Iridium Satellite Connectivity Made Simple
Most business jets are equipped with a satellite telephone.
For convenience it is usually situated on a wall near the cockpit or nestled into a mount within arms reach from your cabin seat.
The predominant mobile satellite communications company for business jets is Iridium.
There are a number of vendors that provide satellite phones including Aircell, ICG, True North, Avonica, Latitude, FLYHT, Blue Sky, Honeywell and Rockwell to name a few.
Aircell is unique because it’s a manufacturer of satellite phones as well as an Iridium service provider – a one-stop shop.
Iridium satellite systems can look slightly different but all have one thing in common: a data port.
Originally the cabin data port was wired in an aircraft to facilitate a fax machine via a dial-up modem, or in the cockpit for the flight computer.
The dial-up connection was so slow however that it was virtually unusable for passengers. These technologies became out-dated and the data port lay bare for a period of time.
When packet data came along, that same data port was reborn to provide a digital interface for multiple modern mobile devices to access.
I’VE GOT AN IRIDIUM PHONE – WHAT NOW?
If your onboard satellite phone is Iridium – accounting for approximately 15,000 business jets worldwide – then you’re in luck. Think of the Iridium phone as a dormant transformer waiting to be exposed as a powerful inflight messaging connectivity system.
Is my data port already wired?
Every Iridium satellite transceiver (also known as the Satcom) has a data port to connect with.
To find out whether your data port is wired just take a look at the aircraft wiring diagrams.
What if my data port is not wired?
If your data port is not already wired then you need to complete a quick and simple exercise. Just locate the Satcom and run five wires from it into the cabin next to a powerpoint.
The below image illustrates a typical aircraft system. A satcom (left) is wired (middle) to the data port (right) in the cabin of the aircraft. The wiring procedure depends on the location of your data port in relation to the satcom box.
Once your data port is wired and you’ve activated the Short Burst Data service (SBD), you are ready to get connected.
All you now need is an iPod and unique data cable provided by BizjetMobile. The iPod acts as a Bluetooth router and connects via the cable to the Iridium data port (shown in the diagram above).
We call this connectivity system CHiiMP Smart. You can watch a video about how it works below.
How do I benefit?
With CHiiMP Smart onboard you are now connected in the air with an App-based communications system that delivers text, email and voice.
CHiiMP Smart is the only Iridium connectivity platform in the world that networks multiple Apple and Android devices meaning all pilots and passengers can stay online whenever you fly.
Best of all, it’s the most inexpensive connectivity system in the industry. Existing Iridium customers stay connected for an entire year for under $5,000, or those without a satcom can get an Iridium satellite phone plus 12 months connectivity for under $10,000.
We hope this article has unlocked the possibilities of what your Iridium satellite telephone can do.
It really is quite simple to transform your idle handset into a dynamic connectivity system that caters for the intensive messaging society of today.