Inmarsat expects business aviation to begin using its Swift64 high-speed data satellite communication (satcom) service this quarter.

Five avionics manufacturers are working on systems to support Swift64, a 64kbit/s airborne data transfer system for e-mail, internet, and video conferencing. The long-awaited service is accessed via existing satcom antennas with minimal modification to installed avionics, says satellite operator Inmarsat. Swift64 is a lot faster than current 2.4kbit/s satcom data systems.

The Honeywell/Thales satcom partnership is developing its MCS-4000 and -7000 multi-channel systems to provide high-speed data, with flight testing to begin this month. Terminals developed by EMS Technologies, already flying on several US military aircraft, are now being installed on business jets.

Meanwhile, Teledyne Controls is planning to integrate EMS's high-speed data terminal into its MagnaStar airborne telephone system, while unified satcom and MagnaStar single-number dialling is being developed by Inmarsat service provider Satcom Direct.

Source: Flight International