UK-based satellite communications specialist Paradigm Services plans to introduce real-time data transmission services between commercial aircraft and ground stations by mid-2012.

The EADS Astrium-affiliated company expects to conclude negotiations with airlines for an initial trial period by the end of the year.

Its airborne data service has been developed with US-based Star Navigation Systems over the past two years.

It not only transmits a much larger volume of data than a conventional aircraft communications addressing and reporting system (ACARS), using the Iridium satellite network, but can also be configured to fulfil specific broadcast functions and distribute tailored data, said Paradigm's chief executive, Keith Norton.

If, for example, an aircraft enters an unusual attitude, the system will alert ground stations and transmit all primary flight data as a back-up to the flight data recorder.

Regular aircraft position updates will be relayed every minute versus typically every 10 minutes on ACARS.

The system can be installed on all current aircraft except for the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787. However, the company is working on a variant that will include the latest aircraft generation.

Source: Flight Daily News