France | November 1, 2017–An evolving multi-link ACARS landscape, embracing cutting-edge cockpit connectivity and solid VHF foundations, will remain the backbone of the aviation industry for the foreseeable future. So saysSITAONAIR, global leader in aviation operational and ATC communications, in its latest white paper, ACARS: Timeless tech for the connected aircraft age.

With a staggering 7.2 billion passengers expected to take to the skies in 2035, according to IATA projections, SITAONAIR’s latest report argues that driving the evolution and diversification of its ACARS technologies is key to empowering the industry to negotiate an increasingly crowded airspace.

SITAONAIR recently announced major partnerships with Inmarsat and Teledyne Controls that illustrate the adaptability of ACARS capabilities for emerging technologies, reflecting and supporting the diverse global aviation community in the connected aircraft age.

SITAONAIR has added Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) to its portfolio; an ACARS-reliant next-generation flight deck communications platform giving airlines a dedicated IP connectivity service supporting enhanced safety and operational efficiency.

Working with Teledyne Controls, SITAONAIR is delivering the aviation industry’s first-ever airline-integrated ACARS datalink terrestrial cellular 3G/4G service. Employing Teledyne Controls’ GroundLink® Comm+ system, SITAONAIR is able to integrate terrestrial cellular services into its core datalink network, giving airlines the flexibility and benefit of another transmission channel for aircraft communications.

Meanwhile, VHF, VDL and legacy networks continue to be adopted, advanced, and work alongside these alternate technologies, around the world. Among these significant programs, detailed in the white paper, SITAONAIR has upgraded Europe’s primary ATC-airline communications network, delivering Europe’s first Multi-Frequency (MF) Very High Frequency Digital Link mode 2 (VDLm2) infrastructure. In March 2017 the Czech Republic’s Air Navigation Service Provider, ANS CR, appointed SITAONAIR to deliver a “communication gateway” to Prague Airport and others – through its ACARS network.

The company’s VHF/VDL network has also established an important new aircraft communications infrastructure in developing parts of the world, with more than 50 sites established in Brazil prior to the Rio Olympic Games.

Evolving ACARS landscape

Paul Gibson, Portfolio Director, AIRCOM at SITAONAIR, explains: “SITAONAIR’s ACARS network continues to evolve from its VHF origins, embracing satellite services, VHF and higher-speed VHF Digital Link (VDL), to deal with the steady rise in air traffic.

“Our recent announcement with Inmarsat on our adoption of SwiftBroadband-Safety to our wide-ranging connected aircraft portfolio will prove critical. We’re excited about the potential SB-S will bring to enable us to further innovate new, and enhance our existing, services and solutions, around a dedicated, secure IP connection to the cockpit.

“SITAONAIR is taking strides to ensure the ACARS network is evolving in tandem with the digital age, to enable message transmission using alternate technologies. Traditional ACARS and ACARS over IP will have a mutually important role to play in the ground-to-air connectivity landscape. Whether supporting the transmission of millions of ACARS messages exchanged every day, advancing Brazil’s complete VHF and VDL datalink network ahead of the Rio Olympics, or launching a next-generation flight deck IP communications platform, SITAONAIR is and will remain central to our industry’s ACARS story.”

ACARS remains heavily integrated into the ground systems of most airlines. Huge volumes of vital aircraft data come to and from aircraft via ACARS messaging, with 220 airlines now relying on SITAONAIR’s multi-link ACARS technology. The white paper highlights why ACARS, in its diversity, remains the most reliable, efficient and cost-effective ground-to-air messaging system, with SITAONAIR as its core service provider.

To find out more, download the full white paper, ACARS: Timeless tech for the connected aircraft age.

To explore the SITAONAIR connected aircraft portfolio, visit, speak to your local SITAONAIR contact orsubmit an enquiry form online.

  • Validation of Supplemental Type Certificate (VSTC) for Cobham AVIATOR 300 on AirbusA320 series is the first time a SwiftBroadband ACARS-capable modem has received CAAC certification

Lyngby, Denmark | July 21, 2016– The Cobham SATCOM AVIATOR 300 system has received a Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) Validation of Supplemental Type Certificate (VSTC) for installation aboard the Airbus A320 series. It is the first time a SwiftBroadband ACARS (Aircraft Communication and Addressing Reporting System)-capable modem has received Chinese certification.

The significant Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) means that Chinese airlines and Chinese-registered aircraft can now order and install the Cobham solution on the Airbus aircraft A319, A320 and A321 to benefit from improved communications, connectivity, flight safety and operations on-board.

