LiveTV, a leading innovator of inflight entertainment and connectivity, and Greenwich AeroGroup, a leading aviation services company, have achieved a milestone in inflight connectivity by demonstrating their LiveAero(TM) connectivity solution on a Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. S-92® helicopter. LiveAero’s side-looking high-speed connectivity solution is powered by the Iridium OpenPort (TM) broadband service, ensuring pole-to-pole connectivity by leveraging Iridium’s network of Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.
“Conventional wisdom has been that the helicopter rotor interferes with the satellite signal and makes it impossible for high-speed connectivity while in flight. Our LiveAero product overcomes this issue and allows uninterrupted high-speed communications for the first time,” said LiveTV President Glenn Latta. “We have a low-cost, robust solution for the entire rotorcraft industry that works everywhere in the world, pole to pole.”
“We see this technology as a vital tool for rotorcraft in search and rescue, VIP and off-shore transportation, medical emergency, law enforcement and border patrol roles,” said Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Greenwich AeroGroup Daniel Lafrance. “LiveAero’s broadband connectivity enables mission critical data and real-time video transmissions at very competitive cost.”
LiveAero Satellite Communications, a subsidiary of LiveTV, and distributor Greenwich AeroGroup were chosen by Sikorsky to install and deliver LiveAero’s system to seven Sikorsky S-92 custom-equipped helicopters to be used primarily for search and rescue missions. The LiveAero high-speed connectivity will allow medical personnel to provide inflight care and triage with assistance via live broadband, voice and video links to medical facilities. Installations are scheduled to begin in late February 2014.
The LiveTV breakthrough uses a multi-element seven-panel phased-array antenna to communicate with Iridium’s network of 66 LEO satellites in orbit and manage the bandwidth between satellites. The demonstration included space vehicle passes at a variety of azimuths, showing continuous connectivity in flight. This confirmed that the technology provides the rotorcraft industry with a very stable, high availability link.
“On board connectivity is becoming increasingly important,” said Tom Tully, Engineering Project Manager for Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. “The immunity of LiveAero’s satellite network connectivity to rotor blockage is impressive. This now enables us to offer data transfer systems not previously considered for airborne rotorcraft operation.”
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.
About Greenwich AeroGroup
Greenwich AeroGroup, Inc., owns and operates providers of general, commercial, government and military aviation services including: maintenance, avionics and interior refurbishments; fixed base operations; aircraft sales, charter and management; manufacturing and engineering; component repair and overhaul; parts distribution and financial services.
About Iridium Communications
Iridium is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ever-expanding ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications. The company has a major development program underway for its next-generation network — Iridium NEXT. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol IRDM. For more information about Iridium products, services and partner solutions, visit iridium.com.
LiveTV, a wholly owned subsidiary of JetBlue Airways JBLU +0.02% , is a leading provider of real-time in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems for commercial airlines. Founded in 1998 in Melbourne, Florida, LiveTV has installation and maintenance locations around the world to support the more than 650 commercial aircraft with more than 90,000 seats equipped with its products. Current customers include JetBlue, United, Frontier, Alitalia, Virgin Australia, WestJet and Azul. For a full list of products and partners, or for more information, please visit livetv.net.
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