iPad electronic flight bags (EFB) will soon be able to incorporate real-time flight data into apps with a new software development kit (SDK) being created by the flyTab team, led by ASIG and supported by Shadin Avionics and AppOrchard.
With real-time information gathered from a variety of aircraft systems and sensors provided to the EFB via a wired interface, the SDK will empower new iOS apps. Data formats that can be streamed to the apps include ARINC 410, ARINC 429, ARINC 618, ARINC 623, ARINC 717, RS 232, RS 422, RS485 and other forms of digital and discrete data.
Potential uses for this data include aeronautical charting, own ship position, chart centering and FMS/GPS information, including position, altitude, groundspeed, track, origin, flight plan, destination and time. It can also be used for real time weather, ACARS messaging and any other customer required programs developed or converted for use in the flyTab runtime environment (TOLD, W&B, PERF, etc).
Until recently, iPads had to be stowed by pilots during critical flight phases. These implementations could not be tethered to the aircraft for power and data. Whether the end-user selects the SDK's mounting system, which supports pilots activities from flight planning through dispatch, in-flight and debriefing with a walk-on/walk-off capability, or the pedTray mounting solution, which provides fixed equipage in a high-security, static mount, he or she can utilize an FAA-approved Class 2 EFB that allows use of the EFB with airframe power and data connectivity through all phases of flight, including takeoff and landing.
The suite enables Class 2 iPad EFB by tethering iPads to aircraft electrical and data systems. Continuous power is provided through the SDK’s power conditioning module (PCM), while flight data is streamed through its aircraft interface module (AIM), developed in partnership with Shadin. With the solution, data can be streamed into iPad apps.
The SDK also provides a full suite of tools that developers can use to build iPad EFB apps by allowing the apps to pull real-time flight data from multiple airframe systems and sensors. Also, the iFlight Simulator, planned as an add-on, will provide sample data streams and a hardware-proving interface to enable developers to perform live tests of applications on the iPad as they are produced.