Teledyne Brings New Level Of Connectivity Between The Pilots, The Aircraft And The Ground

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  • New WGL-AID Connects Crew Tablets With Onboard Avionics Suite

El Segundo, CA | May 20, 2014– A new technology that connects commercial tablets and crew devices used in the cockpit with an aircraft’s existing onboard data communication systems to significantly enhance the management and the exchange of information between the aircraft and the ground has been launched by Teledyne Controls.

WGL-AID™, an extension of Teledyne’s existing Wireless GroundLink® System (WGL Comm+™) will enable airlines to connect these tablets to the WGL Comm+ unit, which is typically used as a Wireless Quick Access Recorder (WQAR), for the purpose of achieving off-aircraft communication and access to aircraft avionics data as well as interface with aircraft ACARS systems and cockpit printers.

The move comes as an increasing number of airlines look to equip their flight crew with either Windows-based tablets or Apple iPads for use as Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs), and supply the maintenance and ground crews with devices for use as Electronic Technical Logs (eTechLog).

Murray Skelton, Director of Business Development at Teledyne Controls, says that WGL-AID™ enables commercial tablets to be fully utilised to resolve flight deck and cabin crew information challenges: “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,” he says.

The WGL-AID™ concept 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 WGL-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.
  • 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.

The WGL-AID™ function extends the investment airlines have already made in the WGL Comm+™ provisions and hardware for use in applications such as automated wireless Flight Data download and wireless distribution of software parts across the fleet. Enabling the WGL-AID function is very easy as it only requires a software upgrade to the WGL Comm+ Unit.

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