This is the third part of a three-part Q&A session with Honeywell Aerospace focused on their support of connectivity for business jets. Brought to you by Honeywell.
Check out part one and part two.
In the third part of our question and answer session, Bret Aldieri, senior director of cabin connectivity for Honeywell Aerospace, discusses forward and backward compatibility, how operators obtain JetWave updates and addresses cybersecurity concerns.
Gulfstream GIV is one of the business jets approved for installations of GX Aviation connectivity. Pictured here is the interior of a Gulfstream GIV business jet. Photo: Gulfstream
Inmarsat has announced plans to launch up to seven new satellites by 2023. Will the JetWave hardware adapt to Inmarsat’s next generation satellites, or will that require a new modem?
It's a question we get from operators from time to time, a concern that their equipment will go obsolete and that is absolutely not the case. The equipment will continue to work on both the existing and on the new satellites that Inmarsat has planned. We stay closely coupled with Inmarsat to ensure that what they may have installed several years ago will continue to operate for a really long time.
As you add new operators to the network, are there any capacity concerns on the increased demand for bandwidth as a result of more business jets coming online?
We have not seen any evidence of any capacity issues and we believe that Inmarsat has a very robust plan. As they add new satellites they’re introducing movable beams that allow them to have the kind of network capacity and flexibility to adjust in real time and cover areas where they see higher traffic. Inmarsat does not have a fixed network, it is an adaptable network. And I think based on that it's been working quite well.
How is Honeywell addressing cybersecurity concerns among business jet operators connecting to the GX network?
That is a question that we get constantly. I think it comes up from time to time. It's definitely one of the key focus points for us. I mean, if you're going to be in the data business, you have to be cognizant of cybersecurity.
Our GoDirect services division handles cybersecurity issues and the software that's contained in the hardware is also cyber hardened. There’s nothing unique in the hardware itself. We’re always looking at how we can enhance that as we go forward with new software releases and things like that we continue to look for ways to make it more robust.
Are there any new programs, initiatives, updates or new features you’re working on related to JetWave in 2020? Will it be coming to any new business jet aircraft types?
Not for 2020. Within the first two years of releasing JetWave to the market, we had a really concerted push to get every business jet that could fit our terminal some type of certification, either through an OEM or an aftermarket STC. So right now, any airplane that has authorization to do so can use JetWave today. I do not see us adding any new aircraft types this year.