Enabling cockpit connectivity for ACARS over SwiftBroadband on the Airbus aircraft, AVIATOR 300 uses Inmarsat SwiftBroadband IP data and circuit-switched voice capabilities to provide services such as aircraft flight tracking information and Ethernet ports for connecting devices such as Aircraft Interface Devices (AIDs) and Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) for the pilots to obtain real-time information including graphical weather updates. AVIATOR 300 also has the bandwidth to send the real-time data of the aircraft health monitoring systems, such as engine monitoring.

Jianmin Cui, Director for Cobham SATCOM China Operations, said: “This certification for our AVIATOR 300 system is very important for the industry in this region and is also a significant milestone for Cobham as we can now offer Chinese airlines a low cost, compact Inmarsat satcom solution. It is a first for the industry, for Inmarsat and also for Cobham. This system provides Chinese airlines an optimal option to comply with the CAAC 4 minute-mandate with more capable data applications.

“The installation of our system on the Airbus aircraft will introduce many benefits for airlines. For example, airlines’ flight operations departments will have the ability to access aircraft data in real time from the ground while the aircraft is in flight, which will significantly improve flight safety and operational efficiencies.”

The VSTC is developed and owned by Avionics Support Group Inc (ASG) for the SwiftBroadband Unit and Delta G for the antenna.

The AVIATOR 300 system, which features the compact and lightweight Intermediate Gain Antenna IGA-5001 to ensure a low profile on the fuselage, provides for fast and reliable connectivity on the Inmarsat SwiftBroadband I-4 satellite network. The system supports high quality, low-cost voice calling and the full complement of data services and provides near global coverage, on the ground or in the air.

Further advantages include recurrent maintenance savings due to the high reliability of the AVIATOR system and recurrent weight savings (approximately 50 to 150lbs) over traditional legacy SATCOM systems.

The full Cobham SATCOM AVIATOR range includes the revolutionary AVIATOR S series, AVIATOR 700 and 700D, AVIATOR 350 with High Gain Antenna (HGA), AVIATOR 300 with IGA as well as the exceptionally compact and lightweight AVIATOR 200 with Low Gain Antenna (LGA).

El Segundo, CA | March 2016– Teledyne Controls, the aircraft data and information management business, and aerospace software provider PACE have signed a new partnership deal that will enable airlines and individual flight crews to actively improve their flying efficiency and fuel consumption, and pilots to receive live weather updates direct to an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) while in flight.

Interfaced with the Teledyne GroundLink® Comm+ system and its new integrated Aircraft Interface Device (AID) function AID+, PACE’s Pacelab Flight Profile Optimizer software can draw live data from the aircraft’s avionics buses to determine the most cost-efficient flight trajectory. Using real-time operational and meteorological data and a holistic optimization approach for the remaining route to destination, Pacelab Flight Profile Optimizer provides pilots with reliable information on how to minimise trip cost. The resulting reduction of fuel burn is significant averaging up to 2% per year.

And with the addition of inflight weather updates direct to the crews’ tablet devices via Teledyne’s GroundLink® AID+ ACARS proxy interface, crews have a complete picture of their ongoing flight, and any changes in profile that may be required through a change in circumstances to achieve greater operational and fuel efficiencies.

An ACARS proxy allows multiple EFBs to send and receive ACARS messages, supporting pilots with ground and air Flight Operations communications, the distribution of flight documents, and load sheets. Crucially, airlines do not need to install a separate AID unit to benefit from the PACE/Teledyne partnership. With more than 8,000 Teledyne GroundLink® units already flying, it is an easy transition for those with the technology already installed, protecting their legacy investment.

Murray Skelton, Director of Business Development at Teledyne Controls, says that the ease of integration has been key: “By a simple interface with our AID+ unit and the PACE application, we can deliver all of the key flight data, and external data such as weather updates direct to a tablet to enable pilots to make informed decisions about their flight, and proactively find ways of maximising their fuel efficiency.”

PACE Managing Partner Oliver Kranz explains how the agreement is a genuine ‘win win’ for all parties: “For airlines to realize the full benefits of AID, they need to see a tangible return on investment,” he says. “Integrating PACE with Teledyne’s systems delivers a new level of control, and feedback from the first users is already encouraging.

“With Teledyne’s significant installed base, we have an immediate network and channel to market,” he continues. “We give Teledyne a tangible business case for airlines to upgrade to GroundLink® AID+, with proven cost efficiencies.”

