Iridium Antenna Performance
We get a lot of questions regarding Iridium antenna performance differences:
In general the installed devices like an ADL190 will have identical Iridium antenna
performance compared to portable devices like an ADL160 or ADL180B. This assumes
the portable device and the separate antenna of the ADL190 are placed in an identical
location on the glare shield.
The only limitation of the current portable devices is they can only operate on
their own integrated Iridium satellite antenna. If you want to connect for example
an external antenna on the aircraft hull you will have to choose an ADL190.
Also we get a lot of questions regarding external Iridium antennas on the aircraft hull.
This is obviously the best possible solution but comes with a lot of installation effort,
cost and a little extra aerodynamic drag. For most aircraft types the little gain in
signal quality of the external antenna, is not worth the additional major expense.
The only big expception to this rule are aircraft with electricall heated windshields
if those are installed on the pilot and copilot side. This applies for example to the
King Air, PC12, Citation 4 or Piper Cheyenne. In those cases an external Iridium antenna
on the hull make a big difference. In such aircraft an installation with an antenna inside
the cockpit will often not perform in an acceptable way.