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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rockwell Collins Touts ‘Ascend’ Applications

Rockwell Collins introduced a suite of application services at NBAA, under the brand name Ascend Flight Information Solutions, making available flight-planning, cabin and maintenance services from one source.

Ascend “is a globally available, integrated suite of application services that optimize your flight support, your maintenance operations and your cabin solutions,” said Steve Timm, Rockwell Collins vice president and general manager, Information Management. “Our approach, frankly, is to integrate the numerous ground systems together, providing a one-stop shop for your aircraft operations, yielding operational efficiency.

A component of the services offering, the Aircraft Information Manager, provides an online flight-management support system that schedulers, dispatchers and pilots can securely monitor. An Online Flight Planning tool consolidates planning data such as airport information, alerts and GPS RAIM predictions. Among other flight management services, Ascend also makes available real-time data communications and a Flight Watch service with a meteorologist assigned to track each flight.

Operators of Rockwell Collins Pro Line 4 or Pro Line 21-equipped aircraft will be able to access the Aircraft Information Manager service by adding the IMS-3500 Information Management Server (IMS). Rockwell Collins’ new Pro Line Fusion avionics system, which enters service in 2011 on the Bombardier Global Express XRS, will be Ascend capable.

“Pro Line Fusion was designed with Ascend in mind,” said Greg Irmen, vice president and general manager, Business and Regional Systems. “Pro Line Fusion is our flagship for the services that are offered with Ascend.”

Irmen offered an example of the Aircraft Information Manager feature in practice.

“With a Pro Line Fusion flight deck and a service subscription to our aircraft information manager services, uploading databases for your aircraft is a whole new experience,” he said.

“No more do you have to receive your FMS database or your electronic charts via the mail, or go online and download them. No longer will you need to take your laptop out to your laptop, or a memory stick out to your aircraft to download the information on the aircraft. Instead, the aircraft will be updated automatically no matter where the aircraft resides. With Ascend, we are going to move the industry to a new level of information enablement.”

Cabin services available through Ascend include Rockwell Collins’ Airshow Network, personalized moving maps, Tailwind satellite TV and management of cabin content subscriptions. Maintenance services include wireless updates of FMS and other flight databases, plus wireless downloads of fault histories and LRU diagnostics.

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