  • Lufthansa Group subsidiary teams with Teledyne Controls to become first to manage data and flight safety information from a single device

El Segundo, CA | September 2, 2015–
Austrian Airlines, part of the Lufthansa Group, has become the first airline in the world to use, as a single device, the GroundLink® Comm+ system from Teledyne Controls, to collect and manage flight data and enable the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) system connectivity and ACARS over IP, by implementing the new GroundLink® AID+ feature.

The GroundLink® system, which is an Airbus/Boeing certified solution, has recently been upgraded to include the Aircraft Interface Device (AID) capability, which means that no additional AID device needs to be installed, thus giving Austrian Airlines a tremendous competitive advantage.

And because the device uses cellular media to transmit data, including EFB and ACARS data, no additional communication costs are involved.

Hans-Jürgen Neufert, Regional Director, Sales and Service for Teledyne Controls, says that Austrian Airlines is the first to adopt GroundLink® AID+ for its full capabilities and for all the right reasons: “It takes the challenge of connectivity and communication across multiple devices and effectively solves it,” he says.

Austrian Airlines has only recently begun implementing a new EFB regime, central to which is the use of a consumer Tablet that is mounted in the cockpit. The Teledyne system connects via Ethernet with the airline’s chosen EFB Tablet (the Microsoft Surface Pro 3), giving pilots a range of new capabilities including access to aircraft avionics data and data store as well as interface with aircraft ACARS systems and cockpit printers direct to their Tablet.

Dr. Philipp Haller, A320-Captain and EFB-Administrator at Austrian Airlines, says that pilots are now able to use EFBs in all phases of flight: “In particular, this applies to critical phases such as take-off and landing,” he says.

“Our EFB system enables us to synchronize a wide range of the latest data, information and flight-related documentation prior to flight, meaning it is then available offline during flight. The immediate availability of manuals, charts or checklists enormously increases the ability to take action in the air.”

Hans-Jürgen Neufert, says that GroundLink® AID+ will help take EFB functionality to another level: “Not only does our system add essential EFB support services to the GroundLink® Comm+ unit, but it also gives pilots a level of functionality and support that could help dramatically improve flight operations.”

The GroundLink® AID+ function extends the airline’s investments already made in the GroundLink® Comm+ provisions and hardware for applications such as automated wireless Flight Data download and wireless distribution of software parts across the fleet. Enabling the AID+ functions is very easy as it only requires a software upgrade to the GroundLink® Comm+ Unit. Additional information regarding GroundLink® AID+ can be found at

Paris Air Show & Lyngby, Denmark | June 18, 2015– Initial test results have been described as ‘extremely promising’ following the first flights of a commercial aircraft transmitting ACARS data over SwiftBroadband using a Cobham SATCOM system.

Two weeks of evaluation flights have now been analysed after Hawaiian Airlines’ Boeing 767-300 became the first commercial airline to fly with Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband safety service on June 3.

The Cobham AVIATOR 300D SwiftBroadband system was awarded the STC to allow for FANS 1/A+ and CPDLC communications as well as ATC voice over SwiftBroadband during the evaluation period.

“We are very happy with the performance of the Cobham SATCOM SB Safety service utilising the SwiftBroadband network – the results from the first two weeks of evaluation flights in scheduled service are extremely promising,” said Mary McMillan, VP, Safety and Operational Services, Inmarsat Aviation. “This marks a new era in oceanic ATC communications using small, lightweight Inmarsat satcom and proves that we are on track to meet our target for approvals in early 2016.”

Ken Rewick, vice president of flight operations for Hawaiian Airlines, stated: “We are very pleased with the results from our first evaluation flights using SwiftBroadband and look forward to building on the momentum of this industry-changing system.”

Kim Gram, vice president of Cobham SATCOM’s aeronautical business unit, commented: “These first flights with enabled SBB ACARS data are a significant milestone on our journey to the e-enabled flight deck, and we are very encouraged by the results so far.

“We believe the significantly smaller, lighter and easier to install hardware associated with the SBB ACARS data services, represented by our AVIATOR S series product range, will provide aircraft manufacturers and airlines with a route towards significant changes in operational efficiencies and, not least, in flight situation awareness and safety. We are excited about the future! ”

The multiple FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) STC for the Cobham SATCOM AVIATOR 300D was developed in conjunction with applicant L2 Consulting Services and secured following evaluations carried out in cooperation with Hawaiian Airlines (HAL), PARC CWG (FAA), ARINC/Rockwell Collins and Inmarsat. The certification is for its installation on Boeing 767-200, 300 and 300F aircraft.

The AVIATOR 200S airborne satcom features the exceptionally compact HELGA (combined HLD and Enhanced LGA) antenna which reduces the number of LRUs 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. The revolutionary new system will also afford space and weight savings.

