Honeywell has partnered with Iridium to become a value-added manufacturer of aviation terminals that operate on the Iridium NEXT network. The Aspire 150 and 350 satellite communications systems are the first aviation satcom solutions to demonstrate connectivity at up to 700 kbps via the Iridium Certus service.
Both the Aspire 150 and Aspire 350 systems are simple to install, minimising upgrade costs and aircraft downtime. The new Aspire systems are also smaller than previous generations, which helps reduce weight and boosts fuel savings. The Aspire 150 provides operators with affordable, fast, reliable connectivity at a fraction of traditional costs. The Aspire 350 provides these same benefits, but with the addition of global Future Air Navigation System datalink for pilots to take advantage of preferred routing worldwide, as well as cockpit satellite voice capabilities. It provides legacy Iridium cockpit safety services and Certus high-speed voice and data connectivity in a compact, lightweight package.
“We have made great technological strides with our Aspire 150 and 350 systems since announcing the products in 2018,” says Honeywell director of product management Mark Goodman. “We have successfully transmitted over the Iridium network at speeds up to 700 kbps with pre-qualification form, fit and function aviation equipment. This demonstrates not only our great progress toward certification, but also our commitment to bring the best and latest high-speed connectivity to our customers around the world.”
Honeywell is a leader in developing connectivity products and services for any aircraft, from two-seaters to jetliners and military helicopters. In addition to its Aspire suite of satcom systems, Honeywell provides access to Inmarsat's GX Aviation via satellite, which is powered by Honeywell's JetWave hardware. Honeywell also offers air-to-ground connectivity via SmartSky Networks.
The newest Aspire systems provide Iridium Certus services on the new Iridium NEXT network. One of the largest technology upgrades ever performed in space, Iridium NEXT completed its launch in 2018, replacing the existing Iridium network to meet the growing demand for global mobile communications. Iridium Certus services can help operators reduce costs compared with legacy satellite communications products.
Honeywell has successfully connected to the Iridium NEXT satellites and transmitted data over the satellite network. Connectivity with the satellites was achieved using a very small, light active high gain antenna. Other components in the system include the satellite data unit (SDU), the SDU configuration module and a low-gain antenna. This is a significant milestone on the path to certification, which is planned for the fourth quarter of 2021 for both the Aspire 150 and Aspire 350.