Inmarsat’s next-generation satellite IP platform, SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S), has entered commercial service.
SB-S complies with the requirements of aviation data communications and is designed to provide visibility to the airline operations.
It also offers a global secure broadband platform for operations and safety communications.
Providing digital intelligence for airlines, SB-S has transformed Satcom’s capability from a safety utility to a source of strategic value.
With the platform, several value-added applications will allow airlines to use real-time data to support decision-making, improve operational efficiency and ensure the highest levels of safety in the skies.
Inmarsat aviation safety and operational services vice-president Mary McMillan said: “With SB-S in commercial service, the aviation industry can now fully realise the benefits of the connected aircraft – driving greater efficiency in airline operations while leading the way for the future of aviation safety.”
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Prior to the commercial launch, SB-S was successfully evaluated through an in-flight test on Hawaiian Airlines’ Boeing 767-300 aircraft and on the airline’s entire fleet of Airbus A321neo aircraft.
SB-S also underwent in-flight evaluations with United Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines. It has previously been selected by Airbus as a Light Cockpit Satcom (LCS) solution for its A320 and A330 families of aircraft.
The US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Performance-Based Aviation Rulemaking Committee (PARC) has also evaluated the platform as a mean to provide direct data link communication between pilots and air traffic control (ATC).
According to Inmarsat, SB-S is capable of lowering airlines’ fuel costs and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by enabling connected electronic flight bag (EFB) applications, such as real-time weather reports, optimised profile descent and trajectory-based operations.
The platform also ensures improved flight tracking, real-time flight data streaming and interface with rescue coordination centres. These features comply with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) upcoming Global Aeronautical Distress & Safety System (GADSS) requirements for on-flight tracking and data recoverability.
In addition, SB-S caters to the Iris programme, a European Space Agency (ESA) initiative that is set to enable 4D trajectory air traffic management (ATM), expected over Europe by 2020.