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Guest cj_flys_wmu

ACARS for the GA pilot? $20,000 will do it

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I doubt that this will take off. What I would do is use a PDA or Laptop to connect to the internet via a cellular modem. This is very inexpensive equipment already... Then, using either software (that would have to be developed) or simply email or other methods, could communicate to the base that way. I don't see why a GA pilot feels confined to the ACARS network when the Internet is an inexpensive and available option...Am I off the mark? Is there some specific reason that this idea HAS to use the ACARs network?Good find, though, Elrond!

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Hey Guys,While I am not an expert in this, I recently had a class that talked about the different data link technologies that are out there. Because GA datalink technology is in its infancy, $20,000 for a system of this type is about par for the course I would say. With anything aviation, things that are new are going to be pretty expensive. ACARS uses a technology called VDL or VHF Datalink. It is a good system but it is limited to line of site like all of the COM radios that we use. Some systems use something called AMSS or Aeronautical Mobile Satellite System, not limited to line of site but really expensive (not in the price range of GA operators). For in flight information, Cellular technology is not that feasible because the system is not designed to work well when you are in the air. That is why you can't use your cell phones in aircraft. There are companines that use some propritary technology that uses the cell network but I am not sure how well that has taken off. I think that the bandwidth is just not there for transfering large files of information. The latest technology that has been in use in Europe quite extensivly and is starting to takeoff in the U.S. is something called Mode S. It is used with your transponder. Garmin just released one that is pretty resonably priced for the GA market. Currently we are only using a fraction of the bandwidth of this and it would be good for transfering large files of information around.When we do get "Free flight" or CNS/ATM in europe (that's Communication, Navigation, Surveillance / Air Traffic Management) Mode S will play a large part in the surveillance portion. Each transponder will almost have like an IP address and will act as a hub for data transfer. If ATC or another aircraft needs some information a ping goes out. Pilots will have realtime traffic information, almost like looking at their own radar scope with their aircraft in the middle, updated in almost realtime.Garmin has a cool new tecnology called TIS or Terminal Information System that uses Mode S. It is an option that works with their 430s and 530s. At certain radar facilities across the US the stations send the radar data via the Mode S and for aircraft that are equiped, the pilot can see where other aircraft are in their area and it is updated in alomst real time as the radar sweeps. Check out http://www.garmin.comNASA and the FAA are currently working on something called the Highway in the Sky that will completely change the way our airway system will work and how instrumentation is displayed for the pilot. Trials of this system are currently in place in Alaska and it is called the CAPSTONE project.Also, Free Flight trials are curently in testing over the South Pacific Ocean in the SOPAC FIR or Flight Information Region. The aircraft there are basically picking their own routes and altitudes. Large airlines use a system called FANS 1/A (Boeing developed the FANS 1 and Airbus developed the FANS A so ICAO said we will support FANS 1/A.Take care,-CJ Starr

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