Isotropic Systems Names John-Paul Szczepanik Senior Vice President of Engineering

Isotropic Systems, developer of broadband terminal technologies, has appointed antenna development veteran and former Phasor CTO John-Paul (JP) Szczepanik as senior vice president of Engineering to spearhead the engineering development of the company’s multi-beam terminal leading to commercial launch in government, aero, maritime and telco markets.

Szczepanik will play an integral role in managing all aspects of the development and production of Isotropic Systems’ game-changing terminals, including patented circuitry at the core of the optical beamforming lens modules that enable the antenna to link with multiple satellites in multiple orbits.

Based in the UK, Szczepanik will contribute hands-on engineering experience with extremely complex system architecture and RF platform development, further strengthening Isotropic Systems’ fast-growing UK presence and collaborative relationships with a growing number of innovative companies deeply involved in the UK space market.

“John-Paul Szczepanik is a tremendous addition to our Isotropic Systems leadership team, with a strong and proven mix of hands-on experience and strategic vision that will absolutely contribute significantly to a smooth and mission-critical transition from terminal development to commercial production over the next 18 months,” said John Finney, Isotropic Systems CEO. “Like our fast-growing teams in the UK and the U.S., JP is already keenly focused on an exciting terminal roadmap that leads to multi-beam, multi-frequency antennas allowing users simultaneous access to the vast array of next generation satellites in view. That’s the ultimate goal for government, defense, aero and enterprise markets.”

Isotropic Systems is already in advanced tests and trials of its multi-beam terminals with the U.S. Defense Department’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and other government agencies, along with development framework agreements with leading operators such as SES and Inmarsat. The company expects to commercially launch its first terminal offerings late next year as new MEO and LEO constellations begin to initiate services in early 2022.

“I’m thrilled to join the leadership team of Isotropic Systems and contribute to the development and delivery of its breakthrough terminals.  Isotropic’s products and roadmap have always impressed me – it really is an innovative and highly valuable technology that’s uniquely placed to unleash the full potential of LEO, MEO and GEO connectivity over a single antenna,” said John-Paul Szczepanik, senior vice president of Engineering for Isotropic Systems. “The next two years will be full of technical milestones as we move quickly toward commercialization of a terminal technology that is poised to redefine connectivity around the world.”

Prior to joining Isotropic Systems, Szczepanik was with Phasor for seven years as their chief technology officer leading the development of its Satcomm phased array.  Before that he founded and served as CTO of On-Sun Systems, a new innovative Solar Panel company commercializing a Concentrated PV solar tracking technology. Earlier roles include time at The Technology Partnership, an engineering consultancy in Cambridge, where he led a multi-disciplinary team of engineers in the development of a novel medical device technology for a major U.S. medical company. He began his career at QinetiQ, a leading defense technology and materials development firm in the UK, who is also a partner with Isotropic Systems contributing to the unique optical lens modules at the heart of its multi-beam terminals.


AEA to “reCONNECT” in September in Naples, Florida

The Aircraft Electronics Association will “reCONNECT” this fall by hosting their East (Naples, Florida) and Central Connect Conferences (Kansas City, Missouri) — live on location. They group says they are closely monitoring the state and local guidelines for their West Connect Conference (Irvine, California), and a decision will be announced soon for that event. 

They group says they are encouraged that some live meetings that have started taking place. For the East Connect, AEA says the Naples Grande Hotel where the event will be held has gone to great lengths to ensure events can be conducted as safely and effectively as possible. In the last month, the AEA says it has successfully conducted a series of training events at their headquarters facility, and the essential operations of member shops and manufacturers have continued safely since the early stages of the pandemic.

“We understand the news can change daily and there are multiple sources to help make informed decisions. As we navigate this course, we will closely monitor the state and local guidelines for each meeting location and communicate any changes,” the association president, Mike Adamson, says. “More importantly, we want to connect our members and do so in a way that mitigates the risk to acceptable levels. For those who consider the risk too high for in-person participation but still want to continue their professional development, we are exploring the possibility of video recording the training sessions to make them available for a fee after the Connect Conferences take place.”

For more information and to register for the East Connect in Naples, Sept. 23-24, visit AEA.net/Connect/East.


Garmin Autoland Achieves EASA and FAA Certification on Daher TBM 940

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. announced European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification of Autoland in the Daher TBM 940. The Garmin Autoland system is available as part of the G3000 integrated flight deck and is capable of taking control and landing the aircraft without human intervention in the event the pilot is unable to fly.

