Cobham SATCOM Antenna Enables Rockwell Collins Connectivity Solution for EASA-Certified Airbus A350-900


  • Latest generation commercial airliner is flying equipped with Cobham’s market-leading low profile High Gain Antenna and Diplexer/Low Noise Amplifier

Lyngby, Denmark | April 14, 2015– Cobham SATCOM’s market-leading HGA-7001 High Gain Antenna is part of the connectivity solution for the world’s latest generation commercial airliner, the Airbus A350-900.

The low-profile antenna, plus Cobham SATCOM’s DAU-7060 DLNA (Diplexer/Low Noise Amplifier) and Floating Mounting Plate, are standard fit on the A350 XWB through a sub-contract with A350 XWB communications systems provider Rockwell Collins.

Cobham, a leading manufacturer of Inmarsat satellite communications systems, has delivered more than 50 antennas to date for the A350 XWB, which promises to set new standards in connected aircraft, customer experience and comfort, and operational efficiency. Deployed on a growing range of airframes, the HGA-7001 leads its field in drag reduction, weight, compactness and power requirements for aircraft connectivity systems.

Complying with the specific requirements of the A350 XWB, a special mounting plate was designed to ensure that the antenna does not impart stresses on the composite airframe structure.

The Airbus A350-900, which recently received Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), as well as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification for use by US airlines, has already secured 780 orders from 40 customers worldwide.

Kim Gram, vice president of Cobham SATCOM’s aeronautical business unit, said: “Cobham SATCOM is proud to be supplying equipment for this innovative, new generation aircraft featuring ambitious technologies which represent a step-change for airlines and passengers.

“It is further proof of the growing demand of the HGA-7001, which provides value benefits and cost savings, such as low drag weight, low induced fuselage stress and exceptional low angle coverage, all resulting in a higher performance Satcom system.”

Using the SwiftBroadband flexible IP connectivity standard, technology on-board the A350 XWB focuses on the key areas of flight operations, cabin operations, passenger and maintenance. This crucially places the aircraft at the centre of the entire maintenance, operations and ground-based operations picture and enables features such as Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs), for real-time weather graphics, as well as maintenance activities and other updates from the ground.

Passengers can experience state-of-the-art In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) systems, with access to satellite live television broadcasts or connecting flight information, and the ability to connect to their own Personal Electronic Devices, while connected crew also benefit from new digital features.

With its very high reliability, the AVIATOR HGA-7001 features phased-array technology that has proven its ‘fit and forget’ status with the air transport sector. Providing seamless coverage over the Inmarsat-defined hemisphere, the HGA-7001 is for use with Inmarsat Classic Aero (H/H+), Swift64 and SwiftBroadband Satcom systems for multi-channel service for a range of applications.

As well as providing connectivity for air traffic control, aircraft operation and EFBs for the cockpit, the HGA unit fulfils the demand for high data rates and broadband capability to offer fast and reliable connectivity on Inmarsat SwiftBroadband services for high quality, low-cost voice calling and the full complement of data services, supporting the use of Wi-Fi enabled devices such as laptops, tablets and smart phones.

Cobham’s DAU-7060 DLNA separates transmit and receive signals and amplifies the received signal. It ensures that specified signals in the transmit band from the HPA are transmitted to the antenna with minimal power leaks into the receive band low noise amplifier (LNA). It also filters unwanted harmonics generated in the HPA, providing protection against interference with other systems. Allowing flexible installation, it is ARINC-741 compliant and is compatible with Aero H/H+, Swift64 and SwiftBroadband systems.

U.S. avionics maker Rockwell Collins is supplying the communications, data network and landing system avionics packages for the Airbus A350 XWB, ensuring the management of voice and data communications of the aircraft, between pilots, flight crew, controllers and the airline company. The ARINC 781 satellite communications system features Safety Services and dual SwiftBroadband channel capabilities.

The Airbus A350-900 Type Certification was awarded following a stringent programme of certification trials which has taken its airframe and systems well beyond their design limits to ensure all airworthiness criteria are fully met.

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