  • New contracts with Korea Airports Corporation and T’Way Air solidify the company’s leadership position in Korea

Seoul, Korea | June 4, 2015– In two separate agreements, Rockwell Collins’ ARINC GLOBALinkSM has been selected by Korea Airports Corporation (KAC) and Korea’s T’Way Air.

KAC, the service provider for airline and civil aviation communications in Korea, chose Rockwell Collins to implement an advanced air-to-ground aviation communications network to support the country’s growing aviation communication requirements. T’way Air, South Korea’s fastest growing airline, will use Rockwell Collins’ ARINC GLOBALink for its air-to-ground data link communications.

“Our expertise in communications messaging combined with our understanding of the Korean market ideally positions Rockwell Collins to provide these two leading organizations with robust solutions for their aviation communication needs,” said Heament John Kurian, managing director, IMS Asia Pacific for Rockwell Collins. “These two significant contracts mark another key milestone in our successful strategy to invest and grow our business in the country and throughout the entire region.”

For KAC, the network Rockwell Collins is developing will leverage the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS®) to provide pre-departure clearance (PDC) and digital automatic terminal information service (D-ATIS) message, and will use Very High Frequency (VHF) Digital Link Mode 2 (VDL Mode 2), which is 10 times the capacity of traditional systems.

While typically VDL messages are routed through a global network of thousands of ground stations, the network Rockwell Collins is implementing will allow certain messages, like Air Traffic Control, to stay within Korea, just like a private network. This will provide KAC with the high level of security, reliability and speed it requires.

Rockwell Collins’ ARINC GLOBALink and other value added services will help T’Way Air to enhance real-time, accurate communications and to provide the important information and reports pilots use to increase operational safety and efficiency. “Now, we can provide real time data relevant to flight safety and customer service with pilots in command efficiently. We are proud of using Rockwell Collins to monitor aircraft situations on the ground and support passengers satisfactorily such as other premium airline companies,” said Yu Keun-Tae, director of Operations Control Center, T’Way Air Co., Ltd. “ARINC GLOBALink enables many of our aircraft’s standard air traffic control requests to be automated, improving safety and efficiency, which is good for our airline and our customers.”

With this latest agreement, all of Korea’s major low-cost carriers are now using ARINC GLOBALink to enable aircraft flying throughout the region to seamlessly communicate and exchange information with ground crews and airline host systems.

Geneva, Switzerland | April 20, 2015– SITA OnAir and UTC Aerospace Systems have launched AIRCOM®Connect, the new Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) and Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) software solution. Two airlines will deploy the solution this summer.

AIRCOM®Connect is a standard plug and play offering, meaning EFB applications can now access ACARS narrowband connectivity for all phases of a flight. This new messaging capability means airlines experience the many benefits of ubiquitous ACARS, including:

  • Aeronautical Operational Control (AOC) messaging, for example to initiate performance calculation requests to be performed by the ground systems, with the result being displayed on the flight deck devices
  • Enhanced route optimization and reduced detours thanks to real-time weather updates – on the ground and in the air – sent direct to the EFB tablets
  • Free text messaging between dispatchers, maintenance engineering and flight crews, enabling effective defect troubleshooting during flights
  • Downloading automated reports, such as exceedance and cruise reports
  • Dispatch data reports, including:
    • Dispatchers up-linking automated messages that contain updated METAR and TAF information
    • Flight crew requesting ramp service requirements during approach to destination airport

SITA OnAir partnered with UTC Aerospace Systems and deployed the software solution on all of the UTC Aerospace Systems EFB hardware platforms. This also includes its latest tablet-interface device (TIM™) which connects to and leverages the UTC Aerospace Systems Aircraft Interface Device (AID) features.

Ian Dawkins, CEO of SITA OnAir said: “We have a history of collaborating with UTC Aerospace Systems to bring our customers innovative solutions. By combining the UTC Aerospace Systems hardware with the AIRCOM®Connect software, we can offer our customers the exact functionality they desire for their EFB solutions. Increasingly, those EFB solutions are tablet based.”

Jim Tuitt, manager of business development for aircraft data management at UTC Aerospace Systems said “The UTC Aerospace Systems tablet EFB, in combination with the SITA OnAir AIRCOM®Connect software, enables an airline to maximize the benefits of paperless operations. We look forward to applying our extensive experiences together in developing and supporting EFB systems worldwide and to help airlines implement value added solutions.”

