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Monday, May 4, 2015

Airbus Taps Rockwell Collins for EFB Interface and Communication Unit

Juliet Van Wagenen

An Airbus A320, the model for which Rockwell will install the EFB interface and communication unit
An Airbus A320, the model for which Rockwell will install the EFB interface and communication unit. Photo: Airbus

[Avionics Today 05-04-2015] Rockwell Collins has been selected by Airbus to provide the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) interface and Communication Unit (EICU) for the Airbus A320 and A330 aircraft families. The EICU, which is part of Rockwell Collins’ secure server router product portfolio, leverages technology from the onboard information management system that the company already supplies for other Airbus aircraft types. It securely connects to portable and factory-installed EFBs in the cockpit via wireless or wired connections.

The system’s embedded router enables the EFB to interconnect with select onboard and external networks, including the avionics, maintenance information, airline operating centers, connecting gates, and the cabin. This technology finds the most cost-effective communication channel available, whether it is cellular, Wi-Fi, satellite communications, or the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) for connecting the EFB to external networks. The unit also features a virtual digital Aircraft Condition Monitoring System (ACMS) Recorder (VDAR) that leverages the ground cellular/Wi-Fi connectivity to automatically download Quick Access Recorder (QAR) files to airline ground servers.

The optional system for airlines will be available and certified next year.

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