Avionics Update: Satellite radio flight trials set to begin

 - July 14, 2008, 7:37 AM

Digital audio specialist Heads Up Technologies of Carrollton, Texas, plans to begin flight testing in the next two months of its satellite digital audio radio (SDAR) for use with XM Satellite Radio’s recently launched commercial service, which will make 100 channels of satellite-transmitted audio available to aircraft passengers over the continental U.S. As part of its agreement with XM Satellite Radio, Heads Up Technologies will design and certify XM-capable radios for piston airplanes, turboprops and business jets. Heads Up Technologies has yet to set a price for SDAR hardware. Channels available through XM Satellite Radio (at $9.99 per month) include dozens of music stations, as well as ESPN Radio, Fox News, CNN, CNBC, C-SPAN Radio, BBC World Service, Bloomberg, The Weather Channel, ABS News & Talk and others. magazine rated XM Satellite Radio as one of last year’s best new inventions. General Motors is one of the backers of XM, and it is a factory-installed option this year in some Cadillacs; many more GM vehicles will offer XM for the 2003 model year.