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Satnews Daily
June 20th, 2019

Avionica to Develop Lightweight Terminal for Inmarsat's SB-S Aircraft Operations and Platform and an Inmarsat Government Award

Inmarsat has announced that Avionica, part of GE Aviation, will develop a new, cost-effective, lightweight terminal for Inmarsat’s SB-S aircraft operations and safety platform.

The new terminal will be available next year and has been designed for the retrofit market, providing an affordable option for airlines seeking to equip their existing aircraft fleets with IP connectivity to unlock new efficiencies for operations and safety.

Inmarsat’s SB-S platform is a global broadband solution for aircraft operational and safety communications, driving digital transformation in the airline industry. Combining satellite technology with secure IP connectivity, SBS-b offers operational advantages that include enhanced aircraft fleet and crew management, predictive maintenance, disruption management and aircraft health monitoring via Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) applications, which can significantly reduce flight delays and fuel consumption. Safety benefits include improved communications with ATC, digital data and voice communications, and flight data recorder streaming (also known as Black Box in the Cloud™). Flight plans and arrivals can also be optimized by pinpointing aircraft in four dimensions, known as four dimensional (4D) operations, which include latitude, longitude, altitude and time.

Avionica’s wireless data collection and transmission technology enables advanced data analytics by accessing important flight information, such as engine and aircraft health data, wherever the aircraft is operating around the world.

The SB-S digital aircraft operations platform is powered by Inmarsat’s advanced global L-band satellite network, which has underpinned safety services for 40 years. Inmarsat is scheduled to launch two additional L-band payloads in 2020 and 2021, further cementing its long-term commitment to offering highly reliable services over this spectrum.

John Broughton, Inmarsat Aviation’s SVP of Aircraft Operations and Safety, said that SB-S is a key component in the global aviation industry’s move toward digital aircraft operations and safety, which will help to reduce fuel savings and environmental impact, cut flight delays and turnaround times, and revolutionize air traffic management. The company is delighted to expand the firm's hardware portfolio for SB-S through this new partnership with Avionica, providing customers with a cost-effective and lightweight terminal for their aircraft fleets. This is another important step forward for SB-S and comes soon after it received approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), validating the technology’s potential to maximize airline operational efficiency and safety for many years to come.

Sean Reilly, Avionica’s VP of Business Development, added that the company is excited for the opportunity to bring Inmarsat’s next-generation IP SATCOM technology to aircraft that traditionally did not have broadband service because the terminals were too large or expensive. With Avionica’s suite of data-gathering capabilities and GE Aviation’s variety of applications such as FlightPulse and Connected Flight Management System, Avionica can enhance the pilot’s user experience and get data off the aircraft for enhanced diagnostic operational efficiency.

Inmarsat Government Inc. has been awarded a competitive single-award blanket purchase agreement (BPA), GS-35F-0016X/HC1013-19-A-0005, for commercial satellite communication services.

The total cumulative face value of this BPA is $246,000,000 (ceiling amount).  The place of performance will be at Inmarsat Government Inc. Quotations were solicited via the General Services Administration's Federal Supply Schedule, Information Technology Schedule 70, and two quotations were received from 28 offerors solicited.

The period of performance is five years, consisting of a one year base period of June 19, 2019, through June 18, 2020, and four 12-month option periods.  The Defense Information Technology Organization, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, is the contracting activity (GS-35F-0016X/HC1013-19-A-0005).