Starting September 1, owners and operators of Brazil-based aircraft equipped with suitable Garmin avionics will be able to get streamlined access to Iridium satellite communications services using Garmin Connext. The new service is available under an arrangement announced by Satcom Direct here at the LABACE show this week.
Avionics and ATC
New developments and products in avionics, specifically about aircraft electronics in the cockpit; and news, issues, personnel, equipment and developments about air traffic management.
At last week’s Black Hat USA 2014 conference, Ruben Santamarta, the principal security consultant at IOActive Security Services, raised the issue of whether satellite communications systems have security vulnerabilities that might allow hackers to gain access to aircraft systems. Santamarta and IOActive published a white paper that discusses security vulnerabilities in air, sea and land satcom systems. “Today we are disclosing details to help people verify those findings,” Santamarta explained.
Elbit Systems of America provided more detail on the Center Pedestal Display (CPD) it is providing to Lockheed Martin for the F-16V upgrade. Along with a new AESA radar, the CPD is a key element of the upgrade, which is proceeding for 150 Taiwanese F-16A/Bs, while the U.S. Air Force struggles to fund the improvements for its own fleet.
Elbit last month launched Skylens, a wearable head-up display for an enhanced flight vision system. The ski goggle-shaped device offers a greater field of view than night-vision goggles (NVG), according to the company. Developed specifically for helicopters, the system also fuses infrared (EVS) and synthetic (SVS) images with flight parameter symbology for improved safety in poor visibility. The symbology will present flight and critical engine parameters.
Trig Avionics has partnered with the NextGen GA Fund, which will help provide loans for avionics upgrades. Trig’s TT31 mode-S transponder is an easy and cost-effective tray-compatible retrofit for the ubiquitous King KT76A found in many GA aircraft, and this upgrade provides a 1090ES-compliant ADS-B out installation. Trig also manufactures the “world’s smallest” mode-S transponder, the TT22, which features 1090ES ADS-B out and an integral altitude encoder.
JetTech founder Rob Irwin reports that one of his customers received funding for a large installation via the NextGen GA Fund. The fund was designed to help aircraft owners and operators obtain low-interest loans to help pay for avionics upgrades to meet upcoming NextGen mandates such as the Jan. 1, 2020 ADS-B out deadline. “The customer said it was a very quick process,” he said, “and there weren’t any constraints.
The list of FAA GPS procedures using Waas, known by ICAO as space-based augmentation system (SBAS) procedures, continues to grow steadily. These include ILS-equivalent localizer precision with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches, providing centerline and glideslope guidance down to 200 feet at more than 800 Part 139 runways in the NAS, plus another 2,600 at various heights above 200 feet at other NAS Part 139 and non-Part 139 runways. At most of the non-Part 139 runways, of course, there’s no ILS, and probably never will be. SBAS is filling that need.
On the eve of AirVenture 2014, Avidyne announced the long-awaited FAA certification of the touchscreen IFD540 FMS/GPS/navcom. Not only did Avidyne gain FAA technical standard order (TSO) certification, but also an approved model list supplemental type certificate (AML-STC) that allows for installation of the IFD540 in more than 1,000 aircraft makes and models.
Jeppesen released an enhanced version of its FliteDeck Pro electronic flight bag solution for the iPad. Among the iOS 7-compliant features are new departure and arrival runway depiction (SID and Star) rendering on the en route map to raise pilot situational awareness; a new “flight info drawer” to create, load, view and save the active flight data; user-defined waypoints; and comments to identify important points along the en route map.