AIRCOM®Connect gives airlines the choice of two messaging service options. The first is standard ACARS, which while constrained by message size limitations is compatible with any ACARS ground host processors and with most ACARS routers.

The second option is AEEC 841 Media Independent Aircraft Messaging (MIAM) over ACARS. This overcomes the ACARS size limitations, enabling third party applications to transmit large messages over any networks, including VHF, VDL Mode 2, Iridium and Inmarsat.

UTC Aerospace Systems has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approval for AIRCOM®Connect to be used on their EFB hardware platforms on a range of commercial aircraft types.

  • Successful first installation of SwiftBroadband Safety

London, UK | August 14, 2014– Inmarsat, (LSE:ISAT.L), the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, has today announced the first successful installation and on-going trials of its ACARS1-capable SwiftBroadband (SB) Safety equipment on an Airbus A319.

SB Safety enables the fast, efficient transfer of ACARS data messages over the SwiftBroadband link. Installed in May this year, Inmarsat has been closely monitoring the system on board the aircraft, which has consistently surpassed performance expectations.

“This is the start of a revolution in communications for the flight deck. It shows the way forward for Future Air Navigation Systems (FANS) for the nearly 10,000 aircraft currently relying on our Inmarsat Classic Aero services, which were launched over 20 years ago,” said Leo Mondale, Inmarsat’s President of Aviation. “SB Safety provides prioritised voice and ACARS/FANS data transmission when an aircraft is out of reach of land-based communications, which is indispensable for aircraft flying over oceans.”

As well as ACARS, SB Safety also supports flight deck voice services and IP connectivity to the flight deck, enabling other flight operations and cockpit services, such as inflight updates to Electronic Flight Bags and Flight Data Recorder downloads. It also supports aircraft position reporting and tracking, and voice transmission for Air Traffic Management communications. A range of terminal variants is available, ensuring SB Safety can meet the requirements of all aircraft types, from the largest passenger types to business jets.

“A key point is that SB Safety provides a prioritised IP data pipe for the cockpit, for both security and continuity of service” continued Mondale. “This is particularly important for airlines that use SwiftBroadband for both safety services and cabin connectivity.”

The A319’s airborne hardware is Cobham’s AVIATOR 300D, part of a range which includes low-cost terminals with low weight and drag. SITA is the communications service provider and Satcom Direct is responsible for the on-board flight deck and cabin services. The entire system has undergone SITA’s Verification and Qualification (VAQ) testing procedure.

SB Safety is expected to achieve FANS approval in early 2016, following flight trials on commercial aircraft.

1The Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) is a digital datalink system for the transmission of short messages between aircraft and ground stations via airband radio or satellite. It is a highly reliable text-based message system used extensively by the aviation industry.

  • New WGL-AID Connects Crew Tablets With Onboard Avionics Suite

El Segundo, CA | May 20, 2014– A new technology that connects commercial tablets and crew devices used in the cockpit with an aircraft’s existing onboard data communication systems to significantly enhance the management and the exchange of information between the aircraft and the ground has been launched by Teledyne Controls.

WGL-AID™, an extension of Teledyne’s existing Wireless GroundLink® System (WGL Comm+™) will enable airlines to connect these tablets to the WGL Comm+ unit, which is typically used as a Wireless Quick Access Recorder (WQAR), for the purpose of achieving off-aircraft communication and access to aircraft avionics data as well as interface with aircraft ACARS systems and cockpit printers.

The move comes as an increasing number of airlines look to equip their flight crew with either Windows-based tablets or Apple iPads for use as Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs), and supply the maintenance and ground crews with devices for use as Electronic Technical Logs (eTechLog).

Murray Skelton, Director of Business Development at Teledyne Controls, says that WGL-AID™ enables commercial tablets to be fully utilised to resolve flight deck and cabin crew information challenges: “The technology not only helps to co-ordinate and manage information across tablets, but it also provides on-aircraft data storage, eliminates manual data entry errors, and provides internet access while on the ground,” he says.

