Tag Archives: satcom

US Department of Defence Award Contracts | Business Aviation NewsTwo separate contracts worth a total of more than $880 million have been announced this week by the US’s Department of Defence, in addition to several other contract awards for ACARS, engineering and technical services, and implementation for the country’s Naval fleet.

The military communications systems contracts will involve no ‘up-front’ payment awards, with funds distribution for assignment as orders are individually processed.

ViaSat and Data Link Solutions are the biggest awards, and they will handle Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) and Low Volume Terminal (LVT) to ensure high-performance, secure and jam-resistant data and voice communications systems for the Navy, Army and Air Force.

Other SATCOM Communications Providers for Business AviationA new system, launched by UAE satellite communications providers, Yahsat, has completed successful testing this week for their latest state-of-the-art aircraft satellite communications system for their client, Advanced Integrated Systems.

Including Ka-band airborne SATCOM, the new system promises an end-to-end solution. In a statement, Ali Al Hashemi, GM of YahService said, “At Yahsat, we strive to equip our customers with end-to-end satellite solutions that deliver the very latest in connectivity. The completion of the test with AIS exemplifies our commitment to bringing cutting-edge tools to our clients and constantly improving the speed and performance of our services.”

Aircraft satellite communications providers across the world are using the very latest technological breakthroughs to meet the ever-growing demands placed upon the industry for compliance and for seamless connectivity.

Business passengers need global coverage to ensure that business operations are maximised, taking place as effectively in the skies as they do in their ground-based office environments. The industry as a whole is responding to those needs.

Inmarsat Partner with Alcatel for SATCOM ServicesThe development of a high-speed ‘hybrid’ air-to-ground SATCOM service is being discussed in a new partnership agreement between Alcatel-Lucent and British satellite communications company, Inmarsat this week. The ATG SATCOM service will provide a new telecom network for commercial and business aviation operators throughout Europe and promises to deliver speeds of up to 75 Mbps.

Combining Alcatel’s 4G LTE S-band technology with Inmarsat’s Europasat will offer a new broadband service ‘Europe-wide’. The partnership are collaborating on the ground network and have submitted applications for licenses in all EU member states, 23 of which have already been authorised according to Inmarsat. As yet, no customers or hardware partners have been formally named, but the companies revealed that they are in ongoing discussions.

Leo Mondale, Inmarsat president, said, “These enhanced capabilities across Europe will be offered alongside Inmarsat’s GX aviation services, extending Inmarsat’s broadband service coverage for aviation passengers seamlessly.”

Commercial introduction is expected towards the end of 2016, although field trials have already been conducted of the Alcatel-Lucent system back in 2011.

Aircraft SATCOM Security ConcernsBritish satellite company, Inmarsat, have responded to SATCOM security concerns raised by cyber security expert, Ruben Santamara, principal security consultant from IOActive Security Services at the Black Hat conference last month, following the publication of a security vulnerabilities white paper.

Santamara explained that some SATCOM systems have vulnerabilities that could allow hackers access to aircraft systems and backed up his claims with proof of how he was able to gain access to Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband SATCOMS through ‘backdoors’. “If we can compromise the SDU,” he said, “we can access the MCDU through the Arinc 429 bus. We can finally reach a critical device in the cockpit.”

Ken Bantoft, vice-president of SATCOM technology and development at SATCOM Direct, argued that the 429 bus has read-only access to the bus, delivering position reporting data and said “You cannot inject data. Transmit and receive are on independent buses. At worst you know where you are.”

Inmarsat emailed their response in terms of SATCOM systems connections and said, “This is really a question that should be directed to the airframe manufacturers. Cyber security on the internal aircraft and network buses is something that airframe manufacturers take very seriously. They have their own stringent cyber-security requirements so that the bus design and avionics connected are implemented in such a way that makes the breaches like the one outlined by IOActive an impossibility.”

Rockwell Collins, who recently signed an agreement with Inmarsat as a value-added reseller of systems said, “Today’s certified avionics systems are designed and built with very high levels of redundancy and security. Simulating these conditions in a lab or virtual environment is not analogous to certified aircraft and systems operating in regulated airspace. The security of these systems is a top priority that we are addressing through collaboration with industry regulators, customers and suppliers. In addition to meeting today’s security needs, we have ongoing research in enhanced security features to respond to evolving security threats.”