Astronautics Corporation of America’s wireless Airborne Communication System (wACS) successfully completed initial ground tests on Airbus Helicopters’ H145 prototype aircraft, an important programmatic milestone.
Astronautics’ wACS is a complete air-to-ground data management platform that simply and securely gets information on and off the aircraft—enabling streamlined operations, improved dispatch rates, improved mission capabilities, and mobile device connectivity. Flight testing will commence later this month with the wACS product being standard fit for most Airbus Helicopters production aircraft within the next 18 to 24 months.
During the tests—completed in December—the system successfully collected and wirelessly transmitted data via cellular and Wi-Fi from the aircraft to the wACS ground system. In addition, the system also enables operators to securely push data to the aircraft (configuration, navigation databases, flight plans, etc.).
“This successful ground test was a great accomplishment for both the Astronautics and Airbus teams,” said Astronautics Director of Connected Aircraft Solutions Ed Callahan. “The entire system was tested end-to-end from the airborne hardware to the secure ground system, enabling secure two-way data transmittal. The ability to securely push data to the aircraft is a real game changer. We are looking forward to supporting Airbus Helicopters’ flight operations and maintenance services with this state-of-the-art secure connectivity solution that provides value to Airbus Helicopters operators in the form of enhanced capabilities with lower operating costs.”
Astronautics’ wACS will provide Airbus Helicopters and its operators the ability to:
• Aggregate and securely transfer operational and maintenance data to onboard repository, Wi-Fi connected tablets, and the wACS ground system over Wi-Fi or cellular connection, with cybersecurity ensured via encryption with two independent layers of security
• Securely connect pilot/crew tablets with on-board avionics while in flight
• Securely push data and updates from the ground to the aircraft wirelessly
• Store and retrieve hundreds of hours of operational data within the system
• Interface with SATCOM for real-time inflight flight deck connectivity
Astronautics’ HAI HELI-EXPO 2019 stand will feature a wACS demonstration highlighting the system’s ability to securely and rapidly upload and download data.
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