The WGL-AID™ concept involves several individual functions as follows:

  • Router™ – provides off-aircraft IP (Internet Protocol) network access to applications hosted on external crew devices (e.g. EFB) by means of the internal cellular telephone modems contained with the WGL-Comm+™ unit. The function is active while the aircraft is on the ground.
  • ADIF (Aircraft Data Interface Function) – parameter service providing external device (EFB) applications with aircraft parameters available via ARINC 429 buses, ARINC 717 (ACMS or Mandatory) buses and/or ground/open discretes. The ADIF function eliminates the need for re-entry of many parameters into EFB applications that may have already been entered via the MCDU or through FMS uploads.
  • DataStore – Exposing ‘aircraft attached storage’ to applications such as Electronic Log Books thus providing a means to retain data entries on-board the aircraft after portable devices issued to crew leave the aircraft following flights.
  • ACARS Proxy – Utilizing the cabin terminal port[s] of the Aircraft’s existing CMU or ATSU for EFB applications to send and receive non-critical AOC (Aeronautical Operational Control) ACARS messages over the traditional ACARS links from/to EFB or CFB (Crew Flight Bag) devices.
  • Print Server – Connecting the EFB to the cockpit printer (textual or graphical) for printing content from applications such as ELB (Electronic Log Book) or a TechPubs application as a hardcopy in tangible form, e.g. to provide means of assurance to crew members that messages or instructions to gate crew members are not forgotten or transcribed incorrectly.

The WGL-AID™ function extends the investment airlines have already made in the WGL Comm+™ provisions and hardware for use in applications such as automated wireless Flight Data download and wireless distribution of software parts across the fleet. Enabling the WGL-AID function is very easy as it only requires a software upgrade to the WGL Comm+ Unit.

  • Satcom1 achieves the highest level of partnership with Inmarsat

United Kingdom | May 19, 2014– Satcom1, the Copenhagen based satellite communication and connectivity solutions specialist for cockpit and cabin, has been appointed by Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, to become a Distribution Partner for its SwiftBroadband services to the global business and ‘VVIP’ aviation market.

Satcom1 has been a highly successful Gold service provider for SwiftBroadband for several years and, based on its strong performance, is now promoted to Distribution Partner level. The agreement means that Satcom1 will be able to further improve its level of support in terms of activation and airtime, real-time trouble shooting and diagnostics to its current and future customer base.

Introduced in 2007, Inmarsat SwiftBroadband is today’s leading aviation satellite broadband communication platform. It is the only network that enables worldwide inflight Wi-Fi and GSM services for the global business and government aviation industry. It provides simultaneous voice and IP-based package switched services of up to 432 kbps as a standard, using Inmarsat’s constellation of L-band I-4 satellites, and will continue to play a vital role in many years to come. SwiftBroadband is also expected to be approved for FANS and ACARS safety services by 2015.

Satcom1 specialises in services provided to VVIP, Head-of-State, wide-bodied business jets. In order to address the needs of this specialised market segment, Satcom1’s Research and Development (R&D) department has developed a service that is a part of its AvioIP Software Suite, bonding two Inmarsat SwiftBroadband channels to deliver high-speed data services of up to 900kbps to the user. Since 2012, this solution has been successfully installed on many business aircraft. Satcom1 continues its R&D efforts to optimise SwiftBroadband and AvioIP suite capabilities to provide a world-class service to end-customers and maintain the leading edge in the industry.

“We are extremely proud to now represent Inmarsat as an aviation Distribution Partner. This important milestone follows a tremendously busy 2014 in which Satcom1 has been appointed as reseller of Jet ConneX (JX), the business aviation service powered by Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network, as well as Honeywell’s Global Data Center for cockpit DATALINK services. I want to thank our customers and partners, without their loyalty and trust in us over the years all this would not have been possible,” says Satcom1’s CEO Henrik Zinck. “We can now support our current and new customers at the highest level possible. Our dedicated commitment to R&D activities and investments are intact, and we will continue to develop and bring sophisticated connectivity solutions to the market, suiting any SATCOM platform,” ends Mr. Zinck.

”The VVIP and business jet market is very important for Inmarsat and we are proud to serve virtually the whole market globally. Satcom1 is one of the leading satellite communications service providers in this segment, in particular with its innovative services and global reach,” said Miranda Mills, President, Inmarsat Aviation. ”In today’s global world, aircraft fly to the four corners of the globe, and Inmarsat’s unique, truly global satellite network ensures our business aviation customers have access to inflight connectivity wherever they fly.”

IFExpress readers: Don’t get cold feet over this bit of aviation communication technology; however, it might help to get started by reviewing today’s aircraft ACARS System.

For the last few years, Axel Jahn’s TriaGnoSys has never ceased to amaze us. First it was IFE and then Connectivity, last year it was weather, and now, his company is proposing and testing what we like to consider as the new ACARS… all in association with his “One-Box-Wonder”. If you aren’t a pilot type, ACARS is a digital datalink system for transmission of short, simple, protocol heavy messages between mostly commercial aircraft and ground. The TriaGnoSys solution, SANDRA (Seamless Aeronautical Networking through integration of Data links, Radios and Antennas), described in their own words as a proof-of-concept testbed of future IPv6-based connectivity, which integrates cockpit communications with both passenger and non-operational airline communications into a common system architecture. Check out their press release. SANDRA is a connectivity approach that uses modern data protocols and if you don’t know about the company, be advised that TriaGnoSys Research and Development focuses on a broad range of mobile communication fields, including mobile end-to-end solutions, wireless In-flight Entertainment (IFE), next generation satellite connectivity and cabin/cockpit communication, as well as combined navigation and communications technologies.

