Satcom Capability For EFB

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A collaboration between Latitude Technologies and navAero has resulted in an electronic flight bag with satellite communications capability. Latitude makes voice and data devices that use the Iridium satellite system, navAero makes the EFBs, and the partnership between the two has resulted in greatly expanded utility for EFB users. The new setup allows the EFB to be used as the telephone dialer and for sending and receiving text messages via the sat phone network. "Text messages from the cockpit and cabin can be sent and received with any web-connected device through Latitude's LWS Sentinel™ data service," Latitude said in a news release. "Received messages can be displayed in-flight through the EFB, a PDA, or a laptop computer. Crew and passengers can communicate using operator pre-defined messages, or messages can be typed freehand."

The integrated system also allows the satellite gear to send WAAS and GPS information to the EFBs for "real-time, on-screen satellite weather displays for any position along the route." Retrofits will be available for existing navAero EFBs and Skynode satcom devices. Information will be going out to distributors and avionics shops shortly.