Cost-effective new terminal for SB-S

Avionica will develop a cost-effective, lightweight terminal for Inmarsat’s award-winning SB-S operations and safety connectivity platform.

Inmarsat has expanded the hardware portfolio for its award-winning SB-S platform with the introduction of a new affordable and lightweight terminal, designed for airlines looking to unlock the unprecedented cost and efficiency benefits of digital operations and safety.

The advanced new terminal is being produced by Avionica, part of GE Aviation, and will be available for airlines to equip onto their existing aircraft fleets from next year.

“We are excited about the opportunity to bring Inmarsat’s IP satcom technology to aircraft that traditionally did not have broadband service because the terminals were too large or too expensive,” commented Sean Reilly, Avionica’s Vice President of Business Development, while announcing the new terminal during Paris International Airshow 2019.

Inmarsat’s SB-S platform is the world’s first and only global broadband solution for aircraft operational and safety communications, driving digital transformation in the airline industry. Already in flight with Hawaiian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and United Airlines, it combines cutting-edge satellite technology with secure IP connectivity to provide airlines with capabilities and benefits that no other satellite communications provider can deliver.

Airbus A320

“SB-S is a key component in the global aviation industry’s move towards digital aircraft operations and safety, which will help to boost fuel savings, reduce environmental impact, flight delays and turnaround times, and revolutionise air traffic management,” stated John Broughton, Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Aircraft Operations and Safety.

“It is a natural evolution of our market-leading Classic Aero services, which has been industry standard voice and data safety service for airlines for over 25 years, used by more than 200 major airlines, jet operators and government agencies throughout the world.”

SB-S offers greater data transmission than Classic Aero, as there’s more bandwidth over two channels - one for high priority information, and the other for lower priorities. This enables a range of transformative capabilities. Operational advantages include enhanced aircraft fleet and crew management, predictive maintenance, disruption management and aircraft health monitoring via Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) applications, which can significantly reduce flight delays and fuel consumption. Safety benefits include improved communications with ATC, digital data and voice communications, and flight data recorder streaming (also known as Black Box in the CloudTM). Flight plans and arrivals can also be optimised by pinpointing aircraft in four dimensions, known as four dimensional (4D) operations, which include latitude, longitude, altitude and time.

Inmarsat Aviation President Phil Balaam with Avionica Executives at Paris Air show

Avionica has designed its new SB-S terminal to bring these capabilities to life. Additional benefits will also be introduced through its own technology innovations, including wireless data collection and transmission technology, which enables advanced data analytics by accessing important flight information, such as engine and aircraft health data, wherever the aircraft is operating around the world. “With Avionica’s suite of data-gathering capabilities and GE Aviation’s variety of applications such as FlightPulse and Connected Flight Management System, we can enhance the pilot’s user experience and get data off the aircraft for enhanced diagnostic operational efficiency,” stated Reilly.

 

Avionica has designed its new SB-S terminal to bring these capabilities to life. Additional benefits will also be introduced through its own technology innovations, including wireless data collection and transmission technology, which enables advanced data analytics by accessing important flight information, such as engine and aircraft health data, wherever the aircraft is operating around the 

The SB-S digital aircraft operations platform is powered by Inmarsat’s advanced global L-band satellite network, which has underpinned safety services for 40 years. Inmarsat is scheduled to launch two additional L-band payloads in 2020 and 2021, further cementing its long-term commitment to offering highly reliable services over this spectrum.