New FANS-1/A Data Link Unit Adds Voice Capabilities; Offers Flexibility in the Flight Deck

TrueNorth's DLU-vox to provide ACARS/CPDLC and Voice capabilities in a small, lightweight, standalone form factor

May 21, 2017 Photo(s): By TrueNorth

TrueNorth introduces new FANS-1/A Data Link Unit Adds Voice Capabilities; Offers Flexibility in the Flight Deck

TrueNorth, an SD Company, will introduce a new FANS-1/A over Iridium data link unit (DLU) with voice at EBACE 2017 - Booth S80. DLU-vox, will provide data link capabilities (ACARS, ADS-C, and CPDLC) plus flight deck safety voice capabilities in a small, lightweight, standalone form factor. The new DLU-vox has the same dimensions and footprint as TrueNorth's existing FAA TSO-C139a Data Link Unit (DLU), and will give operators cost effective options for a data only (DLU) or a data and voice solution (DLU-vox).

Committed to integrating the most effective technologies into its products, TrueNorth continues innovating to give flight crews critical communications capabilities. "Our focus is to consistently improve the user experience, be it in the cabin or the flight deck," said Mark van Berkel, general manager, TrueNorth. "Our new DLU-vox will allow operators to better manage their workload. Text-based contact with air traffic control reduces communication errors, and a channel of enhanced quality voice provides added flexibility. Both will help foster smooth flight operations."

Based on TrueNorth's flagship data link unit—aviation's most popular Iridium-based FANS-1/A solution, with more in service and more STCs than any other system—the DLU-vox is a lightweight, standalone device for the flight deck. Following in the footsteps of the first and only, FAA, CAN and EASA TSO certified system for FANS over Iridium, the product is designed to fully comply with current and foreseeable TSO specifications. Additionally, DLU-vox will be compatible with a variety of MCDUs (multipurpose control and display units) and FMS' (flight management systems). Both products simplify pilot to controller communications, to increase efficiency in congested airspace.

"The DLU-vox is an important addition to our product portfolio," says Chris Moore, chief commercial officer at Satcom Direct. "FANS-1/A capabilities offer clear operational and business benefits. Pairing DLU-vox with SD services, like our FlightDeck Freedom application, gives operators the ability to work more effectively, fly more efficient routes and reduce fuel costs; significant considerations that are important to both pilots and aircraft owners.

A distinguishing feature of the new system is enhanced voice quality, which contributes to safer flight operations by providing clearer voice than traditional HF radio. Supporting simultaneous data and voice transmissions through a dual element Iridium antenna, the DLU-vox enables operational efficiencies, allowing pilots to talk and use the text-based interface at the same time.

Notes van Berkel, "Part of our mission is to provide flight crews with the most effective means of communicating with ATC, ground operations and other aircraft without disrupting cabin communications. Through the direct connection into the flight deck voice system, DLU-vox gives pilots the ability to communicate in a manner that best dovetails with their own working routines.