“Garmin Autoland continues to gain the recognition and praise of many throughout the world; we are excited to announce yet another milestone – EASA certification of this progressive, forward-thinking technology,” said Phil Straub, executive vice president and managing director of aviation. “As we celebrate this significant achievement in aviation history, I would like to congratulate everyone at Daher, EASA, Garmin and the FAA who have come together and contributed to the development and certification of Autoland, a technology that will have lasting impacts on the safety of the aviation industry.”

In the event of an emergency, the pilot or passengers on board the aircraft can activate Autoland to land the aircraft with a simple press of a dedicated button. Autoland can also activate automatically if the system determines it’s necessary. Once activated, the system calculates a flight plan to the most suitable airport, while avoiding terrain and adverse weather, initiates an approach to the runway and automatically lands the aircraft – without pilot or passenger intervention.

Autoland takes into account a breadth of information and criteria during an activation, including a wide range of performance, operational and environmental factors. The availability of a GPS approach with lateral and vertical guidance to the runway is also required when the system is considering various airports and runways. Even further, the system will automatically communicate with air traffic control (ATC), advising controllers and pilots operating near the aircraft of its location and its intentions.

Throughout an Autoland activation, the G3000 integrated flight deck provides passenger-centric visual and verbal communications in plain language so passengers in the aircraft know what to expect. The flight displays show the aircraft’s location on a map alongside information such as the destination airport, estimated time of arrival, distance to the destination airport and fuel remaining. Airspeed, altitude and aircraft heading are also labeled in an easy-to-understand format. Passengers also have the option to communicate with ATC by following simple instructions on the display using the touchscreen interface on the flight deck.

The Garmin Autothrottle system is used to automatically manage aircraft speed, engine performance and engine power so the aircraft can climb, descend or maintain altitude as needed during an Autoland activation. On approach to land, the system initiates a controlled descent to the airport. If the aircraft needs additional time to descend or slow down during the approach, the Autoland system initiates a standard holding procedure. When aligned with the runway, the landing gear and flaps are automatically extended and the aircraft continues its descent. On the runway, automatic braking is applied while tracking the runway centerline to bring the aircraft to a full stop. Engine shutdown is also automated so occupants can safely exit the aircraft.

At any time, a pilot can easily deactivate an Autoland activation. With a single press of the “AP” autopilot key on the autopilot controller or the autopilot disconnect button on the controls, an Autoland activation can be canceled. The flight display shows a message that confirms Autoland has been deactivated and in the event of an accidental deactivation, the system shows passengers how to reactivate Autoland if needed.

Garmin Autonomí, a family of autonomous safety solutions, encompasses Autoland, Emergency Descent Mode (EDM) and Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP). These technologies add to the safety enhancing tools and capabilities of a Garmin-equipped flight deck. For example, in the event an aircraft loses pressurization, EDM is capable of automatically descending the aircraft to a preset altitude without pilot intervention to help avert hypoxic situations.

ESP further enhances the Autonomí suite by working to assist the pilot in avoiding unintentional flight attitudes beyond that for normal flight. ESP works in the background while the pilot is hand flying the aircraft to help pilots avoid inadvertent flight attitudes or bank angles. Should the pilot become inattentive while hand flying the aircraft and exceed pre-determined pitch, roll or airspeed limitations, Garmin ESP activates and the pilot will feel pressure on the flight controls that guide him/her back to a recommended flight limit.

In addition to certification on the Daher TBM 940, the award-winning Garmin Autoland system has also received FAA certification on the Piper M600 and will soon be available on the Cirrus Vision Jet, with additional aircraft approvals expected to follow. For additional information regarding the Garmin Autonomí family of autonomously activated flight technologies, visit www.garmin.com/Autonomi.


Garmin was Recent Victim of Cyber Attack

Garmin Ltd. announced it was the victim of a cyber attack that encrypted some of their systems on July 23, 2020. As a result, many of their online services were interrupted including website functions, customer support, customer facing applications, and company communications. “We immediately began to assess the nature of the attack and started remediation,” the company said in a statement. “We have no indication that any customer data, including payment information from Garmin Pay, was accessed, lost or stolen.” Additionally the company said the functionality of Garmin products was not affected, other than the ability to access online services.

Affected systems were restored to normal operation over several days. “We do not expect any material impact to our operations or financial results because of this outage. As our affected systems are restored, we expect some delays as the backlog of information is being processed,” the company statement said. “We are grateful for our customers’ patience and understanding during this incident and look forward to continuing to provide the exceptional customer service and support that has been our hallmark and tradition.”


