Shenzhen Airlines is poised to launch in-flight evaluation of SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S), Inmarsat’s next-generation IP-based broadband service for the flight deck. The SB-S platform will be installed on Shenzhen’s Airbus 320 aircraft using Cobham avionics’ AVIATOR 300D hardware.
The Chinese carrier will be the first in the country to trial SB-S, which is also being evaluated by Hawaiian Airlines and Fedex.
The SB-S platform is designed to deliver in-flight communications and secure, real-time, in-air information to enhance safety, security and operational capabilities – both in the air and on the ground.
The Shenzhen partnership is part of a joint venture between Inmarsat, Beijing Marine Communication & Navigation Company, Ltd. (MCN) and Aviation Data Communication Corporation (ADCC) to provide aviation safety services to the rapidly growing Chinese market. Under this partnership, MCN and ADCC will deliver satellite voice, ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing & Reporting System) and data services. MCN will serve as project manager for Shenzhen’s SB-S evaluation process.
In addition to compliance with the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) mandates CCAR 121 and AC-121, Shenzhen Airlines will focus its evaluation on three core SB-S satellite communication capabilities, including:
• Satellite Voice (satvoice) Communications – Two-channel satellite-based services to enable faster and high-quality voice communication between the flight deck crew and designated contacts on the ground, including air traffic controllers and airline operations personnel.
• Integral Global Flight Tracking – This enhanced, live tracking feature pinpoints an aircraft’s location through regular transmission of position reports. SB-S flight tracking enables the airline and Air Traffic Control (ATC) to know where the aircraft is and to understand its status in real time.
• ACARS Over IP – Traditionally used to communicate with both the Airline Operations Centre and ATC, this short-text capability over IP is a prerequisite for FANS 1/A compliance in remote oceanic areas.