Charlie Pryor, TriaGnoSys PR told IFExpress: “It’s really about two things. The first is bringing seamless comms to the cockpit (as you say, seamless is important). What that means is from a pilot’s perspective he/she will be in touch with the ground throughout the flight, either using datalink or, where necessary, voice. It will be just a case of using it, without having to fiddle around connecting to the satellite or VHF or whatever. In the background, the system will choose the best connection – a satellite or whichever air-to-ground network is most appropriate. So it will be simple for the pilot to use, and efficient. It is also moving cockpit comms towards digital and away from analogue. The second element is that it integrates with passenger connectivity. It uses the same networks, but with segregation for security. It is a concept at the moment – it works but needs more development to make it operational.”

The chart on this page may help.

We thought it would be a good idea to talk to the TriaGnoSys folks and they said: “Don’t forget this is early research. The aim is to continue working on the development of this technology, moving closer to implementation. TriaGnoSys sees the next stage as a further European-funded programme, with several of the same SANDRA partners, in particular working with increased focus on the issue you highlighted integrated technology for the cockpit and the cabin, while ensuring segregation. In SANDRA, TriaGnoSys has done much of the theoretical work, as well as fundamental design and development work to achieve an early functional demonstration; implementation in real operation will require more work and further proof-of-concept trials and demos on higher TRL levels.”

Q: If voice is least preferred communication methodology (and we understand why), how is the aircraft/ground info displayed?

A: That depends entirely on the avionics system on the aircraft. But it would be displayed in a very similar way to current controller–pilot data link communications (CPDLC) data.

Q: What is the range of info requests/updates… weather, fuel, traffic, aircraft status?

A: Theoretically, there is no limit to the type of data that can be transmitted. It depends on what the regulators, air traffic providers and airlines want to use it for. There will be more bandwidth available. In fact, SESAR has specified use of future data links for ATS and AOC in the COCR (now v2), which is kind of work in progress still and is the reference for (a) what data is exchanged and (b) what are the requirements for the data link

Q: How is passenger data involved?

A: Passenger data is involved inasmuch as the cockpit and cabin will share suitable link capacities, though with strict segregation to provide security.

Q: Who pays what and when and how?

A: That is really a question to address when we get to the implementation stage. However, it is likely to be a combination of the airline, for the cockpit side, and the passenger for the cabin side.

5. What is the present-day total coverage?

A: Coverage of all flight routes is one of the key aims of SANDRA, which is why the technology uses both both satellite and ground radio links.

Q: And finally, why is this coming to aircraft now?

A: There is “a common agreement” that the current practice of voice-centric ATC and limited bandwidth cockpit data links will limit future air traffic growth. In response to that, SESAR and NextGen are specifying the future data-centric concept of operations, with future data links as a central element (LDACS, AeroMACS, Iris). ICAO has already set the framework for the next generation global Aeronautical Telecommunication Network (ATN) based on IPv6 in the ATN/IPS SARPS Doc. 9896, specifying minimum communication protocols and services required for the implementation of the future ICAO ATN. This is the background for SANDRA and why this projects brings IPv6 data links onto an aircraft.

Q: BTW, is this loosely considered airborne data integration?

A: Yes, basically that is exactly what it is.

Q: We gather this is not a “replacement” for ACARS, then?

A: SANDRA is not a replacement of ACARS. In fact, it was originally designed to transmit ACARS messages over SANDRA. So ACARS applications may run over the new links in the transitional phase, possibly being replaced by new protocols. SANDRA is more about the seamless integration of the communications technology than the details of the services that run over the communications.

Stay Tuned!

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. –(OCTOBER 19, 2010) – International Communications Group (ICG), the leader in the development and manufacture of aeronautical communications systems and solutions for the Business Aviation, Military Aircraft and Air Transport industries, today announced that Embraer, a prestigious and renowned manufacturer of business jet and commercial aircraft, will equip its midlight Legacy 450, midsize Legacy 500 and ultra large cabin Lineage 1000 aircraft with ICG’s Datalink capable Iridium Communications Systems (ICS).

