Rockwell Collins recently signed on as a service provider of Iridium Certus satellite solutions over the Iridium NEXT network. Rockwell will be adding the service to its aircraft connectivity applications, delivering the next-generation L-band broadband solution for commercial, government and ARINCDirect customers. In addition, it will design and produce Iridium Certus service terminals.

“Adding Rockwell Collins as an Iridium Certus service provider is a major milestone for the program,” said Michael Hooper, director and general manager of Iridium’s aviation business, adding that the service will “shake up to the status quo within the aviation industry, bringing new capabilities, smaller hardware, faster speeds and competitive price packages.”

Initial flight trials will take place later this year, with Iridium Certus commercial service introduction for aviation users expected in mid-2019. Certus is powered by Iridium NEXT, the company’s next-generation satellite constellation, currently being deployed. Ultimately the constellation will comprise 75 satellites, with 66 in the operational constellation and nine serving as on-orbit spares.

Michael DiGeorge, vice president of commercial aviation services for Rockwell Collins, said, “For our ARINCDirect business aviation operators, Iridium Certus offers small form factor antennas and terminals that are ideal for operators of smaller aircraft requiring internet connectivity. For our airline and government customers, the Iridium Certus service enables a variety of capabilities for cockpit safety, enhanced aircraft reporting, graphical weather, EFBs and other operational aircraft services.”