Panasonic Provides Icelandair A Clearer View Of The Weather And Flight Tracking Capabilities Through FlightLink

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Hamburg, Germany | April 9, 2014– Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), the world leader in in-flight entertainment and communications, has signed Icelandair as a customer for its FlightLink solution. FlightLink leverages Iridium’s global satellite-based communications solution to support flight deck voice and data, independent GPS, continuous real-time aircraft tracking, and weather data aggregation everywhere commercial airplanes fly. Aircraft that are equipped with FlightLink are connected to an airline’s ground operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year.

A key component of FlightLink is Panasonic’s patented Tropospheric Airborne Meteorological Data Reporting (TAMDAR) sensor, which collects extremely high quality weather data from the atmosphere during the flight. Data is streamed back in real time via satellite to Panasonic’s weather operations center. It is then assimilated into specialized, high-speed computing clusters that produce the weather industry’s most accurate forecast information used by Fortune 500 companies, governments, insurers, energy providers, investors and commercial airlines to make intelligent business decisions.

Icelandair, Iceland’s national carrier, will install the FlightLink system, including TAMDAR across its fleet of 21 Boeing 757s, allowing key weather data gathering from the North Atlantic and Arctic regions, as well as throughout significant parts of Europe and North America. Weather data gathered by the system will enable improved operational efficiencies for Icelandair and more accurate weather forecasts for the aviation community throughout Iceland.

As part of the relationship, Panasonic will also be providing FlightLink’s TAMDAR data from Icelandair aircraft to the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO). The installation of FlightLink and the associated streaming of weather data will greatly increase the quantity and quality of weather information available in the region. TAMDAR data received by the IMO will be ingested into local weather models to improve regional aviation forecasts in Iceland.

“Icelandair’s unique network over the Arctic and North Atlantic makes it a key partner for Panasonic,” said Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer for Panasonic Avionics Corporation. “The ability to connect an aircraft to an airline’s ground operations and the incredibly accurate weather data obtained will be a key driver for greater operational efficiency, and we welcome them to our global partnership – this offers huge opportunities for the industry.”

The data from the TAMDAR system provides significant potential cost saving advantages through superior four-dimensional data analysis and numerical weather prediction. Improvements in forecast accuracy allow numerous industries to enhance their operational efficiency, save on fuel costs, and better prepare for significant severe weather events.

TAMDAR is installed across a network of hundreds of commercial aircraft that are operated by more than a dozen partner airlines throughout the northern hemisphere. It collects tens of thousands of highly detailed and accurate readings from the atmosphere each day.

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