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Honeywell Ready to Go Live with Groundbreaking Aspire 350 SATCOM

Honeywell Ready to Go Live with Groundbreaking Aspire 350 SATCOM

Honeywell is poised to introduce the first hybrid satellite communications system that will provide both safety and non-safety cockpit capabilities – in a single unit – from the moment it’s certified to operate on the Iridium Next satellite system.  

The Aspire 350 SATCOM system reached a major milestone in July when Honeywell successfully completed voice and data testing on the Certus network, according to Mark Goodman, Director of Product Management for SATCOM. This testing yielded Certus speeds up to 700kbps, proving Aspire 350 as the first aviation system to demonstrate such speeds over the Iridium network using pre-qualification form, fit and function aviation equipment.

“We’re very excited about the progress we’re making toward getting the Aspire 350 ready to go to market in Q4 of 2021,” Goodman said. “This is truly a next-generation solution that will provide secure voice and data services to the aircraft cockpit and standard voice and data services to the aircraft cabin.”

“We can do that – and more – with a single hybrid satellite communications unit that is fully secure and provides segregation between the cockpit and cabin domains. Other options will require a second unit to do the same job, which means double the weight, line replaceable unit count and power requirements,” he added. “These are extremely important factors for aircraft manufacturers and operators, who look for every opportunity to trim weight, save space and reduce fuel consumption.” 

Taking things to a new level

The Aspire 350 is indeed the lightweight champion with a 75% reduction in weight and size compared to legacy SATCOM systems. In addition, the system can be mounted outside the pressure vessel to save even more space. At just 9x4x2 inches, Honeywell’s antenna is smaller, lighter and more aerodynamic than alternatives. Aspire 350 also performs better, is more reliable and costs less than previous systems.

 “Lack of bandwidth is one of the main ‘pain points’ we heard from pilots as we gathered Voice of the Customer input during the development process,” Goodman said. “Pilots shared their frustrations over spotty service or an inability to use their electronic flight bags with HF radio or legacy SATCOM systems.”

“With the Aspire 350, pilots will have fast, reliable safety, voice and data service coverage anywhere they fly, even over the poles, using the Iridium Certus L-Band service,” he continued. “The Aspire 350 delivers cabin and cockpit high-quality voice and streaming data up to 704 kbps, superior to traditional Iridium systems offering 2.4 kbps.”

Aspire 350 also supports global Future Air Navigation System (FANS) datalink that enables pilots to take advantage of preferred routing worldwide. By using Iridium Certus services, operators can reduce costs by up to 30 percent compared with legacy satellite communications offerings.

Light in weight, heavy in benefits

Aircraft manufacturers will find the Aspire 350 appealing because it saves space and reduces weight. It’s also easy to install and often uses the same trays, connectors and wiring as legacy systems, like the Honeywell Aspire 300 system.

“The Aspire 350 is the latest innovation to come from our extremely talented SATCOM engineering team here in Ottawa,” Goodman said. “This development program was done entirely in-house because providing a next-generation cockpit solution is one of our top strategic priorities.”

“We’ve proven the system works with the success of our over-the-air demonstration and now we’re working closely with Iridium on the certification process so we can put the outstanding capabilities of the Aspire 350 in the hands of our aircraft manufacturing customers, operators and pilots.”

Sam Brunner
Customer Marketing Manager

Sam Brunner supports customer marketing for Connected Aero campaigns, including Honeywell Forge and other offerings within the Services & Connectivity portfolio.