Now 10 days after the transponder from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 stopped transmitting over the South China Sea, the search for the missing Boeing 777 has expanded to involve 25 countries and cover an area spanning a million square miles. The expansion of the search came in reaction to evidence that the airplane’s satcom system continued to transmit for several hours after Malaysian military radar lost contact with the airplane some 200 miles northwest of the island of Panang off the Western coast of the Malay peninsula.
Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System
The prolonged search for the Boeing 777-200 operated as Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 brought attention to onboard data transmission systems that report an aircraft’s position and other information in real time. Such a system could help track an aircraft that disappears from radar coverage.
According to Newport News, Virginia-based ICG, the FAA has issued the first supplemental type certificate (STC) for an Iridium-based avionics platform on a business jet conforming to the RTCA DO-262A data link standard. DO-262A is the standard required for design approval of data link communications systems supporting air traffic services, per FAA advisory circular AC 20-140A.
Chicago Jet Group has received the first-ever FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) for a future air navigation system (FANS) 1/A+ and controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) retrofit. The FANS/CPDLC system is installed in a Dassault Falcon 50 managed by Chicago Jet and also represents the first FANS-over-Iridium retrofit for a business jet. FANS capability will be required for flying the most efficient tracks across the North Atlantic, and this retrofit not only enables that capability but also meets the upcoming Eurocontrol Link 2000+ mandates. These mandates kick in on Feb.
Business aviation stands to be one of the beneficiaries of Cobham Satcom’s new Aviator S family of satellite communications systems, which should be FAA-approved some time in 2015. The UK-based group, which last year acquired satcom specialist Thrane & Thrane, unveiled the Aviator S technology at June’s Paris Air Show. The key breakthrough is the company’s success in reducing the number of boxes required for the system from three to two, by incorporating the amplifier and diplexer into the antenna unit.
Chicago Jet Group has received the first FAA supplemental type certificate for a future air navigation system (Fans) 1/A+ and controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) retrofit. The Fans/CPDLC system is installed in a Dassault Falcon 50 managed by Chicago Jet and also represents the first Fans-over-Iridium retrofit for a business jet.
Fans capability will be required for flying the most efficient tracks across the North Atlantic, and this retrofit also meets the upcoming Eurocontrol Link 2000+ mandates that take effect on Feb. 5, 2015.
Chicago Jet Group received the first-ever Fans retrofit STC approval from the FAA on September 5, the company and partner Universal Avionics announced yesterday. The Fans 1/A+/controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) system, which was installed in a Dassault Falcon 50 that Chicago Jet group manages for a customer, uses an International Communications Group NxtLink ICS-220A Iridium satcom.
For operators flying with cathode-ray tube RM-850 radio management units with screens that are getting hard to read, Honeywell is offering an upgrade to the RM-855 with a liquid-crystal display (LCD). While Honeywell bought a quantity of the RM-850 displays, “[that] stock has now become depleted,” according to the company. “Honeywell is no longer able to repair units with CRT failures.” The RM-855 is a form, fit and function replacement unit; however, it requires a new mating connector. The existing wires need to be re-pinned into the new connector.
Rockwell Collins’s planned acquisition of airborne communications provider Arinc positions it to benefit both on the ground and in the air from the increasing “digitization” of airline communications. The future paradigm for ATC calls for replacing voice communications between pilots and controllers with digital data messaging, and Arinc’s ground infrastructure provides one of two major pipes for routing those messages.
With the new Xplore system Arinc Direct is jumping into the market for small portable Iridium-powered onboard communications devices that use Apple’s iPad as the control/display unit for cockpit and cabin data services.
Xplore is a small box, two inches thick and no larger than an iPad, that users will carry onto the aircraft, thus no installation of an avionics unit is required. Xplore needs to be attached to power and to an external dual Iridium/GPS antenna to enable communication with Iridium satellites.