Orolia and AFI KLM E&M have begun work to develop a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the A320 family of aircraft to retrofit the GADSS-compliant Kannad ELT-DT as part of the European Commission's H2020 HELIOS project.
Both Orolia and AFI KLM E&M are members of the European Commission's industry-led HELIOS project — part of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme — tasked to lead the development of next-generation search and rescue distress beacons that meet the upcoming implementation of ICAO Global Aeronautical Distress & Safety System (GADSS) recommendations.
The STC, expected to be available in 2019, will allow airlines to retrofit A320 family aircraft with the new Kannad ELT-DT, a global, autonomous tracking beacon that provides air traffic managers with precise aircraft location information in distress flight situations. The GADSS-compliant system will provide detailed aircraft position information as soon as a distress situation is detected during flight, ensuring no aircraft is ever "lost".
The HELIOS-led STC project will address the process of retrofitting in-service aircraft, enabling operators to upgrade their ELT system on their current fleet. Under this part of the program, AFI KLM E&M is responsible for system integration of ELT-DT technology, developed by Orolia, HELIOS project lead.
The GADSS requirement was adopted by ICAO early 2016 in response to several recent, highly publicized incidents where downed aircraft could not be located at all, or only after long and expensive search efforts. Its goals are to provide autonomous, global tracking of commercial flights, regardless of operating conditions, and to speed rescue operations should a flight require assistance. The GADSS regulation will be applicable to most new commercial aircraft delivered after January 1, 2021.
Orolia, through its Kannad brand, announced at the Paris Air Show last year the GADSS-compliant Kannad ELT-DT, or Emergency Locator Transmitter-Distress Tracking beacon. The Kannad beacon will automatically activate should the aircraft depart from its pre-programmed flight profile or other flight parameters. Working alongside MEOSAR technology, it provides instantaneous signal detection and worldwide coverage, helping rescue teams quickly locate the aircraft.