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November 09, 2018

Honeywell optimizes terminal development and test process

GateHouse has a remarkable technical knowledge and understanding of even the most complex issues within satellite communications software.”
Will Penfold, Honeywell

The challenges

As with all terminal manufacturers, Honeywell aims to optimize its testing processes and shorten the time-to-market for its aeronautical terminals.

Developing an Inmarsat BGAN aero terminal is a complicated and time-consuming task. The process must adhere to the extensive and high standards for testing safety-critical software used in airborne systems. In addition, the development of such complicated communication software, porting and integrating it with terminal hardware and other software components etc. further increases the challenges of developing a world-class protocol layer.

On-air testing is part of the testing schemes of a BGAN Aero terminal, but on-air testing is far from adequate for the rigors testing needed for an aero terminal before type approvals and entry into service. On-air testing entails uncontrollable conditions, e.g. network and weather, which can complicate the planning and raise the costs of a comprehensive test course.

The solutions

When Honeywell acquired the BGAN Protocol Stack (BPS), it enabled them to fully focus their efforts on the other parts of the terminals where they could create value for their customers in terms of differentiating their terminals.

With extensive test and documentation required for aero terminals, Honeywell used the GateHouse SatCom BGAN Network Emulator (BNE) – an advanced network emulation tool – to configure test systems and simulate world-wide flight tracks. Off-air testing with GateHouse’s BNE enabled Honeywell to undertake far more comprehensive testing of corner cases and to undertake the same test repeatedly in automated regression testing. Being an off-air test system, it also eliminates the expense of airtime.

Quite simply, the GateHouse BNE enabled Honeywell to better test its terminals at less cost in a controlled environment. No longer is Honeywell dependent on location, airtime and network conditions for testing aero terminals.

About BGAN Protocol Stack

The BGAN Protocol Stack is valuable for any new development of a BGAN user terminal, as it is an already proven product which reduces cost and risk. The BPS has been integrated into land portable, maritime, aviation and land mobile terminals.

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About BGAN Network Emulator

The BGAN Network Emulator is the most comprehensive test tool for both manual and automated BGAN terminal testing – no airtime or line-of-sight required. The BNE is applicable to all segments: land, maritime and aviation.

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About Honeywell

Honeywell is a global fortune 100 technology company that streamlines the airline industry, buildings, manufacturing companies, logistics and supply chain firms, while helping employees become more connected to make our world smarter, more secure and more sustainable.