Iridium recently awarded Collins Aerospace an Iridium Certus Developmental Over-the-Air License for Collins’ new active low gain antenna (ALGA) and a high gain antenna (HGA). The license is the latest milestone in Collins’ development of its new higher bandwidth Iridium Certus® airborne satellite communications (satcom) solution—expected to be available in 2022. Collins is the first Iridium Certus Aviation Partner to have been awarded this license for both an ALGA and an HGA-based solution.
Iridium awarded the licenses after Collins completed multiple tests in 2020 and 2021 where its ALGA and HGA successfully connected and transmitted data to an orbiting Iridium® satellite. In addition, the HGA System recently performed a three-hour flight test, conducting a series of voice and data transfers in various flight phases and profiles on an experimental aircraft in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
When complete, Collins Aerospace’s new Iridium satcom solution will provide business aviation and air transport customers with faster speeds, lower weight and smaller antenna footprint than legacy satcom systems allowing for minimum drag and lower power usage. This will provide operators with additional options for use in both the cockpit for safety services and in the cabin for passenger entertainment.
Collins Aerospace’s solutions will include all airborne hardware for the new systems, including the Satcom Data Unit (SDU), SDU Configuration Module and the antennas—either ALGA or HGA—depending on the operator's bandwidth requirements.