UK-based Flight Calibration Services Ltd (FCSL) provides flight inspection and calibration services for airport navigation aids across the Britain and Europe. Its flight inspectors each have more than 20 years’ experience commissioning and testing navigational aids, markers that enable pilots to accurately land planes at airports.
All airports rely on navigational aids to deliver effective landing systems to aircraft. This equipment ensures that, as long as the pilot follows a clear line on its instrument panel, he or she will land perfectly. Just like the aircraft themselves, this landing navigation equipment needs regular inspection and maintenance. With the safety and welfare of passengers a top priority, frequent checking and re-setting of systems is essential. Using differential GPS technology, testers are able to accurately measure the calibration to ensure it is perfect.
FSCL employs some of the world’s most skilled pilots and flight inspectors to carry out the checks. However the inspectors often suffered sickness caused by concentrating on the fixed instrument panel for long periods with no view of the horizon. This meant checks were unable to be effectively completed. To overcome this problem FSCL wanted to create a system to stream data from the plane directly to a receiver on the ground.
To ensure the differential GPS information from the plane was accurately streamed back to the ground systems, FSCL asked Wood & Douglas to provide a highly secure and stable wireless link. As part of the Sentinel range, the ER450 digital outstation, with integrated radio, modem and multiplexer, is designed for point-to-point data transmission within a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) frame work and a quick receive and transmits turnaround. This link precisely relayed the calibration information, eradicated any chance of human error and meant that the challenging job of monitoring instrumentation was left in the hands of machines.
- Accurate and immediate transmission of critical calibration data from the aircraft to the ground
- Wireless link enables the monitoring to take place on ground avoiding air sickness.