Posted on: 26 June 2015 by Mark Howells
Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. (Gulfstream) has been granted approval by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to equip the next generation Satcom Direct Router (SDR) on Gulfstream's G550 and G450 business aircraft.
“This equipment elevates the airborne office to a new level,” remarked Mike West, vice president, Product Support Sales and New Business Development, Gulfstream. “The addition of a smart router allows for more communications options in the cabin, including Satcom Direct’s GlobalVT, which allows passengers to use their personal smartphones to call and text in-flight. Just as they would if they were on the ground, outgoing calls show the passengers’ personal phone number and incoming calls display the number of the person calling them. This voice and text functionality is seamless, secure and available at any altitude, virtually anywhere in the world.”
The SDR offers 3G cellular connectivity worldwide with any service provider while on the ground and provides the latest technology in data compression and acceleration. The SDR also supports mobile applications for on-board cabin services, including moving map and Flight Tracker, command and control of satellite links, and real time connection status reporting.
The SDR interfaces with ViaSat’s Ku-band and Honeywell’s SwiftBroadband systems, and is designed to work with future connectivity systems, including Ka-band. Installation of the SDR and accompanying software is standard on new G550 and G450 aircraft and available as a retrofit for in service G550s and G450s. Passengers can download a mobile app on their smartphones to access Satcom Direct’s GlobalVT service, which is available exclusively from Gulfstream. The new equipment, which weighs less than 10 pounds, is designed to be installed inside the cabin or avionics bay. Gulfstream’s company owned service centres have exclusive rights to perform the work.
Gulfstream is pursuing similar supplemental type certificates from the FAA to add this cabin communications enhancement to G650/G650ER, GV and GIV aircraft.