Iridium-Rockwell Collins Partnership to Offer Government, Commercial Aircraft Connectivity Service

Iridium and Rockwell Collins have partnered to offer an L-band broadband service meant to address connectivity requirements of government, business or commercial aviation clients.

Rockwell Collins will serve as an Iridium Certus provider and a value added manufacturer of ground terminals designed to facilitate satellite communications service delivery, Iridium said Monday.

Certus is built to employ small form factor antennas and terminals for smaller aircraft that require internet connectivity and a modem to support aircraft operations of commercial airlines and government aircraft operators.

Michael Hooper, director and general manager of Iridium’s aviation line of business, said he believes the service offering can help transform the aviation industry as the Federal Aviation Administration looks into the potential of satcom as “a primary means of onboard communications.”

According to Iridium, high-gain Certus antenna systems are programmed to carry data at a speed of up to 704 kilobits per second and the low-gain antennas are designed to have a data transfer speed of up to 176 Kbps.

Flight trials are scheduled to occur later this year, with commercial service introduction for aviation users slated to happen in mid-2019.

Iridium plans to launch the service to the maritime and land-mobile markets this year.

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