Collins Demonstrates Nexcom Controller-pilot Datalink Technology
Rockwell Collins has demonstrated its VHF-920A data transceiver and CMU-900 communication management unit, the key pieces of the Cedar Rapids, Iowa avionics manufacturer’s Nexcom VDL Mode 3 radio package. The demonstration occurred at the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, N.J., where pilots broadcast messages using simultaneous VDL Mode 3 digital voice and data, as well as enhanced voice features of Mode 3. The enhanced features included controller override, anti-blocking, next-channel uplink and urgent downlink. Multiple system configurations (four voice channels, two voice/two data channels and three voice) provided validation testing of the Mode 3 system for the FAA, now in the midst of developing so-called Nexcom (next-generation communications) architecture. The demonstration was the culmination of a year-long development program involving Rockwell Collins, the FAA and Mitre Corp. Avidyne and Honeywell have also been commissioned by the FAA to develop Nexcom hardware.