Not many professions have a greater need for clear communications than air traffic control. Flight paths are in close proximity, and takeoffs, taxis and landings need to be coordinated on multiple runways. Add in defense and national security requirements, and finding the right system becomes even more challenging.
A global leader in general aviation recently found its solution to this combination of needs in Clear-Com’s® Eclipse® HX Delta system. The corporation recently installed the system at an airfield they use for testing purposes, replacing the existing legacy radio system.
“We needed to integrate multiple frequencies and tie all the radios into one control surface,” said the Sr. Experimental Telemetry Engineer for the aviation company. “Now, we’re able to provide easy access to each radio for all our operators, all at the same time.”
The Eclipse system also delivers more flexible recording capabilities through its IFB interrupt feature. The four-wire ports of the Delta system each go to a separate recording path. (Port one goes to recording one, port two goes to two, etc.) Then each radio goes to a combined port. Once everything is interfaced to the Eclipse system, the configuration options are endless and can easily conform to air traffic control’s workflow.
For example, when one controller is talking to an aircraft, that conversation is always recorded. However, that controller can also make audible amendments after the transmission is completed without those notes going out publicly over the entire radio network. Using this record path, the IFB feature hears the person talking to it through the normal path. Then, with a single key push, that person can talk directly to the recorder, not the radio. The system also includes a record channel that records all audio allowing users to add narration or commentary as needed.
The new Clear-Com technology has enhanced day-to-day flight operations, testing and logging, as communications between the air and ground engineers are more efficiently managed and recorded.
The system is also delivering unexpected yet welcome educational and training benefits. An air traffic control operator on headphones can talk to a flight and also create a path for an instructor to listen in and have sidebar conversations with that operator while communications are ongoing with an aircraft.
“We design our technologies as easy-to-use solutions to address complex communications challenges,” said Mitchell Boyce, Clear-Com Applications Engineer who worked closely on this solution. “The Eclipse system was the perfect fit for this situation (or client/customer), delivering simple and seamless daily use and offering the necessary scalability as their needs expand.”