ADS-B and iPads Highlights of Annual AEA Avionics Show

Aviation International News » May 2012
Guardian Avionics device
Guardian Avionics introduced tablet-to-aircraft devices to display aircraft data on iPad and Android tablets.
May 5, 2012, 4:45 AM

Connectors Deliver More Data to iPads

The growing popularity of Apple’s iPad as a Class 1 electronic flight bag (EFB) has captured the interest of avionics manufacturers, and at last month’s Aircraft Electronics Association show two new devices that connect iPads to aircraft data were unveiled.

DAC International, a subsidiary of Greenwich AeroGroup, introduced the GDC64 tablet-to-aircraft interface, a small box that delivers aircraft data to devices such as the iPad and Android tablet computers and provides iPad battery charging. The GDC64 will be approved for Part 25 jets and can accept up to four Arinc 429 inputs, eight other discrete data inputs and serial data from a weather receiver. The data provided to the GDC64 is then delivered to the tablet computer via a hard-wire connection. So the tablet could, for example, use a highly accurate GPS signal from the aircraft’s avionics and weather data from a Heads Up Technologies XM receiver to overlay moving-map applications on the tablet. DAC expects STCs for installation of the GDC64 in the next two to three months. The company is working with iPad app developers to integrate the GDC64 data with moving-map apps. The GDC64 will retail for about $8,000 plus installation.

Guardian Avionics, maker of the CO Guardian carbon monoxide detector, has released the four-ounce TSO’d Aero 454 iPad (and iPhone/iPod) interface. Priced at $999, the Aero 454 connects via hard wire (RS-232) to GPS sources such as installed navigators and delivers accurate GPS signals to the mobile device, via Bluetooth. Aero 454 can transmit GPS data to up to three mobile devices, eliminating the need for pilots to carry a separate GPS receiver.

Aero 454 isn’t just for GPS data, but is also a carbon monoxide detector and thus can provide other data to mobile devices and alerts to pilots. Guardian will offer an app that displays carbon monoxide level, density altitude, cabin altitude and cabin altitude warnings at 10,000, 12,500 and 14,000 feet.

L-3 Adds Customizable GH-3900 Standby Display

L-3 Avionics Systems introduced the GH-3900 electronic standby instrument system (ESIS) at last month’s AEA show. The GH-3900 is not only less expensive than its GH-3100 predecessor ($45,000 versus $60,000), but also offers almost unlimited configuration options that can be set by the avionics installer. The options include flight cues, colors, data presentation and aircraft performance parameters, according to L-3.

The GH-3900 is standard equipment as a backup instrument on the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite but can be installed in Part 25 and 23 airplanes and Part 27 and 29 rotorcraft. The GH-3900 is shorter and lighter than the GH-3100. Interfaces include Arinc 429, CSDB, RS-422 and -232 and discrete and analog input signals. Another benefit of the GH-3900 is that its ADAHRS data can be used for other cockpit displays, as an emergency backup for ADAHRS data on primary displays, for example.

Trig Avionics Unveils Radios, ADS-B Software Upgrade

Trig Avionics expects to begin shipping its new TY91 and TY92 VHF radios in July. The radios fit in 2.25-inch instrument panel holes and offer nine memory presets, a built-in speaker amplifier and two-place intercom. The TY91 outputs 6 Watts and operates on 14 or 28 volts, while the TY92 outputs 16 Watts and uses 28 volts. Both radios offer 25 kHz and 8.33 kHz frequency spacing. Each radio weighs about one pound.

Trig also announced that its TT31 and TT22 transponders will be upgradeable to ADS-B out capability via a software update. The software is available starting this month, and the first STC for the Trig 1090ES ADS-B out solution includes a Trig TT31 integrated with a FreeFlight Systems 1201 Waas/GPS sensor. The TT31 is a plug-and-play replacement for Bendix/King KT76A and KT78A transponders, making installation much simpler.

FreeFlight and UND Crafting King Air ADS-B System

FreeFlight Systems and the University of North Dakota are developing an STC for an ADS-B out and in system for UND’s King Air 90. The system will provide ADS-B out on the 1090ES frequency, which meets the 2020 mandate for all altitudes, including Class A airspace. ADS-B in works on the 978 UAT frequency, which provides free weather and traffic services to the aircraft. The system consists of a FreeFlight 1201 Waas/GPS sensor, 1090ES transponder for ADS-B out reporting and a Rangr FDL-978RX for ADS-B in traffic (TIS-B) and weather (FIS-B) data delivered to an Apple iPad.

FreeFlight also announced that it has completed installation of a rule-compliant ADS-B solution in an AgustaWestland AW139 flying in the Gulf of Mexico. Issuance of the STC is expected in the second quarter. The system includes FreeFlight’s FDL-978TX ADS-B out system, installed in cooperation with Chevron. With the system installed, the AW139 can report course, speed and altitude data to air traffic controllers and other ADS-B-equipped aircraft flying in the Gulf, according to FreeFlight. As more helicopters are equipped with ADS-B systems, more direct routing will be possible in the Gulf airspace. “We believe our hard work will finally enable [Gulf of Mexico] helicopter operators to realize the significant safety, cost and operational benefits that ADS-B can deliver,” said FreeFlight CEO Tim Taylor.

Accord Adds NexNav Max GPS Sensor

Accord Technology introduced the NexNav Max GPS Waas Class Beta-1, 2, 3 sensor at the recent AEA show. NexNav Max, which was recently TSO’d, is the first DO-229D-compliant GPS-SBAS receiver that meets FAA TSO-C154c Class Beta-3. The NexNav Max LRU, like the NexNav Mini, is compatible with other satellite-based augmentation systems such as Europe’s Egnos, Japan’s MTSat and Gagan in India. “NexNav Max is the same GPS Waas sensor unit used in the Esterline CMC SmartDeck avionics suite as well as the heart of the GPS Waas sensor used in the Eclipse Aerospace Avio integrated flight management system,” according to Accord.

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