Airbus Helicopter Deutschland GmbH, Icomera Germany GmbH, Euroavionics GmbH and VITES GmbH have entered into a common cooperation agreement, embarking on a research and technology programme to develop mobile communication solutions for rotary-wing aircrafts, with the aim of launching the first demonstrator model by 2021.
The programme aims to research technologies and develop solutions to utilise cellular networks for the fast, reliable and secure transfer of large quantities of high bandwidth data in real-time between helicopters and the ground.
This has many practical applications, including use by law enforcement for overhead surveillance and pursuit, and emergency medical services, for whom helicopters are an integral part of providing rapid and effective incident response.
Today, these services rely heavily on voice communication, severely limiting the speed, quantity and quality of actionable data shared while the vehicle is in flight. When responding to a medical emergency, for example, the ability to transmit real-time, high-definition images and test results to on-ground medical staff aids their preparation work for receiving patients, significantly improving the efficiency and effectiveness of treatment.
Airbus Helicopters offer a full spectrum of rotary-wing aircraft solutions for civil and government use, renowned for their speed, reliability and low operational costs.
With over 17 years’ experience in mobile Internet connectivity, Icomera, a subsidiary of ENGIE Ineo, is already supporting the digital revolution in the public transport industry. “This programme is an excellent opportunity for us to apply our expertise to a new area of mobility. We wish to bring about a paradigm shift in the level of support that helicopters, and perhaps the aviation industry as a whole, can offer.” said Karl-Johan Holm, CEO of Icomera.
Euroavionics and VITES are the other key contributors. Euroavionics is a prominent manufacturer of mission management operating systems for in-flight situational awareness, while VITES is a leading European manufacturer of broadband wireless systems for professional applications, including electronically steered antennas using phased array technology.