The benefits of digital engine indication systems (EIS) go far beyond replacing an aging system in your aircraft. These modern, reliable solutions can offer significant improvements over older, maintenance-prone analog instruments. They also can present crucial engine and fuel information with enhanced precision. Streamlined displays with intuitive user interfaces can help reduce pilot workload, improve engine and fuel management, and add overall confidence in the cockpit. Our broad range of EIS solutions were designed with these principles in mind. From our compact GI 275 EIS to our larger format EIS TXi and G3X Touch, we have an EIS solution for nearly every aircraft type and operator budget.
GI 275 EIS: Convenient size, powerful capabilities
Don’t be fooled by the size of our GI 275 EIS. Designed to fit a standard 3-1/8” instrument cutout, this stand-alone touchscreen solution provides engine, fuel, electrical information and more in a convenient, cost-effective package. Plus, with minimal or no panel modifications required for installation, GI 275 proves ideal for aircraft owners looking to keep the classic look of their panel. It graphically displays cylinder head and exhaust gas temperatures, features lean assist mode, and monitors fuel quantity and fuel flow to estimate how much fuel, range and flight time remains.
EIS TXi: Larger display, broader aircraft applicability
Looking for more display real estate to monitor engines and fuel? Our dedicated EIS TXi presents the same essential engine, fuel and electrical information as the GI 275 EIS but with a few more features on a larger touchscreen format – available in 7” landscape or 7” portrait options. It’s available for most normally aspirated or turbocharged Lycoming/Continental 4- to 6-cylinder singles and twins, as well as select single engine turboprop aircraft.
For turboprop operators, EIS TXi can display dynamic gauge range markings for torque, prop RPM, Ng percent, interstage turbine temperature and more. Automatic, color-coded data bands based on the aircraft’s current condition will illuminate, with automatic timers and exceedance warnings prompting visual cues to flash, highlighting each out-of-limit parameter.
Integrate EIS with PFD, MFD on G500/G600 TXi, G3X Touch
Some pilots prefer a panel layout with more integration and fewer displays. Our G500/G600 TXi and G3X Touch flight displays can combine EIS information with PFD and MFD capabilities in several sizes and configurations, providing an “all-in-one” flight display solution.
For panel upgrades with space for more than one display, both the TXi and G3X Touch series offer a stand-alone EIS/MFD combination. In this layout, available for single-engine piston aircraft, the EIS indications can be viewed in either an expanded format or a condensed strip on the touchscreen, allowing pilots to view MFD information next to the engine information. The opportunities TXi and G3X Touch offer to integrate allow expanded flexibility and functionality in individual displays.
Customizable exceedance alerting and engine performance data logging
Predefined and pilot-selectable exceedance alerting comes standard with GI 275 EIS, EIS-capable TXi and G3X Touch flight displays. During installation, predefined limits are set for engine temperatures, oil pressure and more. After the install is completed, pilot-selectable alerts can be configured by operators to provide an extra level of protection. These pilot-selectable alerts are intended to signal the pilot before an exceedance is reached. Both predefined and pilot-selectable alerts prompt flashing cues, helping to identify potential out-of-limit exceedances and maintain long-term engine performance and overall health.
These EIS solutions can automatically log engine performance data for post-flight analysis. With the EIS-capable GI 275, data is automatically logged within the instrument, then can be wirelessly transmitted to a compatible mobile device downloaded with the Garmin Pilot app. Our G3X Touch displays log data to an SD card installed in the display, which can be manually uploaded to flyGarmin.com or wirelessly transmitted to Garmin Pilot. EIS-equipped TXi displays automatically log engine data within the display too, and a Flight Stream 510 (sold separately) can wirelessly transmit EIS data to Garmin Pilot. In fact, engine performance data can be wirelessly transmitted to and displayed on Garmin Pilot in-flight. After landing, and engine data is transmitted to Garmin Pilot, it is automatically uploaded to flyGarmin.com and available for post-flight review. All information in flyGarmin.com is stored securely within our web-based cloud service.
To learn more about all of our EIS solutions and latest avionics, visit Garmin.com/aviation.
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Our FltPlan.com platform now features a new integrated runway analysis service from AeroData, allowing pilots to calculate performance data while creating a flight plan through FltPlan.com. AeroData runway analysis joins Aircraft Performance Group (APG) and Automated Systems in Aircraft Performance (ASAP) runway analysis services available from FltPlan.com. All three of these runway analysis offerings through FltPlan.com eliminate the need for pilots to reference manuals and perform their own manual calculations for takeoff and landing data, ultimately resulting in time savings and more accurate performance numbers. The tailored performance data allows crews to maximize the performance of the aircraft while also assuring compliance with runway and obstacle requirements. Additional features of the AeroData service include concise engine- out escape procedures that factor in obstacles and terrain, the ability to specifically configure Takeoff- and-Landing Data (TOLD) based on conditions and limitations, automatically calculate aircraft fuel requirements based on the flight plan, integration with Garmin PilotTM and much more.
