NEWPORT NEWS, VA (OCTOBER 29, 2012) ICG (International Communications Group, Inc.) announced today the development of a new product series designated the “eRouter.” Designed specifically to meet aviation standards and requirements, the new intelligent data management system and communications access point will be available in three different versions depending on customer requirements. A baseline product called the ERT-100 and ERT-120 will perform data routing functions while the ERT-140 provides enhanced features such as VoIP, analog and digital telephony and data transfer enhancements such as acceleration and compression.
The eRouter will provide airborne connectivity for Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs), passenger PCs, Smartphones and other IP devices and offers many features found in a typical corporate office networks. The eRouter is a small (12 in x 8½” in x 3¾ in) flange mount device that offers access to multiple communications networks such as Inmarsat, Swift Broadband (SBB), Ku/Ka VSAT, Iridium and other networks.
“The new ICG eRouter is being developed in direct response to customer demand and research conducted with end users who indicated they are looking for more product functionality for their on-board data management systems in a single lightweight box,” explained Brad Smith, Executive Vice President of ICG.
“The new eRouter is smaller than current devices and through implementing multi-tiered PCB board technology we were able to combine several systems and applications into one box. The eRouter not only serves as a solution for new installations but also as a replacement for systems that are now obsolete or reaching the end of production life. One of the major advantages to the eRouter’s design is that the data and telephony routing functions are independent of other systems and communication networks installed on the aircraft. The reason for this design was to eliminate the need for unnecessary aircraft groundings due to potential router inoperability,” he added.
Using in-flight satellite-based connectivity for Internet and Intranet access, ICG’s new eRouter can be configured as a Wireless Access Point (WAP) for devices requiring Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) services. Alternatively, it can be configured as a client to provide connectivity to ground based wireless networks while on the ramp. Once connected, eRouter users will be able to communicate with multiple Local Area Networks (LANs) or Wide Area Network (WAN) clients, allowing the aircraft to be included in the office-based network and users to have peer-to-peer access to each other whenever service is available.
In addition to Wi-Fi connectivity, the eRouter offers 4G GSM (global system for mobile) cellular service that can be used for file transfers when the aircraft is on the ground. The eRouter manages connectivity for all cabin crew, flight deck and aircraft system data communication requirements.
“We’ve designed the eRouter with a modular architecture to provide easy expandability and to reduce product costs by offering an operator only those services they might currently require, yet providing a forward upgrade path for future and emerging requirements,” Smith said. “It has a Graphical User Interface (GUI) that allows operators to install updates in the field and permits many configuration options and flexibility to tailor the functionality to an operator’s specific needs,” he added.
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