Photo courtesy of Avionica.
GE Aviation and Avionica plan to take aircraft data usage and related product deliveries to new heights under a new joint venture. The two companies have not disclosed terms of the deal, but the agreement extends an ongoing partnership first established in 2016.
The alliance will allow the companies to accelerate edge processing and wireless connectivity capabilities to allow operators to better acquire and analyze critical aircraft data. Avionica brings the alliance its mixture of unique lightweight flight data management technologies, while GE Aviation supplies analytics and digital products.
Both companies expect new levels of efficiency for air transport and general aviation operators.
Avionica has been progressively evolving its satellite communications hardware while establishing new partnerships across the industry in recent years. Their first partnership with GE was established at NBAA 2016, when the engine manufacturer announced it would be using Avionica’s avSYNC global data transfer service for health management of CF34-3 engines. In a previous interview with GE, the company said it specifically chose Avionica because of the adaptability of its QAR. As data communications methods and protocols evolve, its small QAR box can be upgraded with a simple modification; Avionica emphasizes future upgrades when building its boxes.
That same year, Avionica partnered with mobile data provider GigSky to leverage the latter’s worldwide 3G/LTE network in conjunction with Avionca’s miniQAR with 4G module for uploading safety data after each flight.
In January of last year, Avionica received a new supplemental type certificate (STC) for its satLINK MAX Iridium satcom system for the Boeing 737 MAX. Under the new STC, the system is able to provide the flight deck with two voice channels for air traffic services use. One channel can provide aircraft communications addressing and reporting system (ACARS) FANS-1/A(+) capability while the other is used for cabin communications or dedicated datalinks.
Under the joint venture, Avionica’s data collection and transmission technology will be installed on GE’s engines to obtain prognostic health management data.
“We are determined to take aerospace data usage, related product delivery and customer support to the next level,” said John Mansfield, chief digital officer for GE Aviation. “Applying physics and data science expertise together, on continuous data, helps create the analytics needed to provide increased detection lead time, reduce maintenance burden and improve asset availability.”
Moving forward, Avionica’s miniaturized aircraft data collection and wireless data transmission equipment will be part of GE’s digital offerings for existing and future customers.