Avionics News November 2015 - 52
CONNECTING FROM ALOFT
Continued from page 50
deck" displays and select avionics products.
For operators with Garmin avionics, the addition of the GSR
56 Iridium-based datalink to either the Flight Stream 110 or 210
allows users to take advantage of existing Connext services.
With worldwide weather capability, pilots have access to
METARs, TAFs and winds aloft around the globe.
Additionally, radar and satellite imagery for Western Europe,
Canada, Australia and the U.S. provide pilots with even more
weather products so it's easy to determine if precipitation or
cloud cover will impact a particular flight.
But beyond the usual weather information, the GSR 56 also
provides voice, text messaging and position reporting services
to subscribed aircraft, giving pilots additional voice and data
connectivity in the cockpit.
Crystal-ball gazing: There's more to come
Coming around the corner are systems and hardware from a
variety of providers, among them SmartSky Networks, which
earlier this year signed an agreement with StandardAero to
certify and install SmartSky's industry-first, airborne 4G LTEbased, high-speed wireless Internet solution for a variety of
StandardAero, through its in-house Federal Aviation
Administration organization designation authorization delegation,
agreed to provide supplemental type certificate approvals for
the SmartSky system with STC development starting in 2016 as
SmartSky completes its network development.
Below the radar are other offerings, including more offerings
aimed at smaller Part 23 aircraft.
These developments will offer more of the same connectivity
at lower installed prices and reduced use rates, as more satellite
options become available.
One day, no one will believe people are out of reach and
unavailable simply because they're flying and can't use their
cellphones, as the proliferation of these systems proliferates
through general aviation.
Whether that's a good thing depends most on the reasons
people fly. For those who feel compelled to always be
connected, the advance of such systems amounts to one more
step toward nirvana - and one more option for avionics shops to
expand their businesses. q
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