Gulfstream has received approval from the FAA for the installation of the next-generation Satcom Direct Router (SDR), an enhancement that the company says will simplify cabin communications on G550 and G450 aircraft.
“This equipment elevates the airborne office to a new level,” said Mike West, vice president, product support sales and new business development, Gulfstream. “The addition of a smart router allows for more communications options in the cabin, including Satcom Direct’s GlobalVT, which allows passengers to use their personal smartphones to call and text in flight. Just as they would if they were on the ground, outgoing calls show the passenger’s personal phone number and incoming calls display the number of the person calling them. This voice and text functionality is seamless, secure and available at any altitude, virtually anywhere in the world.”
The SDR offers 3G cellular connectivity worldwide with any service provider while on the ground, and provides data compression and acceleration technology. The SDR also supports mobile applications for onboard cabin services, including moving map and Flight Tracker, command and control of satellite links, and real-time connection status reporting. The SDR interfaces with ViaSat’s Ku-band and Honeywell’s SwiftBroadband systems, and is designed to work with future connectivity systems, including Ka-band.
Installation of the SDR and accompanying software is standard on new G550 and G450 aircraft and available as a retrofit for in-service G550s and G450s. Passengers can download a mobile app on their smartphones to access Satcom Direct’s GlobalVT service.
The new equipment, which weighs less than 10 lb, is designed to be installed inside the cabin or avionics bay. Gulfstream’s company-owned service centers have exclusive rights to perform the work. In the USA, they are located in Savannah and Brunswick, Georgia; Westfield, Massachusetts; Appleton, Wisconsin; Las Vegas, Nevada; Long Beach, California; Dallas, Texas; and West Palm Beach, Florida. There are also facilities in Luton, the UK; Sorocaba, Brazil; and Beijing, China.
Gulfstream is pursuing similar STCs from the FAA to add this cabin communications enhancement to G650/G650ER, GV and GIV aircraft.