September 5 2019  |  Connectivity & Satellites

​Iridium and Thales expand connectivity partnership

By Rick Lundstrom

Iridium Communications Inc. this week announced Thales would be the newest Iridium Certus aviation service provider.

Thales will now be able to offer both Iridium Certus terminals and Iridium Certus connectivity services to business jets, commercial aircraft, rotorcraft, general aviation and unmanned aerial vehicles. Iridium Certus is an L-band broadband platform providing global connectivity and upon aviation terminal availability, will provide a solution for two-way flight deck and business cabin communications.

“Thales plans to be first to market with an Iridium Certus aviation product and has a unique place in the Iridium Certus partner ecosystem as the only company manufacturing land, maritime and aviation terminals,” said a release from Iridium. “This includes a hybrid FlytLINK solution that combines Iridium Certus capabilities with Iridium’s traditional narrowband services, including safety services, which will be available with its initial release.”

Iridium Certus will provide Iridium Future Air Navigation System (FANS) applications such as standard and “enhanced” ADS-C, controller-pilot data link communications and ATS Safety Voice, once certifications are complete. Iridium Certus will also deliver flight deck and business cabin-friendly internet capabilities such as electronic flight bag services, graphical weather, blackbox streaming, email, credit card processing, VPN access and social media posting and monitoring.

“As the aviation industry continues to adopt satcom as a primary means of long-range communications, reliable and cost-effective systems with truly global coverage are becoming an increasing necessity,” said Michael Hooper, director and general manager of aviation, Iridium. “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.”

“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,” said Craig Olson, vice president of connectivity solutions, Thales InFlyt Experience.

Iridium Certus can be used for the Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN) Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) capability deployed in Europe for domestic en-route communications. Iridium has also been working closely with major international aviation organizations and ANSPs on the development of the ATN Internet Protocol Suite (IPS), which will offer a more efficient and capable alternative to existing options for aircraft transitioning from Oceanic to Domestic satellite communications.

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