Bristow Helicopters First to Deploy Search and Rescue Applications using Broadband Connectivity Solutions
Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: IRDM) today announced Bristow Helicopters Limited will use Iridium OpenPort broadband service via LiveAERO, a Thales product, to enable high-speed connectivity on their Sikorsky S-92 helicopters for search and rescue applications. Iridium with LiveAero is the only mobile satellite network that has demonstrated the capability of providing reliable in-flight broadband connectivity on rotorcraft.
“This is an exciting development in aviation communications. Iridium has been the de facto choice for rotorcraft satellite communications for a decade, which has now been extended to include our broadband services as well,” stated Brian Pemberton, executive director, aviation and maritime lines of business, Iridium. “We are excited to be providing the mission critical communications to enhance search and rescue (SAR) capabilities, and we look forward to working with our partners to introduce many additional applications that can be uniquely enabled by the Iridium network. 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.”
The equipped Bristow helicopters will be deployed to support civilian SAR services across the UK and around the coastline as part of Bristow’s contract with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) in the United Kingdom. Bristow began SAR operations in 2013 from the Stornoway and Sumburgh bases. By summer 2017, 10 helicopter bases will be fully operational across the UK.
The urgent nature of this work requires a reliable communications network, and LiveAero and Iridium broadband connectivity will enable SAR teams to provide enhanced in-flight care and triage such as fully automated electronic patient information and real-time transmissions of patient vitals to on-ground medical facilities.
The Iridium OpenPort broadband service is powered by the world’s largest and only truly global communications network, providing pole-to-pole coverage. With its unique constellation of 66 cross-linked Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, Iridium provides reliable and efficient Internet and voice services to users globally. In 2015 Iridium is scheduled to begin launching the new Iridium NEXT constellation; when fully operational it will offer even greater data speeds, service choices and capacity.
About Iridium Communications Inc.
Iridium is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications. The company has a major development program underway for its next-generation network — Iridium NEXT. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol IRDM. For more information about Iridium products, services and partner solutions, visit www.iridium.com for more information.
Thales is a global technology leader in the Aerospace, Transportation and Defence & Security markets. In 2013, the company generated revenues of €14.2 billion with 65,000 employees in 56 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers and local partners.
The Group’s IFEC business was established in 1999 and today is a leading provider of award winning embedded and wireless passenger systems for the purpose of enriching the travel experience. Through the development of advanced applications for passengers and crews and wide range of connected services both in the air and on the ground, Thales IFEC services over 100 airlines located in all major regions of the world.
About UK SAR
By summer of 2017 there will be ten Coastguard helicopter bases around the UK, all operated by Bristow on behalf of Her Majesty’s Coastguard. The helicopters will provide search and rescue many miles out to sea, all the way around the 10,500 miles of UK coast and will also operate extensively inland. The Sikorsky S92s and AgustaWestland AW189s can fly further and faster than those helicopters they replace. The latest technologies including night vision, infrared, thermal imaging and high illumination lighting technology will all be used by the crew to find people in distress and bring them to safety. Visit www.gov.uk/government/news/coastguard-search-and-rescue-helicopter-programme for more information.
About Bristow Helicopters Ltd
Bristow Helicopters Ltd is the leading provider of search and rescue (SAR) services in the UK, on behalf of Her Majesty’s Coastguard, having been awarded the UK SAR contract and the Gap SAR contract for Northern Scotland. Bristow Helicopters has a long history of providing world class SAR services in the UK, beginning in 1971 and has flown more than 44,000 SAR operational hours in the UK and conducted over 15,000 SAR missions, during which more than 7,000 people have been rescued by our crews and helicopters. For more information on Bristow’s SAR operations, please visit www.bristowsar.com for more information.
Bristow Helicopters Ltd. has served the offshore oil transport industry in the UK for nearly 60 years. Bristow Helicopters Ltd. is an affiliated company of Bristow Group Inc.
About Bristow Group
Bristow Group Inc. is the leading provider of helicopter services to the worldwide offshore energy industry based on the number of aircraft operated and one of two helicopter service providers to the offshore energy industry with global operations. The company has major transportation operations in the North Sea, Nigeria and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and in most of the other major offshore oil and gas producing regions of the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia and Trinidad. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.bristowgroup.com for more information.