Via our aviation partner TracPlus USA Inc, we’re pleased to announce that the RockAIR flight tracker has been approved by the United States Fire Service (USFS) for use on airborne fire-fighting operations, effective immediately.
The RockAIR brings satellite and cellular tracking together in a portable carry-on, carry-off form factor at a much lower cost than traditional dual-mode solutions.
Tracplus’ chief innovation officer, Chris Hinch, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to bring the revolutionary capabilities and affordability of the RockAIR to the US firefighting market. With nearly ten years of global customer experience and insights in airborne firefighting built into the RockAIR, USFS’s approval of the RockAIR is a hugely satisfying validation of our technology and recognition of our commitment to our customers operating in this critical market.”
While tracking systems for light aircraft already exist, Ground Control has introduced a wealth of new features designed to bring extra functionality and safety through the RockAIR system. For starters, RockAIR is the only dashboard-mounted tracking system to offer dual-mode functionality over satcom and cellular networks. The solution provides lower-cost GSM-based tracking when in cellular range, and reliable failover to an Iridium satellite when outside of built-up areas.
Whether the aircraft is working over a city or is in the middle of the Sahara, GPS coordinates will be automatically transmitted using whichever network is available and most cost-effective. This also provides an extra layer of safety and security not available in existing systems.
Enhancing safety even further, RockAIR is the only carry-on tracking system for light aircraft to feature an integrated back-up battery. The battery will automatically take over should the 9-30V DC or Micro USB power be interrupted. While this feature is vital for emergencies, it can also provide a level of security against theft or unauthorised use of an aircraft.
RockAIR is CE, IC, FCC, and DO160 certified, and at 119 x 100 x 25mm/210g, it’s easy to carry on board and attach to the included dashboard quick-release clip. It features its own built-in antenna but can also work with an external antenna, allowing complete flexibility of installation location.
In action, RockAIR can automatically transmit a GPS position as often as every 15 seconds or as infrequently as once every 24 hours, all easily configured by the user. The unit also allows tracking profiles to be setup to enable faster rates if the integrated alert button has been pressed, if external power is applied, or if cellular data is being used rather than satellite. RockAIR also features a ‘Watch Me’ feature, accessible via the keypad, which informs the provider that more active monitoring is required for a period of time.