HAI Convention News

Super AWOS to the rescue

 - February 22, 2010, 4:08 PM

Potomac Aviation Technology (Booth No. 2203) is showcasing SuperAWOS, its proprietary approach to supplying automated pilot weather information, at Heli-Expo. Contained in a single compact unit, SuperAWOS operates on CTAF frequencies, eliminating the need for a discrete AWOS frequency.

“The broadcast has everything that an AWOS III has, but the system has artificial intelligence that looks at weather conditions and traffic and decides what is relevant,” and changes its reports accordingly, said Gary Loff, the company’s vice president of sales. For example, on a clear day, the unit dispenses with reporting ceilings, and should winds change suddenly and significantly, it immediately broadcasts the information. It also responds to pilots’ radio transmissions.

About 100 units are currently installed, including at several hospital heliports, according to Loff. SuperAWOS is also attracting interest from operators of offshore oil platforms, because the units are compact and easy to install, as well as developing countries that need to create an aviation infrastructure.

The company estimates annual maintenance costs for the $74,400 SuperAWOS to be $100 to $300, and it recently extended its warranty from three to five years retroactively. It also offers a solar power option, adding about $4,000 to $6,000 to the price, depending on the number of solar panels needed.