Rockwell Collins has teamed up with Airbus to introduce a new automated tracking system which will be fitted as standard on the airframer’s two biggest aircraft, the A350 and A380, and offered as an option on its others.
Designed to detect and alert when abnormal flight situations occur, the system monitors a specific set of parameters that could indicate a problem with the aircraft.
These include low altitude, low speed, excessive pitch, engine failure and others, says Collins.
If an alarm is triggered, the aircraft automatically begins to emit aircraft position information at an increased rate of once per minute.
The enhanced functionality 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,” says David Nieuwsma, senior vice-president, information management services at 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.”