The B737-800 planes will be fitted with the satLINK Iridium platform to enable global voice and data communication. It will be eventually integrated with the aircraft’s communications management unit (CMU).
‘The application of Iridium satcom services will eliminate the sole dependency on standard radio communication methods which are subject to range limitations over isolated areas,’ said Jun Tsuruta, Jr, senior director of technical purchasing for Continental. ‘This means that flight crews are not out of touch like they once were.’
Greg Ewert, executive vice-president of Iridium Satellite, emphasised Iridium’s extensive coverage.
‘Iridium aeronautical omni-directional antennas are low-profile, low-drag units, which are easy to retrofit in the field. Iridium’s service area is worldwide with gap-free coverage, even over the extreme polar regions,’ he said.
Continental has chosen ARINC to provide the voice and data services for the new satellite system. Its GLOBALink/Iridium service is the first to offer Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) messaging using Iridium.