The panel of Honeywell's mission communications terminal. (Honeywell)
Honeywell is introducing a mission communications terminal for helicopters to provide two-way texting and push-to-talk capabilities between dispatchers and aircraft.
The terminal is a compact digital satcom controller that supports all Iridium-based services, Honeywell said. The goal is to provide radio-like communication capabilities regardless of distance, keeping up quick weather and mission updates while cutting down on the need for telephone calls.
“Our latest technologies and certifications are helping the helicopter market reach a level of connectivity it has never reached before,” said Rick Buchanan, Honeywell's senior director of commercial helicopters and aftermarket partners. “For helicopter operators, Honeywell can provide a full suite of connectivity solutions that creates increased efficiency and more reliable transmission of data no matter the mission or platform.”
Honeywell's mission communications terminal. (Honeywell)
The terminal will be available for delivery in late spring of this year, according to Honeywell, and already has one planned adopter in Air Methods, the largest emergency air medical service provider in the United States.
“Air Methods is a leader in evaluating and adopting enhanced safety products, and products that provide better operational efficiency for its helicopter fleet,” said Teri Short, Air Methods vice president of engineering. “Keeping an aircraft connected is critical in every mission."
In addition to the mission communication terminal, Honeywell also has received an STC for its Aspire 200 satcom system on the Bell B2429, which joins the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk, Leonardo AW139 and Airbus H135 as Aspire 200-approved platforms. The satcom system, which is Honeywell's smallest to enable Inmarsat's SwiftBroadband network, originated as a fixed-wing solution, but Honeywell has been bringing it to the rotorcraft market.
The Aspire 200 allows data connectivity rates up to 650 kbps no impact from spinning rotor blades with simultaneous voice capabilities and also supports real-time weather and video feeds from infrared cameras.