Ball Aerospace Teams with Primex to Offer Airborne E-Mail and Internet Access
September 18, 2000
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is teaming with Primex Aerospace Company to seamlessly bring voice, Internet connectivity and broadband data services to aircraft and directly to the passenger. Ball Aerospace's AIRLINK® HSD system brings this information to the aircraft via existing Inmarsat satellites and antenna equipment, and the Primex EMPORT™ system, a high-speed aircraft data network for personal electronic devices, brings the information to passengers at their seats. The demand for Internet services continues to increase, and airlines are committing to provide this connectivity in airports, frequent flyer lounges and now, on board airplanes.
"Because the AIRLINK® HSD system uses existing satellites and Aero H/H+ equipment, we're able to bring high bandwidth information to aircraft worldwide, quickly and without significant changes to the existing equipment installations," said Walter Crawford, Managing Director, Global Communication and Video Solutions. "By combining this with the lightweight, flexible architecture of the EMPORT™ system, we enable airlines to rapidly implement an end-to-end solution that is simple for passengers to use. This is a very exciting opportunity to provide real lap-top connectivity for passengers."
AIRLINK® HSD will carry voice, Internet connectivity and broadband data services to aircraft in flight over land and over oceans. The system will utilize the new Inmarsat Aero-HSD service, existing Inmarsat satellites and Aero H/H+ equipment to provide a dramatic improvement in communications capacity over current capabilities. The AIRLINK® HSD avionics are easily integrated with most existing Aero-H/H+ Satcom antennas, including the AIRLINK® High Gain Antenna System, an Aero-H Satcom product that Ball Aerospace has been delivering for more than 10 years. Aero H/H+ antennas are already installed on 76% of modern, long haul, wide-bodied aircraft, and hundreds of General Aviation and Government/Military aircraft.
Ball Aerospace also recently announced it will be the multimedia equipment supplier to AIRIA, a joint venture between the company formerly called Live Inflight Video Entertainment and Inmarsat Ventures Ltd., that will be the first to deliver live, global news and sports broadcasts to aircraft. With the addition of the Ball Aerospace AIRLINK® Multimedia Unit, the AIRLINK® HSD infrastructure will be able to receive AIRIA's live television services.
The Primex EMPORT™ system is an aircraft cabin distribution system made up of a high-speed network and low power consumption, lightweight system that is simple to integrate into all single and twin aisle aircraft types. The EMPORT™ system hosts third-party software applications. The network is distributed throughout the aircraft over copper wire on several 400 Mbit IEEE 1394 "Firewire" networks. This high-speed network allows more than 200 passengers to use the system simultaneously. Users connect to the network via a USB connection from their PCs to the seat, and can then connect to air-to-ground communications systems installed on the aircraft to transfer e-mail and data.
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. provides imaging and communications products for commercial and government customers worldwide and is a subsidiary of Ball Corporation
Primex is the industry leader in providing in-seat power systems. In 1996, the Company leveraged its expertise in power, control and test systems to launch the first in-seat power system, EMPOWER. The EMPOWER in-seat power system provides safe, reliable DC-power to outlets in passenger seats. Primex Aerospace Company, located in Redmond, Washington, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Primex Technologies, Inc. headquartered in Saint Petersburg, Florida.
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (BATC) is a subsidiary of Ball Corporation. Certain forward-looking statements have been made or implied in this news release. These forward-looking statements represent the company's goals and are based on certain assumptions and estimates that involve a number of risks or uncertainties. Some factors that could cause the company's actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include risk factors listed in Ball Corporation's Form 10-Q filed on May 17, 2000. If the company's assumptions and estimates are incorrect, or if it is unable to achieve its goals, then the company's actual performance could vary materially from those goals expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements.
SOURCE: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
Contact: Jennifer Hoover of Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.,