Northrop Grumman (Stand 2321) announced here at EBACE that Cessna has chosen its navigation systems for the Citation Latitude business jet. One selection is the LCR-100 attitude and heading reference system, which uses both inertial navigation and GPS information.
Global Positioning System
DAC International (Stand 1131) has introduced the GDC64 tablet-to-aircraft interface, a small box that delivers aircraft data to devices such as the iPad and Android tablet computers and provides iPad battery charging. The GDC64 will be approved for Part 25 aircraft and can accept up to four Arinc 429 inputs, eight other discrete data inputs and serial data from a weather receiver.
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.
Just when it seemed the LightSquared-GPS contest had run its course, a pair of latecomers–Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.)–wrote to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski proposing that the agency should now find a vacant block of radio spectrum in which LightSquared could launch another attempt at its nationwide Internet plan.
Last month AIN reported on the disturbing increase in reports of GPS interference and deliberate jamming and raised the question of continuing GPS reliability if these incidents (attributable to small portable jammers used by truckers to obfuscate their whereabouts) increase in numbers and transmitted power.
Blue Sky Network formed a partnership today with S4A (Solutions For Aviation), a supplier of aviation equipment and services based in El Puerto de Santa María, Spain. This new partnership will enable S4A to sell Blue Sky Network’s line of aviation products based on two-way messaging, voice and Iridium-based satellite tracking technology in Europe. When combined with SkyRouter, a secure cloud-based global mapping portal solution, Blue Sky Network’s two-way messaging transceivers allow constant and remote monitoring of aircraft through GPS position reports.
Today, most of us would probably rate cellphones, ATMs and the Internet as the three most useful modern gadgets we use regularly. We likely wouldn’t rank GPS up there, and maybe not even in the top 10. Yet without GPS, those three wouldn’t work too well, if at all, and neither would a host of other things that we depend on (reliable electrical power; banking systems; national and worldwide telecommunications, including air traffic control; and car navigation, to name a few). And with NextGen slowly approaching, aviation’s dependence on GPS will grow exponentially.
The FAA’s $550 million system-wide information management (Swim) program to fashion a unified information management system from the various flight data, weather and advisory systems used in the National Airspace System calls to mind a hub-and-spoke computer network exchanging digital signals with the big iron in the sky.
Hilton Software has released a major update to its WingX Pro iPad moving-map software. Some of the improvements to WingX Pro version 6.2 include adding local and national Nexrad weather radar to ADS-B capability (available using the separate SkyRadar ADS-B unit), the ability to switch moving-map GPS information and airspace notifications on and off, adding a favorites function to the moving-map search and an improved timer function on the moving map.
Despite last month’s conclusion by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a joint panel of nine federal agencies, that LightSquared’s plan for a 4G broadband system could not coexist with GPS and should therefore be folded by March 2, the company appealed to the FCC for a 30-day extension to prove its concept is still valid.