July 28, 2022 By Helicopters Staff
Outerlink Global Solutions and Sterling Helicopter are partnering to certify Outerlink’s Air IP product on several aircraft, which they described as holding the potential to provide unparalleled internet access from within helicopters. Outerlink teamed with Sterling of Croydon, PA, to develop the initial STC on the AW139.
“Air IP is exactly the product our corporate and law enforcement customers have been asking for,” said Sterling General Manager Jason Smith.
Air IP offers dual-band Wi-Fi throughout the cabin, giving passengers what Outerlink describes as a uniquely stable connection to the internet across multiple networks and the bandwidth they need for business, medical, law enforcement, and firefighting missions. The Air IP system allows multiple users to access the internet simultaneously while maintaining an average digital throughput of 10 Mbps for each user.
In terms of network security, Air IP offers Internet Protocol Security (IPsec), a secure network protocol for encrypted communication between computers, and the ability to create and maintain a virtual private network (VPN) built for the individual customer. This level of network security, explains Outerlink, will allow for streaming highly secure video from law enforcement helicopters and conducting confidential meetings and email correspondence.
“Sterling has always been a leader in the helicopter industry and came to us searching for an innovative solution to meet today’s needs for true broadband connectivity for rotorcraft,” said Outerlink VP of Sales Jeff Warner. “It took many years to develop a platform that could provide a solid communication link that possessed all the security features the customers had. We went beyond the immediate need, incorporated Iridium tracking and SBD communication, and provisioned for several future features.”
The AW139 STC is slated for completion this fall, and the companies are hoping to soon have STCs for the Bell 407 and Airbus H125.