Eclipse delivers inflight connectivity for presidential fleet

Bizjets on static display
Bizjets on static display at Ebace

Paris-based Eclipse has announced the successful installation of a complete satcom system for an Eastern European presidential fleet of aircraft, adding to its existing portfolio of military and government customers.

Eclipse engineers were involved from the outset of the project, and made several recommendations for the system design, before the final selection was made.

The design had to ensure high-quality telephony with the ability to provide cryptographic devices for secure communications, as well data rates that would support internet access and video-conferencing.

The Eclipse-delivered hardware included following Honeywell’s AMT-3800 High Gain Antenna, HSD-400 dual-channel Swift Broadband transceiver and CNX-200 Network Router.

The technical design of the system also provided two different Wi-Fi networks, operating each over one of the two Swift Broadband channels available in the Honeywell HSD-400. This ensured that the VIP connection was separate from the passenger and crew devices to provide an additional security component.

A key requirement of the end customer was being able to make multiple calls from the aircraft, as traditionally a SwiftBroadband system only provides one or two voice channels.

The Eclipse Aero+ Clarity service provides high quality telephony via a managed VoIP link.

Dedicated hardware installed within the Eclipse ground infrastructure ensures that when the VoIP calls “land” at the ground, they connect directly into the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), completely avoiding the internet.

The result means that as many as four simultaneous calls can be made from or to the aircraft, connecting from either the aircraft handsets or using the VIP/passengers’ own devices.

Eclipse has also recently completed a major satcom upgrade on an African Head of State wide-bodied Boeing aircraft, adding Wi-Fi capability and enabling the use of the Inmarsat SwiftBroadband network.

The Satcom Direct Router (SDR).
The Satcom Direct Router (SDR).

At the heart of this is the Satcom Direct Router (SDR). The SDR is a new and innovative satcom router that provides powerful functionality to the end customer, including multiple Wi-Fi environments and user-priority of the available bandwidth.

The unit can be connect to the currently available Inmarsat satcom systems as well as ViaSat’s Ku-Band offering, but is future-proofed and has been designed to work with the upcoming Inmarsat GX Aviation Ka-Band service.

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