The recently announced Aireon joint venture to provide aircraft position reports from Iridium satellites equipped with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) receivers will help close gaps in the already extensive ADS-B coverage provided by Nav Canada, an Aireon partner.
Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast
Iridium Communications announced Aireon, a new company which will eventually allow air traffic management agencies anywhere on earth the ability to track aircraft anywhere else on the planet using ADS-B equipment that will be attached Iridium Next, to a new 66-satellite network scheduled to begin launching in 2015. Iridium Next is the updated replacement hardware for Iridium’s current satellite network.
A planned joint venture by Iridium Communications and Nav Canada promises to offer worldwide ADS-B-based air traffic surveillance services using the upcoming Iridium Next satellite network.
The FAA has approved funding to continue the automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) network rollout through 2020, the year that aircraft will be required to have ADS-B Out capability to broadcast their GPS-derived position to controllers on the ground.
The new Cessna Citation Longitude and Learjet 70/75 will feature Garmin G5000-based flight decks. In the case of the Learjet 70/75, Bombardier has opted to adopt the Vision brand name for its flight deck (as it does with the avionics suites in the Global series, which feature Rockwell Collins Fusion-based cockpits).
The market for inexpensive portable ADS-B receivers that deliver free in-flight data to Apple iPads and other devices is heating up. Boston-based Radenna pioneered this market with the original SkyRadar unit, which communicates wirelessly with the iPad, providing a means to receive free in-flight weather and traffic data from the growing ADS-B ground station network.
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.
For U.S. Part 91 business jet operators that fly to Europe, the upcoming Future Air Navigation System (Fans) mandate means not only new operational procedures but also yet another letter of authorization (LOA) requirement from the FAA. Fans and controller pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) are essentially functions that will be baked into the flight management system (FMS), yet each operator’s implementation of procedures, training and a maintenance program for Fans/CPDLC will need a formal stamp of approval from a local FAA office.
The Namibia Wam system was supplied by Era, of the Czech Republic, and employs 36 widely separated and unmanned ground stations that listen for aircraft transponder replies to radar interrogations and then retransmit those replies to a central processing station. In Namibia, which has no radar, selected listening posts transmit pseudo, but otherwise identical, radar interrogations.
It’s clear that the final release of the FAA’s Authorization Act has given a new fillip to the agency’s NextGen implementation activity. The 2012 Plan, released in March, has a much more upbeat flavor than its 2011 predecessor, which essentially looked backwards at accomplishments in 2010, when most activities were still in their early stages. Back then, the potential future benefits of NextGen were just that–potential.