Posted by John McHale
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., 19 Nov. 2010. Teledyne Controls received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Supplemental Type Certification (STC) for their enhanced Airborne Data Loader (eADL) and fourth generation wireless communication system AirLAN on Continental Airlines' Boeing 737-NG Aircraft. With Teledyne's AirLAN and eADL, Continental Airlines can electronically transfer software parts directly from the ground to the enhanced Airborne Data Loader. This end-to-end solution eliminates the need to manually carry and load hundreds of floppy disks onto aircraft, saving time, manpower and reducing overall costs, Teledyne officials say. In addition to the AirLAN and eADL installation, Continental Airlines also selected Teledyne's LoadStar Server Enterprise (LSE) for a Wireless Loadable Software Parts (LSPs) Distribution System (WLDS). LSE is a web-based software tool designed to perform software configuration control and management through a web browser. Once the LSPs are prepared, they are wirelessly distributed via 802.11 or cellular through the AirLAN system to the eADL. The software parts are stored in the eADL's mass memory where maintenance personnel can access them, activate loading to target systems and verify successful loading. This end-to-end WLDS system has been installed on Continental's Boeing 737 with very few modifications to their aircraft. "The AirLAN, combined with the eADL, is a forward step toward our goal of distributing software directly to the aircraft," says Phil Hardy, avionics engineer with Continental Airlines. "The time it takes to receive, package, and position monthly database updates has literally gone from days to hours. Aircraft connected wirelessly to our network can receive the database update and have it in eADL storage within an hour.""Until now, airlines did not have the capability to wirelessly distribute and electronically store onboard application software and databases on Boeing 737s," says Willie Cecil, director of business development at Teledyne Controls. "The wireless component of the system enables data transfer to and from the aircraft while parked at any airport around the world, which is critical for international operators."The equivalent of dozens of floppy disks of data can easily be transferred from a single USB memory stick, or transmitted from LSE's web interface through Teledyne's AirLAN or Wireless GroundLink System (WGLS) into the eADL, reducing data loading time. Teledyne's AirLAN and Wireless GroundLink systems connect the aircraft to an airline's back office to support functions such as electronic distribution of software parts. When used with LSE, airlines can transition from manual LSP distribution, based on floppy disks, CDs and paper-based tracking methods, to a paperless and automatic process.