International Communications Group (ICG) and Boeing completed an installation of the ICG NxtLink Series ICS-220A Iridium system on a Boeing 747-400. The EL AL Airlines aircraft is the first of several being outfitted to fly international routes using Future Air Navigation System (FANS-1/A) over Iridium (FOI) services, the company said.
“This is the second Boeing model to have an ICG Iridium system installed under a Boeing Service Bulletin (SB). It provides the flight crew with reliable and global voice and data link services via the Iridium satellite network,” said Armin Jabs, president of ICG’s Commercial Aircraft Systems Division. “For Extended Operations (ETOPS) and Polar route operations requiring long range communications, Iridium is the least expensive and only truly global system available to the industry today."
A derivative of the ICG NxtLink ICS-220A communication system was developed to meet the requirements for the Boeing SB program. The device was approved by Boeing under the 747-400 Type Certificate for installations on the 747-400 airframe and listing in the Boeing Service Bulletin as Buyer Furnished Equipment (BFE). Having successfully completed FOI certification on both the MD-11 and 747-400 airframes, ICG is supporting Boeing efforts to develop similar SBs for other Boeing airframe models.
The ICS-220A provides communications for both flight deck data link requirements, including Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract (ADS-C) messaging, and flight deck voice communications via conventional aircraft audio systems and call control, utilizing ARINC 739a compliant Multifunction Control Display Units (MCDU).
ICG’s NxtLink ICS-220A is a three-transceiver device which combines dual L-Band Transceivers to provide two channels of global voice with a Short Burst Data modem dedicated to data link services. It offers restoration and redundancy services in the event of data link or voice channel failures. It operates with ICG’s new external Configuration Identification Module which contains the Iridium SIM cards as well as the system configuration information, making it a true Line Replaceable Unit.