Pilot's Guide to Avionics 2016-2017 - 29
The SD WiFi hub serves as both router and WiFi
hub. It is the ideal stand-alone connectivity
solution for smaller aircraft and
complement to the Satcom Direct
Router in larger airframes.
product, its new WiFi Hub . The new product is designed
as a stand-alone connectivity solution for small to midsize aircraft and as an enhancement to the Satcom Direct
Router for larger aircraft .
At 1 .6 pounds, the WiFi Hub has the smallest and
lightest form factor in aviation, according to the company .
Installation is easy, making it the perfect replacement solution for legacy 802 .11 b/g/n wireless access points . Satcom
Direct said the Hub's advanced hardware and software
features include two ARINC 429 interfaces and supports
multiple SATCOM services and multiple Wi-Fi networks .
When not used in conjunction with the SDR, the SD
WiFi Hub serves as an onboard router and delivers many
Satcom Direct value-added services to the cabin . These
include GlobalVT, which enables voice and text on the
user's smartphone in all phases of flight, anywhere in the
world, and more . When partnered with the SDR, the SD
WiFi Hub provides up to an additional 900 Mbps data rate
to the cabin, with support for high-definition media products and applications for all passengers .
For more information, visit satcomdirect .com .
Send Solutions is a relatively young company, based in
Alpharetta, Georgia . Its launch product, Airtext, is designed
to solve the problem of staying connected with colleagues,
friends and family while airborne without the high cost of a
traditional internet option . According to the company, Airtext allows up to 16 passengers to send and receive SMS
(text) messages anywhere in the world over an existing
Iridium satellite network installation and Send Solutions'
supplied hardware .
The hardware costs $9,750 and consists of a small
paperback-sized and FAA-approved box weighing about 1
pound . It's connected
to the existing Iridium
system, which is then
switched from voice to
data mode for messaging . Airtext uses Bluetooth Low Energy
available on smartphones . Passengers may access the service via an installed app . With the Airtext system, multiple
users can simultaneously send and receive SMS text messages while aboard the airplane, on the ground or in the air .
Data costs vary, depending on usage and which of the
three available service packages are chosen . The company
said it has been testing the system on a Cessna Citation X,
and its manufacturing conformity approval is complete . So is
DO-160 testing, with additional aircraft flights scheduled to
achieve final FAA STC approval. An FAA parts manufacturing
approval also is in the works and will follow the STC award .
"This is for customers that have been complaining about
the cost," David Gray, founder and CEO of Send Solutions,
told attendees . "This is for customers that have smaller
airplanes . It's also good for customers that have large airplanes that have bandwidth issues, that want to move part
of the passengers off to texting only ."
For more information, visit send .aero .
SmartSky Networks is built around the idea that offthe-shelf commercial airborne connectivity solutions are
less than satisfying . Optimum performance, according to
the company, meant traditional network designs had to be
discarded and an entirely new approach to high-bandwidth
aircraft connectivity was needed. Based on aviation-specific
modifications to the emerging 4G wireless communications
standard, SmartSky said it's engineering an "advanced
air-to-ground network, designed from the ground up specifically to serve the aviation industry ."
"Our network will be the first to have real, two-way
streaming-capable speeds, using beam forming to securely
target each aircraft with its own radio beam," SmartSky's
president, Ryan Stone, told attendees at the 2016 AEA
Convention . "All that's enabled by our network spectrum
The company expects to have national coverage at or
above 10,000 feet over the U .S . by mid-2017 . A recently
purchased Cessna Citation Excel business jet is being
used as demonstrator, and development of its groundbased beam-forming antenna network is underway . Stone
told attendees SmartSky Networks is partnering with Satcom Direct as its exclusive customer service, subscription
and support provider . Other partners include Textron Aviation, the equipment launch manufacturer, while Duncan
Aviation will handle MRO needs .
Send Solutions' Airtext
- 29 -
Continued on following page...