Wings Magazine

Star Navigation performs testing in extreme aircraft attitude ground-based simulations

Nov. 30, 2010, Toronto - Star Navigation has completed the initial phase of testing satellite signal strength, connectivity and flight data transmission in extreme aircraft attitude ground-based simulations, with encouraging results.

November 30, 2010  By Carey Fredericks

Star's STAR-ISMS real-time monitoring system has already logged thousands of commercial aircraft flight hours. As part of its commitment to demonstrate the viability of the system in extreme and/or emergency situations, Star launched a test programme to demonstrate the system connectivity and data transmission effectiveness at extreme aircraft attitudes under real world conditions.

To prepare for the initial assessments, Star Navigation designed and constructed an innovative re-configurable antennae ground test rig, providing a representative profile for various aircraft Sat Com antenna installations. This installation, in particular, allows a comprehensive assessment of system connectivity at the full range of aircraft attitudes, including high rates of rotation. Initial testing in Bristol, United Kingdom, executed a series of connectivity tests with the elements of the STAR-ISMS system, designed to assess the systems' ability to maintain connectivity and to transmit flight data at extreme aircraft attitudes, including at rapid roll rates.

The initial results of these tests demonstrated robust connectivity performance for a simple, low cost installation. Further testing is planned to conclusively quantify the initial encouraging results.

Dale F. Sparks, Star Chief Technology Officer stated: "We are committed to providing an effective and viable safety support system for the industry. These tests are designed to conclusively demonstrate the reliability and integrity of the system under extreme conditions that could not be achieved with an airliner installation, as a preliminary assessment of our system's communication performance and reliability outside of a normal aircraft flight condition. We are very pleased with the results."


Viraf S. Kapadia, Star's Chief Executive Officer stated: "We at Star are proud to have been asked to provide our expertise and experience in this most worthy undertaking. "

In accordance with the discretion protocol, a copy of the test reports was sent, in confidence, to Le Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses (BEA) in France as part of the Flight Data Recovery and Triggered Transmission of Flight Data Working Groups initiative. (BEA is the French Air Accident Investigation Bureau, currently in charge of the safety investigation into the accident of AF-447 in June of 2009.)


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