US-based Iridium Communications announced yesterday that the newest Iridium Certus aviation service provider will be French aerospace company, Thales. Iridium Certus is an L-band solution for global broadband services, offering two-way flight deck and business cabin communications.
Michael Hooper, director and general manager of aviation, Iridium, commented in a press release,
“The Iridium Certus platform will provide the only solutions that meet the coverage, cost and capability requirements for this new generation of aircraft communications, and we’re excited to further expand our close partnership with Thales to bring these capabilities to market.”
The partnership will allow Thales to provide Iridium Certus terminals and connectivity services to all categories of aviation, including commercial aircraft, business jets, rotorcraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Iridium previously announced Honeywell Aerospace, SKYTRAC, Avitek and Navicom Aviation as Certus partners for the aviation industry. Terminals are also being built by Collins Aerospace, L3, Gogo and Satcom Direct.
A partnership with Thales
The Thales Group announced the partnership via a tweet:
We’re excited to expand our partnership with @IridiumComm to provide avionics and connectivity service for the Certus satellite network with #FlytLINK. Together, we’ll provide global connectivity to aircraft around the world. https://t.co/aSJY3tyDtK pic.twitter.com/LIRg8FuVkZ
— Thales Group (@thalesgroup) September 3, 2019
Thales is also developing FlytLINK using Iridium Certus broadband services. This latest partnership means Thales will be able to offer both Iridium Certus terminals and connectivity services to BizAv, commercial operators, rotorcraft, general aviation and UAVs. You can see an introduction to FlytLINK in the video below.
Thales is planning to be the very first company to market with an Iridium Certus aviation product. Already involved with Iridium for maritime and land development, Thales will become the first company in the world to manufacture terminals for all the end users. Quoted in the press release, Craig Olson, vice president of connectivity solutions, Thales InFlyt Experience commented,
“We’re excited about our aero solution on Iridium Certus and intend to be first to market. Thales FlytLINK will empower customers to achieve their big ambitions, and we’re proud to help them do that. This marks another big step towards a long-lasting relationship with Iridium and bringing connectivity to users worldwide,”
About Iridium Certus
The name for Iridium’s Certus service comes from Latin, meaning ‘certain, reliable and sure’, all key goals of the company’s project. Certus is powered by Iridium NEXT, the new generation of LEO satellites launched to replace 66 outdated models. This initiative is designed to bring more reliable, better performing satellite broadband to the world, giving end users more choice of provider.
Iridium pledge that Certus will bring pole to pole connectivity, without the need for ground stations, thanks to the cross satellite communication and L-band end user transmissions. It’s unaffected by interference from weather, rotors, geographic features and other forms of signal interruption, and will have speed capabilities up to 1408kbps. The low profile antennas, with a height of less than 6cm, promise to be quick to install and produce almost no drag, making the solution appealing for efficiency conscious airlines.
Commercial service is expected to be launched later this year.