Bristow Helicopters Using Iridium, Thales for Satellite Broadband – Satellite Today

Sikorsky S-92 Helicopter

The Sikorsky S-92 helicopter. Photo: Bristow Helicopters

[Via Satellite 12-03-2014] Bristow Helicopters has selected Iridium’s OpenPort service to provide satellite broadband through Thales’ LiveAero product for its Sikorsky S-92 helicopters. The rotorcraft, which are purposed for search and rescue missions, will now allow emergency responders on board to send real-time transmissions of patient vitals to land-based medical staff. Broadband through Iridium and Thales will also be used for accessing automated electronic patient information to improve in-flight medical care.

Bristow began search and rescue operations in 2013 and plans to have 10 helicopter bases across the U.K. by the summer of 2017. Through Bristow’s contract with the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) the connected helicopters will be deployed with civilian search and rescue services across the country.

Iridium has provided satellite communications for rotorcraft for several years, but is now extending this to include broadband services.

“The heavy rotorcraft segment provides an addressable market of more than 10,000 aircraft worldwide — many are ideal candidates for LiveAero’s solution using Iridium broadband connectivity,” said Brian Pemberton, executive director for Iridium’s aviation and maritime lines of business.

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