Avionics Update: Sirius satellite radio reaches for the sky

 - August 11, 2008, 9:16 AM

As anyone who has it or has tried it can attest, satellite radio is seriously cool. Now, just like the thousands of listeners who tune in to satellite radio in their cars or at home, pilots and passengers can receive the 100-plus channels of digital music, news and talk provided by Sirius, one of two U.S. satellite radio providers. Available coast to coast, the Sirius satellite feed is broadcast to the AI-SSR airborne receiver and antenna package ($2,995 list price) from Avionics Innovations. The unit uses a Sirius receiver manufactured by Clarion that includes up/down seek tuning, preset memory, scrolling text display, screen saver and adjustable contrast. It is designed to integrate into any aircraft’s intercom system so pilots and passengers can automatically switch among ATC, telephone or intercom communications and satellite radio channels. The AI-SSR operates on 14 to 28 volts of direct current, allowing use in all general and business aviation aircraft, according to Avionics Innovations. The company, based in Ramona, Calif., also sells a line of MP3 players, DVD players, AM/FM receivers, CD changers and other audio equipment for aircraft.