Avant Aerospace Is Now An Authorized Reseller Of AdonisOne IFE Portable Unit

Avant Aerospace is now offering a portable IFE (In-Flight Entertainment) System from AdonisOne for customers who are looking for a lower cost way to upgrade their entertainment systems, without excessive aircraft downtime.

The AdonisOne system does not require internet, as it is a self-contained, portable unit that only requires Wi-Fi. The unit is unique in the fact that there is no installation cost, no aircraft downtime, no internet charges and no associated maintenance fees, while also providing a GPS-based moving map system with no extra fees or data consumption. 

The cost of upgrading an aircraft’s cabin can be significant, specifically for how quickly technology changes, and this small, portable unit can provide a top quality in-flight entertainment option instantly at a fraction of the installed price,” stated John Hardy, Avant Aerospace.


Innov’ATM Garners Additional Predictive Times Using FlightAware Foresight

FlightAware and Innov’ATM recently announced the availability of FlightAware’s flight position, flight status, and FlightAware Foresight capabilities within Innov’ATM’s airport collaborative decision making (A-CDM) tool, AirportKeeper. The partnership will enable Innov’ATM’s airport customers to have access to global flight tracking data within their solution to optimize accuracy and predictability of airport operations.

“The partnership between FlightAware and Innov’ATM is a big win for anyone in the aviation industry who is interested in saving time and money,” said FlightAware’s CEO Daniel Baker. “The accuracy of Foresight predictive times, paired with Innov’ATM’s domain expertise, will help airports more efficiently allocate constrained resources like gates and ground handling crews.”

AirportKeeper, powered by FlightAware, will enable airport operations managers to optimize departures, arrivals, ground flows and resources management.

”Information and decision sharing with the right stakeholder at the right time is one of the key concepts in the A-CDM environment” said Innov’ATM President Stephane Bascobert. “FlightAware data and Innov’ATM machine learning algorithms can help airport operate more efficiently their constrained resources by anticipating where the aircraft will be avoiding potential future disruptions”. Leveraging FlightAware Foresight, Innov’ATM will also garner marked improvements in their own products, resulting in measurable benefits to their customers. By feeding their machine learning models with Foresight data, Innov’ATM is able to reduce taxi time prediction error by 55%, which will translate into estimated savings of up to € 133,466 per day at the busiest airports. The results were published as a white paper by Innov’ATM, “Reducing operational cost with Innov’ATM / AI – Episode 1: Ground Holding Time.”


Panasonic Avionics Appoints Joe Bentley as CTO

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) has announced the appointment of Joe Bentley as Chief Technology Officer.

Bentley, who joins Panasonic today, will be responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s software and systems engineering teams, cloud, hardware, and IT/security. He will serve as a key member of Panasonic’s executive team, and be directly responsible for an organization of over 800 employees spread across Panasonic’s Lake Forest, California headquarters, as well as the Bay Area office and other global locations.

Bentley was previously senior vice president, Engineering at Hulu where he led its 700-person engineering, program, and research organizations across three international offices. During his tenure, Hulu doubled subscribers to over 30 million while becoming the largest digital multichannel video programming distributor (DMVPD) in the US.

Prior to joining Hulu in 2018, Bentley was vice president, Software Engineering at GoPro, leading the company’s overall software research and development and launching its award-winning mobile apps to over 150 million devices worldwide and bringing its spherical Fusion camera to market.

From 2012-2015, he was director, Digital Products at Amazon, where he launched the market-leading Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick and led the development of the first-of-its-kind feature, the award-winning Voice Search through Alexa. Fire TV Stick was the fastest-selling product in Amazon’s history.

 “I am delighted to welcome Joe Bentley to Panasonic Avionics,” said Ken Sain, CEO of Panasonic Avionics Corporation. “His proven track record in successfully delivering digital innovation makes him a natural fit as we continue to build remarkable IFEC solutions that enhance the airline passenger experience.”

“Bringing together a world-class team with a rich legacy of engineering prowess is humbling. I am excited to deliver scalable, inflight entertainment platforms that will enable airlines to increase efficiency and promote passenger loyalty,” said Bentley.


Rohde & Schwarz Upgrades RAAF Air-Ground-Air Voice Link

Rohde & Schwarz (Australia) signed a contract with BAE Systems to provide software defined radios, back up communications systems and monitoring for Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) air traffic control (ATC). This contract forms part of Project AIR 5431 Phase 3, which will see the current fixed military air traffic management and control systems at 12 locations replaced with a new harmonized system.