“AeroData is the premier runway analysis provider for commercial air carriers in North America and Garmin is excited to integrate this service with FltPlan.com for use by our business aviation customers,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “Pilots and operators now have the unique ability to calculate performance data and receive obstacle clearance while creating their flight plan on FltPlan.com – maximizing aircraft performance for the intended operation.”
AeroData expands into business aviation
As one of the leading providers of runway analysis for commercial airlines, AeroData serves over 135 airlines globally and is the data provider for more than 70 percent of airline flights in North America. The integration with FltPlan.com brings AeroData, an experienced data provider, into business aviation, giving pilots the ability to include information and calculations directly in the flight planning stage, saving valuable time and helping to increase accuracy. The more accurate performance data allows operators to optimize loading based on the consideration of airfield and aircraft conditions and provides an engine failure procedure (EFP) based on a detailed analysis of obstacles and terrain in the airport environment.
FltPlan.com’s flight planning engine automatically selects a preferred runway and aircraft configuration based on current aircraft and airfield conditions, which include the use of the current METAR, or forecast for the time of departure. Further, crews can tailor additional configurations that include runway direction; surface contaminant; runway length; weather information such as winds, temperature, and altimeter setting; aircraft flap configuration; and Minimum Equipment List (MEL) penalties. Additionally, when an aircraft is performance limited by factors such as runway condition or climb gradient requirements, crews can adjust aircraft and airfield configurations to calculate performance numbers that would help maximize aircraft operation. Applicable NOTAM information is also actively monitored and is reflected in TOLD calculations.
Performance calculations automatically added to FltPlan.com NavLog
After TOLD calculations are complete, a Takeoff and Landing Report (TLR) is generated and added to the FltPlan.com NavLog for reference. The TLR displays comprehensive data such as takeoff reference speeds, flap settings, power settings, environmental control system (ECS), anti-ice settings, runway surface conditions including contaminant level, tailwind calculations, and Maximum Runway Takeoff Weight (MRTW) for each available runway on the airfield. To better understand factors driving performance, crews can review limiting factors on the TLR that include climb performance, field length, or obstacle clearance, to name a few.
Easily accessible in-flight through the NavLog, landing performance data is included on the TLR based on calculated enroute fuel burn. Landing data shows reference speed (VREF) and landing distance based on landing weight, flap settings, ECS and anti-ice configurations, as well as reported braking action. Both factored and unfactored landing distances are displayed as separate options.
Additionally, pilots have the ability to easily view the TLR on a portable electronic device within the Garmin Pilot and FltPlan Go apps. This integration appends the TLR to the FltPlan.com NavLog for a quick and convenient way to reference runway analysis information while in flight.
Fuel order information is also automatically generated when creating a flight plan. This convenient feature assists pilots in that they no longer have to manually calculate the required fuel load while the system also checks basic structural weight limits of the aircraft to ensure that limitations will not be exceeded.
Engine Failure Procedures included in TLR
The TLR also uses calculated data to specify engine failure procedures (EFP) for each runway and aircraft configuration. When standard EFP’s cannot be used due to obstacle requirements, special procedures are calculated and provided on the TLR. Where terrain and obstacles limit straight out climb, AeroData designed EFP’s provide clear and concise guidance for pilots to perform a safe escape maneuver in a high workload flight environment.
AeroData Runway Analysis is available in two service options with one providing runway analysis, and another providing runway analysis plus obstacle clearance considerations. For more information on AeroData and runway analysis services, and to view supported aircraft, please visit www.FltPlan.com/Runway.htm.
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Our GFCTM 600 digital autopilot has been upgraded to feature new safety-enhancing capabilities, including Smart Rudder Bias for select piston twin-engine aircraft. Part of our AutonomiTM family of automated flight technologies, Smart Rudder Bias provides additional assistance against hazardous effects of a one-engine inoperative (OEI) event when appropriately equipped. It also provides pilots assistance in maintaining control of the aircraft while determining the next course of action, simultaneously reducing workload in a high-stress and time-critical flight environment.
“We are proud to be able to offer a new safety tool for twin-engine piston aircraft with the introduction of Smart Rudder Bias, making the GFC 600 digital autopilot the most advanced solution for this class of aircraft on the market today” said Carl Wolf, Garmin vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “With the introduction of Smart Rudder Bias technology, working together with the other Garmin systems onboard, pilots can react to an engine failure by quickly and accurately detecting the issue while simultaneously receiving automatic assistance applying the correct flight control input – providing an additional safety tool not seen before in twin-engine piston aircraft.”