ICG will be the primary satellite communications provider to Embraer Executive Jet owners on various business jet models to include the Lineage 1000 and Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 series aircraft. ICG’s Vice President of OEM Sales, Jeff Saucedo, said “We’re pleased to continue our strong relationship with Embraer, and look forward to working together to provide their customers with Next Generation communications solutions that meets their requirements.” With ICG’s ICS-220A Iridium Communications System, Embraer Executive Jet
owners will have dual full-service Iridium channels, providing both flight deck and cabin voice services, along with a dedicated Short Burst Data (SBD) Datalink Modem in a single LRU. Operators will have the option to choose between the ICG NxtLink series; ICS-220A dual channel system or the ICS-400 quad channel device. The ICG Iridium based avionics, provide an ideal solution for seamless global communications services without the inconveniences of handoff or no service areas, including polar regions.

In addition, these systems provide communications services for the traditional Datalink services such as Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting Systems (ACARS) and Airborne Flight Information Service (AFIS), as well as the Future Air Navigation Systems (FANS 1/A) to include Controller Pilot Datalink Communications (CPDLC), and ADS-C messaging. With the ICS-220A system installed, the operator is prepared for the emerging rule changes and mandates for required flight deck communications to achieve FANS compliance and to fly
FANS routes.

Jeff Saucedo, ICG’s Vice President of OEM Sales, said “The ICG NxtLink series enhances safety by providing reliable communications and are the most economical satellite based long range communications systems available today. They meet the quality standard and high expectations that customers have come to rely on from ICG and Embraer.”

About Embraer Legacy 450, Legacy 500 and Lineage 1000

Based on concepts presented in 2007 and formally launched in 2008, the Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 set new paradigms in their categories. These aircraft will have the largest and quietest cabin in their classes. A flat-floor stand-up (6-foot) cabin, excellent pressurization, and vacuum lavatories are other highlights of the Legacy 450 and Legacy 500, complementing their superior performance and low
operating costs. The jets will be the only ones in their segments equipped with cutting-edge fly-by-wire electronic flight controls.

The Legacy 450 is designed to carry up to nine passengers. Its range will be 2,300 nautical miles (4,260 km) with four passengers plus NBAA IFR reserves, meaning the jet will be able to fly nonstop from London (U.K.) to Moscow (Russia); or from Delhi (India) to Dubai (United Arab Emirates)

The Legacy 500 will carry up to twelve passengers. It is designed for a range of 3,000 nautical miles (5,560 km) with four passengers plus NBAA IFR fuel reserves. These characteristics will allow customers to fly nonstop from New York to Los Angeles, in the U.S.; or from Moscow (Russia) to Mumbai (India).

Annapolis, Maryland, USA, March 8, 2010—Commercial passenger flights and business jets in South Africa can now have better access to important flight messages and data with newly-expanded ACARS® data link coverage from ARINC Incorporated.

In cooperation with South Africa’s Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS), ARINC recently installed a new VHF ACARS data link station at Cape Town, and inaugurated coverage in December. The new station will enable better in-flight data transfer and communications between airline operations and aircraft flight decks.

Cape Town International is South Africa’s second busiest airport and a major gateway for tourists. ARINC is expanding its data link coverage in advance of the 2010 World Cup, which will take place in South Africa during June and July. Teams from 32 nations will play at eight different venues stretched across more than a thousand miles of South Africa. An influx of international visitors and greatly increased air traffic are expected.

“Our Cape Town data link coverage is part of a series of major investments ARINC is making across the whole of the Europe, Middle East and Africa region,” stated Andy Wood, ARINC EMEA Program Director. “New station deployments like this one benefit our European-based airline customers such as Virgin Atlantic and Lufthansa who fly to the African main bases, as well as many international airlines flying to Johannesburg, where we also provide VHF ACARS coverage.”

ARINC VHF ACARS data link service provides airlines with faster and more reliable operational messaging than traditional voice radio. Carriers using data link benefit from greater efficiency and on-time performance.

ARINC’s data link services are built on an integrated worldwide network of VHF and HF ground stations, along with Inmarsat and Iridium satellite networks, to provide seamless data communications to aircraft anywhere in the world. ARINC’s exclusive HFDL (High Frequency Data Link) service gives carriers such as South African Airways cost-effective global coverage across oceans, continents and polar regions while seamlessly interfacing with VHF and SATCOM communications.

ARINC Incorporated, a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, provides communications, engineering and integration solutions for commercial, defense and government customers worldwide. Headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland with regional headquarters in London and Singapore, ARINC is ISO 9001:2008 certified. For more information, visit the web site at