Dubai Airshow, Chalet C3 - November 2015
- Connecting tablets in flight with existing onboard data systems to enhance operational control
- Solution makes maximum use of AID capable systems already installed
A new technology is now being delivered that connects commercial tablets and crew devices in flight with an aircraft’s existing onboard data systems to significantly enhance the management and the exchange of information between the aircraft, flight crew and the ground.
Launched by Teledyne Controls, which is being exhibiting at the 2015 Dubai Airshow, GroundLink® AID+ enables airlines to connect tablets to the GroundLink® Comm+ unit, for all flight phases, wired, or wirelessly via the AID+ Wireless Access Point (WAP).
The GroundLink® Comm+ unit, which has been typically used for automated download of flight data and later for electronic distribution of software parts and databases across the fleet, can now provide complete AID capability, by utilizing its on-ground 3G/4G IP connectivity for updating Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) and crew devices, while also providing interfaces to aircraft data and communications systems such as the FMS and ACARS.
The ACARS proxy in particular allows multiple EFBs to send and receive ACARS messages, supporting pilots with ground and air Flight Operations communications, as well as the distribution of flight documents and load sheets.
Crucially, the new technology provides Aircraft Interface Device (AID) functionality without having to install a separate AID unit. And with more than 7,000 GroundLink® units already flying, it is an easy transition for those with the technology already installed, protecting their legacy investment.
“The technology not only helps to co-ordinate and manage information across tablets, but it also provides on-aircraft data storage, eliminates manual data entry errors, and provides internet access while on the ground,” says Murray Skelton, Director of Business Development at Teledyne Controls.
The development reflects a move by an increasing number of airlines to equip their flight crew with either Windows-based tablets or Apple iPads for use as EFBs, and supply the maintenance and ground crews with devices for use as Electronic Technical Logs (eTechLog).
The GroundLink® AID+ solution involves several individual functions as follows:
- Router – provides off-aircraft IP (Internet Protocol) network access to applications hosted on external crew devices (e.g. EFB) by means of the internal cellular telephone modems contained with the GroundLink® Comm+ unit. The function is active while the aircraft is on the ground.
- ADIF (Aircraft Data Interface Function) – parameter service providing external device (EFB) applications with aircraft parameters available via ARINC 429 buses, ARINC 717 (ACMS or Mandatory) buses and/or ground/open discretes. The ADIF function eliminates the need for re-entry of many parameters into EFB applications that may have already been entered via the MCDU or through FMS uploads.
- DataStore – Exposing ‘aircraft attached storage’ to applications such as Electronic Log Books thus providing a means to retain data entries on-board the aircraft after portable devices issued to crew leave the aircraft following flights.
- ACARS Proxy – Utilizing the cabin terminal port[s] of the Aircraft’s existing CMU or ATSU for EFB applications to send and receive non-critical AOC (Aeronautical Operational Control) ACARS messages over the traditional ACARS links from/to EFB or CFB (Crew Flight Bag) devices.w Flight Bag) devices.
- Print Server – Connecting the EFB to the cockpit printer (textual or graphical) for printing content from applications such as ELB (Electronic Log Book) or a TechPubs application as a hardcopy in tangible form, e.g. to provide means of assurance to crew members that messages or instructions to gate crew members are not forgotten or transcribed incorrectly.
About Teledyne Controls
Headquartered in Southern California, Teledyne Controls is a business unit of Teledyne Technologies Incorporated. Teledyne Controls is a leading manufacturer and innovator of a wide range of data management solutions designed to help aircraft operators collect, analyze and distribute aircraft data more efficiently. Teledyne Controls maintains worldwide facilities and a global network of field representatives to support its many airline, airframe, and military customers. Additional information about Teledyne Controls can be found at http://www.teledynecontrols.com.
About Teledyne Technologies Incorporated
Teledyne Technologies Incorporated provides sophisticated electronic subsystems and instrumentation, including aerospace and defense electronics, digital imaging products and software, monitoring instrumentation for marine and environmental applications, harsh environment interconnect products, and subsystems for satellite communications, as well as engineered systems for defense, space, environmental and nuclear applications. Our customers include industrial manufacturers and energy, infrastructure and natural resources companies, as well as government agencies, airlines and aerospace contractors. Teledyne Technologies’ operations are primarily located in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Western and Northern Europe. For more information, visit Teledyne Technologies’ website at http://www.teledyne.com.
Sean Feast, Director, Gravity London
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7330 8810