Rockwell Collins and Airbus introduce first ‘self-reporting’ flight tracking solution
19 June 2017
In a continued effort to improve the ability to track aircraft globally, Rockwell Collins has teamed with Airbus to introduce a new Onboard Aircraft Tracking solution. The solution monitors aircraft information to detect and alert when abnormal flight situations occur and will come standard on the A350 WXB and A380 and as an option for A320, A330 and A340 aircraft.
The Onboard Aircraft Tracking solution monitors a specific set of aircraft parameters that could indicate a problem with a flight, including such issues as low altitude, low speed, excessive pitch, engine failure and others. If triggered, the aircraft automatically begins to emit aircraft position information at an increased rate. The Onboard Aircraft Tracking function is implemented as an update to the Airline Operational Control (AOC) avionics software and is available for both forward fit and retrofit.
“This solution enables an aircraft to detect specific abnormal conditions and self-report to the airline the moment something occurs,” said David Nieuwsma, senior vice president, Information Management Services for Rockwell Collins. “When every second counts, the ability to automatically and instantaneously identify a possible issue can provide a significant advantage for airline operators interested in tracking their aircraft, particularly when flying over polar or oceanic regions.”
The Onboard Aircraft Tracking solution is designed to meet IATA’s Aircraft Tracking Task Force (ATTF) and concept of operations of ICAO’s Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS) standards for aircraft tracking which call for aircraft identification at least every 15 minutes during “normal operations” and at least every one minute during “abnormal operations.” Once the Onboard Aircraft Tracking solution sends an alert to the ground, the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) position reporting frequency increases to meet the one minute interval recommendation.