Home >> News: April 2nd, 2009 >> Story
Satnews Daily
April 2nd, 2009

Iridium Gets The Final Once Over From RTCA For Transoceanic Flight Communications

The Radio-Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) Special Committee 215 (SC-215) has finalized key documents to facilitate evaluation and approval of Iridium-based critical safety communications for air carriers on transoceanic flights.

The RTCA has already published DO-262, Revision A, Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS) for Avionics Supporting Next-Generation Satellite Systems (NGSS), which includes system-specific standards for Iridium Aeronautical Mobile Satellite (Route) Services (AMS(R)S). Moreover, SC-215 submitted a second standards document, the Iridium Satellite System-Specific Attachment to DO-270, Minimum Aviation System Performance Standards (MASPS) for the AMS(R)S as Used in Aeronautical Data Links, to the RTCA Program Management Committee (PMC) for adoption at its April meeting. The publication of these two documents is expected to lead to a corresponding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Technical Standard Order (TSO) with guidance for Iridium avionics.

“Iridium is the only mobile satellite service that provides reliable coverage over the Polar routes used by aircraft on international flights,” said Don Thoma, executive vice president, Marketing, Iridium. “The RTCA approvals represent an important step toward deployment of approved Iridium equipment for AMS(R)S safety services in these high-traffic critical air lanes.”

RTCA, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit corporation that develops consensus-based recommendations regarding communications, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management (CNS/ATM) system issues. RTCA functions as a federal advisory committee. The FAA uses its recommendations as the basis for policy, program and regulatory decisions, and the private sector as the basis for development, investment and other business decisions. The RTCA established SC-215 in 2007 to develop system-specific materials for Iridium Satellite in accordance with the DO-262 MOPS and DO-270 MASPS. The RTCA work followed the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) approval of Iridium-specific materials demonstrating compliance with the revised AMS(R)S Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) adopted by the ICAO in late 2007.