Iridium Communications has launched its Iridium Certus aviation commercial service, which is designed to provide a secure cockpit domain with reliable voice and data capabilities.
This milestone achievement marks the availability and certification of Iridium Connected aviation solutions – for commercial transport aircraft, business aviation, helicopters, private aircraft and Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) – designed to offer more compact, cost-effective equipment and great coverage.
Iridium said that using L-band satellite frequencies, Iridium Certus for aviation is an ideal complement to commercial transport passenger cabin connectivity Ka/Ku band services, and can be a primary service for small-to-midsize business jet cabins. It is an alternative to HF/VHF for electronic flight bag (EFB), flight-critical data, and passenger communications during oceanic flights.
Iridium’s partners are introducing a range of multi-tier Iridium Certus solutions that complement other inflight connectivity systems installed on aircraft. Multiple Iridium value added manufacturers (VAMs) and value-added resellers (VARs) are providing a spectrum of Iridium Certus 100 and Iridium Certus 700 solutions. Safety certifications are currently in progress, with flight trials expected to begin by the end of 2023 and approvals expected in 2024.
“The aviation industry is forecasting a period of unprecedented growth, where reliable connectivity has become crucial for both passenger and cockpit communications,” said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. “Iridium Certus perfectly fits these applications due to the combination of its size, weight and power (SWaP) as well as the outstanding reliability of our global network. With our upgraded constellation, we have significantly improved and expanded our offerings, delivering air traffic control services, weather and critical information to cockpits worldwide more affordably than ever before.”
Iridium’s satellite network is in Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO). The flexibility of Iridium Certus service to scale device SWaP requirements both up and down allows users to cater to various mission needs, offering different price points and versatility for diverse aircraft types and operational requirements. Iridium said Iridium Certus also makes it affordable for aircraft operators to obtain real-time data from the cockpit.
“Iridium’s first-generation voice and data solutions are installed on over 60,000 aircraft today and have been critical for flight safety and relied upon by pilots and airlines for years,” said John Peterson, executive director of aviation, Iridium. “As the preferred solution for a wide range of aviation applications, from drones to airliners, Iridium Certus is ready to support the industry’s evolving connectivity needs.”
The success of Iridium Certus technology in maritime and land applications has paved the way for its entry into the aviation realm. Thousands of subscribers are currently utilising the Iridium Certus service.