Tech Bytes

Jan. 2, 2008
VIH Helicopters Ltd. will use Blue Sky Network tracking equipment for its global fleet.

Over the coming year, Canada-based VIH will install more than 50 Blue Sky Network D1000C and ACH1000 kits on its entire aircraft fleet to aid in tracking requirements and aircraft communications across remote regions and worldwide helicopter operations. The equipment is already in use on the Cougar Helicopter division of VIH Aviation Group, assisting in offshore oil and gas service.

Blue Sky Network’s D1000C has built-in GPS position reporting, an Iridium transceiver, and telemetry data link. Paired with the ACH1000 control head, it provides VIH Aviation Group helicopters with voice and two-way messaging connectivity.

SkyRouter integrates with Google Earth for asset tracking, communications, and interactive updates on all fleets. The onboard unit transmits reports from the remote assets directly to the site for review by operations, dispatch, or even VIH customers, providing a real-time view of asset locations.
DFW International Airport debuts Traveler TechFest for the holiday travel season, featuring product demonstrations, displays, prizes, and giveaways from Samsung, Apple, Sony, Motorola, and others.

The fest follows DFW’s addition of two new power and Internet installations from Clear Channel, complementing existing options — eight Samsung Mobile Travel Centers, one free Samsung Power Station, and six Internet-power recharge PowerPort stations, offered by Power Station.

Companies participating in the Traveler TechFest: T-Mobile USA, Brookstone, Clear Channel, Verizon Wireless, Samsung, Power Station LLC, Rosetta Stone, InMotion, Neat Receipts, Airport Wireless, Shop24, and ZoomSystems (now selling the iPod Touch from Apple in Zoom automated vending machines).
Gemalto won the Best Software award for its SConnect platform at this year’s CARTES tradeshow. The Sesames awards are part of the annual smart card industry event honoring contributions in developing next-generation products and solutions for the digital age.

SConnect is a platform and browser agnostic technology enabling web applications and services to connect to any smart card.

Gemalto provides end-to-end digital security solutions, from the development of software applications through design and production of secure personal devices such as smart cards, SIMs, e-passports, and tokens to the deployment of managed services for its customers.
ARINC Incorporated reports that aviation application developer of Columbus, OH is assuming complete product support and marketing responsibility for ARINC’s eFlyBookTM in the general aviation marketplace.

Introduced in 2006, eFlyBook is the first electronic flight bag to utilize an “electronic paper” display for navigation charts and documents. The tablet-size device uses a glare-free screen that is legible under any light conditions.

eFlyBook is sold with a subscription for electronic navigation chart updates and flight information monthly. It will continue to be distributed by EDMO Distributors, Inc. of Spokane, WA through its national distribution network.
The Panama City-Bay County International Airport Authority approves a partnership with the Transportation Security Administration and Naval Surface Warfare Center-Panama City to install and test a state-of-the-art perimeter security system.

The airport and agencies will proceed with the experimental Critical Area Protection System (Back-bone) at the existing airport.

The security system will use wireless cameras, sensors, and motion-detection devices to monitor the airport perimeter fence line. Information gathered will be sent to a central operations center, giving security officials access to all data.

The agreement does not guarantee that the program will be relocated to the new 4,000-acre airport under construction in West Bay, but it is federal officials’ stated intent to transfer the security system to the new airport when it opens in 2010.
Skyplan announces partnering with Phoenix Fuel to form Phoenix Skyplan. Phoenix Skyplan will feature an expanded suite of services, including flight planning capabilities and licensed dispatchers.
Reveal Imaging Technologies, Inc., a developer of advanced security inspection systems, wins a research contract from the Technical Support Working Group (TSWG) with funding from the Department of Homeland Security to identify the optimal design for CT-based explosives detection systems (EDS) and to develop a hardware and software platform as a result of these findings.

EDS is the TSA-certified technology currently used to screen checked baggage in the US and abroad.

The investigation includes analysis of the tradeoffs between CT image quality, false alarm rates, and throughput. Reveal will receive up to $2.5 million for the 24-month effort.

The evaluation will include X-ray scanning techniques, using image resolution that is not commercially available in any certified EDS.

The first phase of the program will quantify the optimal CT configuration to minimize false alarms which require review by airport screeners.

In the second phase, the findings will be used to create a test platform for state-of-the-art CT technology.
Airport Surface Detection Equipment, Model X system (ASDE-X) by Sensis Corporation is now operational at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, having replaced the Airport Movement Area Safety System (AMASS). The FAA is in the process of deploying ASDE-X to a total of 35 of the nation’s busiest airports; ASDE-X is currently operational at eleven airports.
Sky-Nets launches free wi-fi service to FBOs at no cost, currently being used at Avcraft in Columbus, NE, Strand Air Service in New Richmond, WI, and Ward Aviation Services in Osceola, WI. The company provides free wi-fi to all FBO visitors, including equipment and services for the FBO. The program is funded through sponsorships.

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Tech Bytes are compiled by assistant editor Anna Stanley; reach her at [email protected].