Inmarsat, a global enabler of mobile satellite communications, has launched SwiftBroadband Helo (SB-Helo) X-Stream, a new system for X-Stream services specifically developed for rotary aircraft.
The tailor-made solution is designed to achieve advanced streaming performance on intermediate and high-gain antennas, alleviating the connectivity constraints traditionally caused by rotary blades.
SB-Helo X-Stream is an enhancement of Inmarsat’s X-Stream service and builds on the company’s commitment to further meet the needs of government customers and partners.
The new technical solution will expand the resilience of the service on the aircraft by mitigating against data packet loss. The new solution was officially launched today at the Vertical Flight Expo & Conference in Farnborough, the birthplace of flight in the UK, where Inmarsat demonstrated the system to show attendees.
Based on testing conducted earlier this year, the helicopter-grade SB-Helo X-Stream service has been proven to achieve a 40% reduction in data packet loss compared to the standard background IP service, as well as delivering throughputs of up to 400kbps per single channel. Multiple channels can be aggregated enabling enhancements in the overall performance of the system.
Todd McDonell, President of Inmarsat’s Global Government business unit, commented: “We are delighted to announce the launch of the SB-Helo X-Stream solution, ensuring our services are always-on and evolving to meet the operational communication needs of our government end users and partners. The introduction of this new solution will ensure government helicopter operators have reliable satellite connectivity, enhancing the capability of rotary wing platforms by providing simultaneous voice and data communications.
“Inmarsat has had a long-standing commitment to developing helicopter connectivity technology. We want to ensure that our customers are able to select the optimum solution when considering helicopter-specific hardware options, and the introduction of the Inmarsat SB-Helo X-Stream services will offer even more choice to government end-users seeking optimum connectivity.”
The solution ensures that applications requiring the consistent transmission of real-time data, such as video streaming, provide a high-quality delivery during operational use. Traditionally, satellite data connections to rotary wing platforms has been constrained by the effect of the rotating blades. However, Inmarsat’s new solution will deliver additional power and effectively reduce packet loss and jitter, significantly improving the bandwidth, quality and reliability of service.
The introduction of the new subclass for SB X-Stream will provide a variety of hardware options, allowing customers to select the most appropriate hardware for their platform, whatever the needs of the crew or passengers on board. To support the introduction of the new SB-Helo X-Stream, Inmarsat has created a dedicated commercial offer which is fully adapted to helicopter grade services.