Extensive tests aboard NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft as part of flagship SwiftBroadband solution approval
Thrane & Thrane announces today, March 19, 2010 that its new Aero-SB+ SwiftBroadband solution has received Inmarsat Type Approval and Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The approvals will enable Aero-SB+ users to take full advantage of the Inmarsat SwiftBroadband service, as well as allow Thrane & Thrane to commence shipment of the system to its customers. Aero SB+ is the ultimate cockpit and cabin communication solution, providing critical cockpit and safety data functions together with office in the sky IP data and voice services. The system offers five channels for simultaneous voice and data and speeds up to 432kbps, which makes it suitable for an extensive range of applications within business, government and military aviation.
As part of the Inmarsat Type Approval process Aero-SB+ was installed and tested aboard the NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) ‘Miss Piggy’ hurricane hunter aircraft. One of three NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft, ‘Miss Piggy’ is used for critical hurricane and storm research and reconnaissance, and is equipped with highly advanced and sophisticated radar and sensor technology used to gather valuable data about the hurricane to assist forecasters in predicting the path and intensity of the storm. The speed at which this information is communicated to scientists on the ground is often critical to the success of mission.
"The Thrane & Thrane Aero SB+ system has become a vital instrument in performing our missions and has allowed us to expand our capabilities. The key advantage to having SwiftBroadband is the amount of data we can transmit to the ground in real-time,” comments Jeff Smith, Electronics Engineer, Science & Engineering Branch, NOAA. “With Swift64, we were very limited in bandwidth and only the most critical data could be transmitted to scientists working on the ground. As our satcom data bandwidth has now increased, the products we generate on the aircraft have improved in resolution and in number, greatly enhancing the value of our real-time data to the scientists, severe storm forecasters and the various weather models that are capable of integrating data collected from the NOAA aircraft."
With the ability to significantly enhance voice, data and video conferencing speed and quality, while at the same time reducing cost, Aero-SB+ is Thrane & Thrane’s latest solution to be based on the Inmarsat SwiftBroadband service. Commenting on the system’s recent Type Approval and PMA certification, Kim Gram, Vice President, Aeronautical Business Unit, Thrane & Thrane said: “Receiving Inmarsat Type Approval and PMA certification for the Aero-SB+ is a key milestone for us at Thrane & Thrane. The rigorous testing aboard Miss Piggy and subsequent approval demonstrates the high quality inherent in our SwiftBroadband solutions and we are delighted to be able to commence shipment of our flagship offering immediately. Aero-SB+ provides a range of user-friendly voice and data functionality, which will significantly enhance the quality and availability of cabin and cockpit communications aboard any aircraft.”
Aero-SB+ combines ‘office in the sky’ services and critical cockpit safety and data functions offering users an extensive range of benefits including:
- Use of BlackBerry or other WiFi devices during all phases of flight to send and receive email
- WiFi Internet access to the aircraft cabin for VPN access, web surfing and file transfer at up to 432kbps speed
- Enhanced voice options with the addition of the low-cost, high quality voice service included with SwiftBroadband.
- Enhanced Cabin data capabilities for professional purposes.
- Cockpit data capabilities enhance flight efficiency and safety by reducing pilot workload. The system is FANS/1-A prepared.
- Cockpit voice dialing from MCDU
All of these features are packed into a lightweight, compact package that offers customers a fully approved, highly competitive and feature rich SwiftBroadband communications suite, which is available to order and ship now.