Collins Aerospace Systems says it has reached a milestone in the development of its higher bandwidth Iridium Certus airborne satellite communications (SATCOM) system. Recently, Collins Aerospace was able to successfully connect and transmit data to an orbiting Iridium® satellite using the Iridium Certus service. The feat was accomplished using Collins Aerospace’s new Active Low Gain Antenna (ALGA) — making it the first successful airborne equipment transmission of this type over the upgraded Iridium constellation’s L-band broadband service. Collins Aerospace Systems is a Raytheon Technologies business.
“This significant achievement marks our progress in bringing our customers an even faster, seamless SATCOM experience,” said Nate Boelkins, vice president and general manager for Commercial Avionics for Collins Aerospace. “Today’s aircraft operators are looking for reliable, secure data interaction and this product will help ensure aircraft operators receive the uninterrupted and secure data feeds they need to operate most efficiently.”
Collins Aerospace’s latest SATCOM solution is currently in development and will be available to operators in 2022. Collins will provide all of the airborne hardware for the new system, including the Satcom Data Unit (SDU), SDU Configuration Module (SCM) and the antenna. Depending on the operator’s bandwidth requirements, either a low gain or high gain antenna can be included, providing L-band bandwidth to 176 kilobits per second (kbps) or 704 kbps, respectively.
In addition to faster speeds, Collins Aerospace’s system will have a lower weight and smaller antenna footprint for minimum drag and lower power usage than legacy systems.