for passenger connectivity.
“This marks our second major milestone in our Iridium Certus development in only six months and is a testament to the hard work and expertise we have dedicated to the goal of bringing our customers the uninterrupted and secure data feeds they need to operate most efficiently,” said Leigh Parker, VP of avionics engineering for Collins Aerospace. “We are now one step closer to rolling out what we believe will be the premier seamless SATCOM experience.”
Collins Aerospace says the technologies will be available to operators in 2022 and will include all airborne hardware for the new systems, including the Satcom Data Unit (SDU), SDU Configuration Module and the antennas — either ALGA or HGA — depending on the operator’s bandwidth requirements.