Rockwell Collins today introduced the ARINC Mult-Link Flight Tracking service to enable airlines to cost-effectively monitor the position of their aircraft in real-time, anywhere in the world.  The ARINC MultiLink system is different than most tracking systems in that utilizes multiple data sources, including -C, high-frequency data link (HFDL) performance data, ADS-B, US Aircraft Situational Display to Industry (ADSI) radar data, position information, and Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) data.  The system has also been designed to incorporate future third-party data sources in addition to the six initial sources currently utilized.

 

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Through the use of multiple data sources and a proprietary algorithm, the system can select the most cost-effective data fees and pinpoint an aircraft’s position with more accuracy and higher fidelity. In addition, the use of multiple sources enables positions to be updated more frequently, particularly in areas with radar coverage.

We recently criticized the IATA proposals for 15 minute updates as too infrequent, given today’s levels of technology and capability, as in 14 minutes an airliner can travel more than 100 nautical miles, a significant search area. With this new system, and algorithms that make it more cost-effective that single source tracking systems, has a breakthrough that will change the of tracking and enable more frequent reporting that is cost-effective.

Jeff Standerski, Senior VP of Information Management Services at Rockwell-Collins, indicated stated: “In today’s global aviation environment, no single source of data is sufficient to track aircraft globally. By merging multiple data sources, many of which airlines already receive, we can automatically select the right combination of data fees to allow airlines to pinpoint an aircraft’s location anywhere in the world, in the most economical way.”

In the wake of the Malaysian 370 tragedy, calls for action by the industry were loud and clear. Rockwell Collins has responded quickly, with a system that will be available this spring, offered as an add on to its AIRINC OpCenter/WebASD and Hermes/Skyview product lines, currently used by more than 125 airlines around the world.

AF447 and MH370 demonstrated the need for better tracking of flights. While we hope that the system will never need to be used for a similar incident, it is comforting to know that the capability to track aircraft and more quickly respond to an emergency will soon be in place.

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