Posted on: 14 April 2015 by Ross McSweeny
The first Cobham SATCOM (Cobham) AVIATOR SwiftBroadband satellite communications systems have been installed on Hawaiian Airlines’ Boeing 767-300 aircraft, marking the beginning SwiftBroadband’s trial as a safety service, as well as a further step in the development of Cobham’s next generation product family, AVIATOR S.
Hawaiian’s B767s are being retrofitted with Cobham’s current generation AVIATOR SwiftBroadband SATCOM hardware, which includes an IGA-5001 intermediate gain antenna. The system is capable of providing both voice and data communications and immediate aircraft tracking information and Ethernet ports for connecting devices like Aircraft Interface Devices (AIDs) and Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) for the pilots to obtain real-time information including graphical weather updates. The connectivity will facilitate dynamic routing to favourable winds and away from unfavourable weather.During the SwiftBroadband safety evaluation period, the AVIATOR SwiftBroadband system will be used for Future Air Navigation Systems (FANS) and Controller–pilot data link communications (CPDLC) messaging as well as data transmission in support of Hawaiian’s new eFLIE, Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) programme.The FAA-supervised technology demonstration paves the way for other airlines and equipment manufacturers to eventually benefit from the transfer of ACARS data messages over SwiftBroadband.“Through these on-going trials, we are continuing to lead the way in the development of the next generation IP-based safety services which are represented by Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband Safety Services and our AVIATOR S product family,” commented Kim Gram, vice president of Cobham SATCOM’s aeronautical business unit.“Using SwiftBroadband IP connectivity for all domains of the aircraft is new to the aviation industry and will provide safer and more efficient flights due to better overall situational awareness and transfer of operational data to and from of the aircraft,” Gram continued.Cobham predicts its AVIATOR S product family will be available early 2016 to coincide with approvals for FANS 1/A services over SwiftBroadband.The AVIATOR 200S airborne Satcom, the first system to be made available, features a HELGA – combined Low Noise Amplifier And Diplexer (HLD) and enhanced low-gain antenna (LGA) – antenna which reduces the number of line-replaceable units from three to two. This first Inmarsat Class 4 terminal by Cobham enables simultaneous transmission of safety and non-safety services over the same SwiftBroadband channel, whilst also affording space and weight savings.