Just when it seemed that LightSquared and its threat to GPS had finally faded away, following the February withdrawal of its operating licenses by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the company is back again, with new plans and, more surprisingly, a modest degree of FCC support.
Sensor Systems (Booth No. 1994) is taking the wraps off three new antennas at NBAA’12. The first is the S72-1735-24/-26 TAS/Tcas directional antenna designed to pair with the Garmin GTS 800 traffic system. The antenna has better bearing accuracy than its predecessors, which means users see the traffic depicted just where it is. The antenna style is low-drag, making it a good fit on regional jets and business jets.
Since the withdrawal of approval in February for LightSquared’s planned use of frequencies adjacent to those of GPS to set up a nationwide 4G mobile broadband network, things have recently taken an unexpected turn. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) withdrew LightSquared’s approval earlier this year after transmission tests revealed interference issues with GPS receivers.
LightSquared filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, explaining that it needs “breathing room” to resolve regulatory issues that have prevented it from building its planned 4G broadband wireless network.
Fort Launderdale, Florida FBO Banyan Air Service (Stand 456) has just completed equipping its ramp to meet requirements for the new Gulfstream G650 and G280 corporate jets. These aircraft, set to enter service this year, are equipped with new maintenance systems that depend on wireless connectivity to deliver its messages to mechanics and to facilitate software repair and updates to components.
NavWorx added Wi-Fi support to its line of ADS-B receivers and Universal Access Transceivers (UAT), enabling the exchange of data wirelessly with portable and panel-mounted display devices such as Garmin avionics and the Apple iPad. Its Wi-Fi-enabled WxBox can also receive free broadcast weather from a nationwide network of ADS-B stations. Meanwhile, Wi-Fi allows its ADS600-B UAT to wirelessly transmit ADS-B/TIS-B traffic and FIS-B weather and flight information to devices.
LightSquared’s planned nationwide 4G broadband network got yet another reprieve from Sprint today. Last year, Sprint agreed to provide $15 billion to LightSquared for infrastructure needs, with one condition: LightSquared must obtain FCC approval by Dec. 31, 2011. The FCC didn’t come through–saying LightSquared has yet to prove its transmissions will not interfere with GPS signals–but last month Sprint extended its offer until the end of this month. And with barely 12 hours to spare, Sprint again extended this until mid-March.
VT Miltope is featuring, here at the NBAA show, a network product family with the functionality to create custom airborne systems in the same way business office networks are created. The company, with headquarters in Hope Hull, Ala., is part of VT Systems and a subsidiary of ST Engineering.
Congressional opponents of LightSquared’s 4G broadband plan allege that “short circuiting” procedures are involved at the FCC, the White House and the company’s owner to expedite LightSquared’s submissions.
Wireless health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS) are flying in four U.S. military rotorcraft on an experimental basis.