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FARNBOROUGH: Satellites offer key communications and navigation apps for civil aviation

12 Jul 2012, 19:09 UTC
FARNBOROUGH: Satellites offer key communications and navigation apps for civil aviation
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At a mini-space conference on “International Market Opportunities in Space”ne at Farnborough, the benefit of satellites to the aeronautical and maritime communications and navigation was emphasised.

Chris Mclaughlin, Commercial Director of Inmarsat, noted his firm’s recent sponsorship of the Volvo Ocean Race and how his organisation’s satellite communications systems had been directly used to monitor progress and even send HD video streams back from journalists “embedded” with the crews. On Inmarsat’s current plans Mclaughlin noted how the firm awaited the arrival of its Global Xpress service which would offer Inmarsat clients a Ka-band broadband facility giving them a 50Mb/s downlink and a 5Mb/s uplink capability.

With respect to aeronautical services, Mclaughlin noted that Inmarsat’s gradualist approach would avoid the mistakes of the past (Boeing’s Connexion internet service famously failed to attract enough revenues). He went on to describe how ‘Blackberry’ data services will be available on British Airways aircraft using their Swift service. With respect to voice services he added that “Swift broadband is possible but that is tending to be a business jet activity: smaller aircraft which are easier to fit etc.” McLaughlin emphasised that the real change would come with Global Express ...

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