Spacecraft

September 22, 2014 - 12:03pm
Iridium Next satellite

Satellite-based surveillance developer Aireon will provide a free emergency tracking system for aircraft when the satellite constellation it will use is launched and operating, as expected, in 2017. Aireon announced the service on September 22, saying the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 earlier this year makes global emergency tracking “essential.”

Aireon’s surveillance system will use automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) receivers contained as hosted payloads on new Iridium Next satellites to send position reports to subscribing air navigation service providers over oceanic and remote regions of the Earth beyond radar coverage. Iridium plans to launch the second-generation constellation of 66 low-Earth-orbit satellites between 2015 and 2017.

The Aireon Aircraft Locating and Emergency Response Tracking service, branded as “Aireon Alert,” will be provided “as a public service to the aviation community, free of charge,” the company said. Operating from a 24-hour emergency call center, it will provide authorized search-and-rescue organizations with the location and last flight track of any 1090-MHz ADS-B transponder-equipped aircraft flying in airspace without other surveillance. Airlines will not have to equip with new avionics.

“The existing gaps in surveillance, particularly in cases of lost aircraft, became abundantly clear this past year,” said John Crichton, president and CEO of Nav Canada, an Aireon joint-venture partner. “The tragic disappearance of Flight MH370 prompted worldwide urgency to look for solutions. Aireon’s response amounts to a global public service, offering Aireon Alert universally with no fee.”

Aireon is a joint venture of Iridium Communications and ANSPs Nav Canada, Italy’s ENAV, the Irish Aviation Authority and Denmark’s Naviair. Nav Canada will acquire a 51-percent interest in the venture by late 2017.

A competing ADS-B-based surveillance system is also progressing. Earlier this month, ADS-B Technologies and satellite communications provider Globalstar announced the completion of the latest flight demonstration of its space-based ADS-B Link Augmentation System (ALAS), tracking a round-trip flight between Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. The test “marked the first time that a flight demonstration tested a dual-link (1090 MHz and Universal Access Transceiver) space-based ADS-B system in all environments and for extended periods of time,” the companies said. “The flight proved that the 1090ES and UAT versions of the ALAS technology work continuously, reporting the aircraft’s position every second during a flight of nearly 7,000 miles.”

July 17, 2014 - 6:37am

Safety system specialist Aero Sekur of Aprilia, Italy comes to the Farnborough Airshow on the heels of signing a licensed teaming agreement with U.S.-based aerospace supplier Bullerdick GSE. Here at the airshow Aero Sekur is introducing a new lightweight flexible fuel tank while highlighting recent successes in its space projects.

July 17, 2014 - 6:37am

Safety system specialist Aero Sekur of Aprilia, Italy comes to the Farnborough Airshow on the heels of signing a licensed teaming agreement with U.S.-based aerospace supplier Bullerdick GSE. Here at the airshow Aero Sekur is introducing a new lightweight flexible fuel tank while highlighting recent successes in its space projects.

May 29, 2014 - 2:25pm

Cessna Aircraft rolled out the first production Citation CJ3+ today at the company’s manufacturing facility in Wichita. The upgraded twinjet features a new interior with a redesigned cabin and cockpit, new pressurization and new diagnostics systems. It also has a Garmin G3000 avionics suite that includes turbulence detecting weather radar, TCAS II, TAWS and ADS-B capabilities. The CJ3+ was announced on March 20 and it is expected to receive FAA certification in the second half.

May 6, 2014 - 2:50am

Calgary, Canada-based Flyht Aerospace Solutions has developed the Dragon, a low-cost Iridium-based portable satcom system that draws on the company’s expertise in airborne telecom. Selling for less than $10,000, Dragon allows pilots and passengers to communicate using voice or data, without the need for an expensive certification and installation approval program.

February 27, 2014 - 2:41pm

Airbus Helicopters and Esterline CMC (Booth No. 1414) have spent more than a decade collaborating on helicopter avionics, culminating in new certifications of avionics and airframes announced at Heli-Expo 2014. On display for the announcement were examples of Esterline’s CMA-9000 flight management system and CMA-5024 GPS landing system sensor in the Airbus EC175.

“Well over 1,000 CMC flight management systems are in service on Airbus helicopters,” said Greg Yeldon, president of Esterline CMC. “The navigation system on the EC175 is the latest example of this collaboration.”

February 24, 2014 - 7:15pm

Phoenix Heliparts of Mesa, Ariz. is adding to its supplemental type certificate (STC) offerings, this time by retrofitting an MD 530F with full-digital instrumentation and a modern interior. The aircraft is destined for Robert Reish of El Dorado, Calif., who has used Phoenix in the past for his helicopter refurbishments.

February 13, 2014 - 1:30pm

Robinson will display a new avionics suite for its helicopters at Heli-Expo, which will be held February 25 to 27 in Anaheim, Calif. Most options for the new panels meet ADS-B in and out requirements and include Aspen Avionics primary flight and multifunction displays, and Garmin GTN 600/700 touchscreen navigators, GTR 225B com radio, GMA 350H audio panel, GDL 88 universal access transceiver and GTX 330ES transponder. The FAA has already granted approval for most of these new equipment installations.

January 5, 2014 - 3:40am

Canada-based Flyht Aerospace Solutions has begun shipping its Dragon portable Iridium satcom device, which uses Apple’s iPad as an interface. Users can make voice and data calls over the Iridium network anywhere in the world. The Dragon device can also be used for flight following services. Because it is portable, no supplemental type certificate is required, and the Dragon does not need to be installed in the aircraft. Price of the Dragon is $10,000, plus annual service charges.

November 19, 2013 - 3:13am
Phoenix Heliparts, based in Mesa, Arizona, provides MRO support of for MD 500, Bell UH-1, Bell 407 and AH-1 Cobra helicopters, as well as fixed-wing aircraft.

Potomac Solutions (Stand 2177) and Phoenix Heliparts have entered into a multi-year agreement to provide maintenance and repair organization (MRO) capabilities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

 
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