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Lufthansa Systems develops cost-efficient solution for displaying aircraft position on airport maps

Posted 27 February 2019 · Add Comment

Displaying one’s own aircraft position on airport maps helps pilots navigate between the gate and the runway. This function in the Lido/AMM Airport Moving Map from Lufthansa Systems can now be combined with the external Bluetooth GPS receiver from Bad Elf.

 

This GPS is easy to install on the flight deck and considerably cheaper than using GPS information from conventional avionics systems. The small Bad Elf GPS devices accurately show the own-ship position on the airport map. This helps pilots, especially when navigating unfamiliar airports, and improves their situational awareness.

The new function was successfully tested with the customer KLM Royal Dutch Airlines during live operations between March and October 2018. “Since 2015 we have been using the digital Lido/mPilot maps across our entire fleet,” said Maarten Koudijs, Manager Digitizing & Navigation Support at KLM. “The Lido/AMM tests with the Bad Elf GPS device continually improved our setup. We also had test flights on different aircraft types, including B737, B777, B787 and A330. We are very pleased with the result of the field tests and are currently reviewing whether to introduce Lido/AMM with GPS-based own-ship position.”

Taken together, the navigation applications from Lufthansa Systems have thus far supported the following aircraft interface devices (AIDs) for integrating GPS information: the AID from Boeing ONS, the UTC Aerospace Systems Tablet Interface Module (UTAS TIM) and GroundLink AID+ from Teledyne. Other cheaper GPS solutions, by contrast, are often not precise enough for use at airports. This new cooperation with Bad Elf led to the solution: a portable, external GPS device that is smaller than a conventional smartphone and can be simply certified for use on the flight deck. The Bad Elf GPS connects to the digital maps either via Bluetooth or cable, and no further installation is necessary. The new function has already been integrated into Lido/mPilot for iOS and Lido/eRouteManual for Windows. All that an airline needs to use it is the Bad Elf GPS Pro+ accessory. 

“Displaying the own-ship position in Lido/AMM is not new in itself, but it has not often been requested by customers to date. We are therefore delighted that, thanks to our cooperation with Bad Elf, we can offer a more cost-efficient solution that is also fast and easy to integrate,” explained Dr. Bernd Jurisch, Head of Flight & Navigation Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “We are confident that more airlines will now use this feature, which will further improve safety while navigating at airports.” 

Lido/mPilot is Lido´s mapping solution for the iPad. Lido/eRouteManual is the Windows-based app for navigation maps. Both applications include all important route information, including altitude data, airways and airport information. The systems can access data such as GPS information, speed and the direction of the airport in order to display the position and orientation of the aircraft on the integrated Airport Moving Map (Lido/AMM).

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