Project AIR 5431 Phase 3 feeds into the national OneSky Project, which aims to deliver safe and more efficient air traffic services; manage future air traffic growth; and support national security based on a seamless civil-military cooperation in ATC.

“The support being provided by Rohde & Schwarz includes CERTIUM radios and ancillaries, CERTIUM VCS-4G as the backup voice communications system, and CERTIUM management systems for all of the 12 ATC facilities,” said Gareth Evans, managing director of Rohde & Schwarz (Australia). “Rohde & Schwarz will deliver all required elements over the next 12 months. We have the capability in Australia to sustain CERTIUM systems from our integration laboratory, maintenance, and calibration facilities in Sydney.”


Lynx Announces LynxOS-178 Compliance with FACE 3.0 Specs

Lynx Software Technologies has announced updated APIs for the LynxOS-178 operating system that meet FACE (Future Airborne Capability Environment) 3.0 specifications, with full conformance certification to the FACE 3.0 technical standard expected by late summer 2020.

The FACE standard, first supported by Lynx in 2014, facilitates common approaches for using open standards with avionics systems. FACE-certified products help lower implementation costs, accelerate time-to-field for new capabilities, promote design reuse, and ease portability of applications. Lynx is a long-term member of the FACE consortium and has ensured LynxOS-178 compliance with all iterations of the technical specification on an ongoing basis. LynxOS-178 support for Intel, Arm and PowerPC architectures enables FACE applications to be used across multiple platforms.

“LynxOS-178 combines high performance and reliability with industry standards that promote openness and flexibility,” said Pavan Singh, vice president of Product Management at Lynx. “By supporting the latest updates to the FACE technical standard, LynxOS-178 enables avionics developers to deliver systems quickly and cost-effectively that provide optimum protection and security for operators.”

As a native POSIX, hard real-time partitioning operating system, LynxOS-178 uniquely supports POSIX APIs that ensure more efficient interactions between software components while preserving reliability and ensuring safe software execution. The latest version of LynxOS-178 has been validated with the LYNX MOSA.ic software framework based on the LynxSecure separation kernel hypervisor. Systems can run multiple LynxOS-178 guests independently to benefit from greater flexibility and strong isolation of applications for increased reliability, as well as accelerating system validation, debug and integration.

Rohde & Schwarz and Voipfuture Launch AVQA to Address New ATM Requirements

Rohde & Schwarz and Voipfuture Launch AVQA to Address New ATM Requirements

Rohde & Schwarz and Voipfuture released R&S AVQA, a monitoring solution for voice communications in air traffic management (ATM). The transition to IP created new market needs and opportunities, which gave rise to the collaboration between the two companies.

R&S AVQA stands for ATC Voice Quality Assurance and provides air traffic service providers (ANSP) with unique passive monitoring capabilities for ATM communications that covers signaling as well as media and radio transmission performance. Rohde & Schwarz teamed up with Voipfuture to create a unique solution for this important market. The development of R&S AVQA strongly benefited from the experience Voipfuture gained in over 10 years of Voice over IP (VoIP) monitoring in the telecommunications industry.

The solution is already deployed in a few ANSP networks assuring service quality. Typical use cases are monitoring quality and performance KPIs agreed on with WAN providers/carriers or the regular reporting of network quality towards the respective Civil Aviation Authority. An additional benefit is a reduced troubleshooting time by quickly identifying and localizing root causes of IP network problems such as misconfigured routers/switches or faulty fibers.

“We identified these market requirements early and entered into a partnership with Voipfuture,” Constantin von Reden, vice president Market Segment ATC at Rohde & Schwarz, states. “Voipfuture stood out with their impressive technology and their experience. The Voipfuture team is very customer-oriented, which perfectly aligns with our approach to the market. We are very happy to work with them on the outstanding R&S AVQA product.”

“We are proud to provide our outstanding technology to this partnership,” says Eyal Ullert, chief sales officer, Voipfuture. “Thanks to Rohde & Schwarz’ deep understanding of the needs of ANSPs, we managed to adopt our existing technology to the specific requirement in the ATM market.”

R&S AVQA is part of CERTIUM Analysis which includes leading test and measurement solutions for VoIP networks, radios, navigation and satellite. Rohde & Schwarz recently introduced CERTIUM, as a one-stop solution for the full lifecycle of an ATC system.


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