Inmarsat and Honeywell to support new UK digital aviation research center

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Cranfield University’s Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre, which is set to open next year  will receive satellite communications terminals, airtime and engineering expertise

Satellite communications company Inmarsat is to provide engineering support, communications services and equipment to the Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC), supported by Honeywell Aerospace, which is being built on Cranfield University’s campus in the UK.

Set to open before April next year, DARTeC will  research digital aviation technology in areas such as the integration of unmanned drones into civilian airspace and ways to increase the efficiency and reliability of airports and aircraft.

Inmarsat and Honeywell Aerospace will support the Centre’s research by providing Aspire 400 satellite communications terminals, airtime and engineering expertise in Cranfield University’s Saab 340B flying testbed and test lab for evaluation and development of future applications and solutions. The Saab 340B will serve as a flying laboratory to evaluate multiple advanced radar systems and airborne digital communications.

Through the DARTeC consortium, members will be able to create, develop and test next generation air traffic control applications for manned and unmanned aviation that will use digital voice and data.

Members will also have access to Inmarsat’s Iris programme fully serviced aircraft for testing, evaluation and demonstrations as well as conducting live Iris test flights with specific air navigation service providers (ANSPs).

John Broughton, senior vice president of aircraft operations and safety at Inmarsat Aviation said, “Advances in digital aviation are driving opportunities in all aspects of the airline industry. Our commitment with Honeywell Aerospace to support DARTeC highlights the importance of creating a collaborative research environment in the aviation industry.

“We are looking forward to working closely with other members of the DARTeC community to reap the rewards of a digital aviation industry for many years to come.”

Mark Goodman, director of product management at Honeywell Aerospace said, “We’re excited to be partnering with Inmarsat to support the DARTeC consortium and bring the benefits of the digital revolution to the aviation industry. There is no time to waste in responding to the opportunities of digital transformation and ensuring that the industry is ready to serve the needs of our airlines today and tomorrow.”

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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