Help manage aerodynamic performance with Smart Rudder Bias
Twin-engine aircraft inherently have aircraft controllability concerns in the event of an engine failure and pilots can expect a significant yaw toward the inoperative engine, resulting in an unstable aircraft state. In addition, due to a sideslip condition and a windmilling propeller, there can be decreased lift on the wing associated with the inoperative engine and simultaneously an increase in drag, all factors contributing to degraded performance and a critical loss in airspeed. Through close integration with multiple onboard Garmin systems, Smart Rudder Bias helps address these major concerns and immediately assists with controllability issues. This gives the pilot time to take the correct action required in order to better maintain positive aircraft control and help keep the aircraft in a safe flight condition.
Positively identify inoperative engine quicker
When the aircraft reaches the manufacturer’s published minimum control speed (VMC) during the takeoff roll, Smart Rudder Bias is automatically armed. Smart Rudder Bias continuously monitors engine parameters using Engine Indication System (EIS) data displayed on a G500 TXi or G600 TXi flight display and activates when the system detects a predetermined power differential between each engine. Once activated, rudder force is dynamically adjusted to aid a pilot in providing enough force to the rudder to help control a sideslip. A yellow annunciator for the associated inoperative engine is conveniently displayed along with autopilot annunciations on the G500 TXi or G600 TXi flight display, helping the pilot identify the issue quicker. Smart Rudder Bias can be deactivated via a panel-mounted switch.
Smart Rudder Bias enhances ESP settings for OEI condition
Garmin’s Electronic Stability and Protection (ESPTM) functions independently of the autopilot, working in the background to help pilots avoid inadvertent flight attitudes or bank angles and provides airspeed protection while the pilot is hand-flying the aircraft. Smart Rudder Bias applies enhanced ESP settings tailored to engine-out flight. Roll protection is modified to help correct for the roll tendency caused by the inoperative engine, while underspeed protection activates at a higher airspeed to help keep the aircraft away from the critical VMC speed and the associated loss of positive aircraft control.
PA-31 certified with GFC 600 – optional yaw trim also available
The GFC 600 is also now certified on select Piper PA-31 aircraft, and an automatic yaw trim option is available. Similar to pitch trim, yaw trim allows for manual rudder trim control with the press of a button, and automatic control of the rudder trim when the GFC 600 autopilot or yaw damper is engaged.
Smart Rudder Bias requires a G500 TXi or G600 TXi configured as a primary flight display (PFD) with EIS, which can be shown as a strip on the G500 TXi or G600 TXi, or on a separate TXi display. Additionally, a GFC 600 digital autopilot with the yaw axis option must be installed. Initial certified aircraft with Smart Rudder Bias capability include the Beechcraft Baron 58 and 58A, as well as the Piper PA-31-300, PA-31-310, PA-31-325, and PA-31-325CR. Additional certifications of Smart Rudder Bias will be forthcoming.
For additional information about Smart Rudder Bias and the Garmin Autonomi family of automated flight technologies, visit www.Garmin.com/SmartRudderBias.
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Operators want to use their expensive machines (loaders, sprayers, excavators, aircraft, etc.) as much as possible, because at the end of the day, business assets are more of an asset when they’re put to work. When a fleet is distributed over a large area, knowing where equipment is so it can be put to work can be a challenge.
Over the last decade, it has become common for larger or more expensive equipment to be delivered from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) with a telematics standard. Sometimes it’s a simple position reporting modem, other times there’s a huge volume of operating detail being delivered to the cloud. In any event, it makes it much easier for operators to start tracking a fleet of assets when the equipment comes standard with tracking capability.
There are still holes when trying to conduct an efficient operation with a full picture of the fleet. These holes exist because many fleets have equipment that did not come with factory telematics.
Considering these holes, you may only be able to track a portion of the fleet. Even if it’s 75%, it’s not good enough. A project can’t happen if only 75% of the equipment is at the site. That makes these holes important to fill, but it also has to be easy. Operators don’t have the time or the interest to assemble a pile of dissimilar aftermarket technology offerings into a fleet tracking solution — they have a business to run.
The good news
In a previous blog (Understanding 4G LTE Categories) we discussed new kinds of cellular technology that have emerged as a portion of 4G offerings. These technologies, specifically NB-IoT and M1, create opportunities for very rugged and affordable “slap and track” cellular asset trackers. These kinds of trackers can be attached to any piece of equipment, and by using their own battery they can report its location for years.
This can be an easy fix to the problem, but getting real satisfaction out of these solutions is all about managing the battery life of the unit. Why?
So, how do you use “slap and track” solutions to the maximum benefit of your business? I know people hate this answer, but it depends. As you consider your equipment tracking goals, it’s important to understand battery life and wake modes.
Battery life is fixed, meaning you start with a bucket of energy and that is all you get. Therefore, to achieve maximum customer value, the focus needs to be about extending the duration of time that a rugged asset tracker can be used.
To maximize that energy:
Device manufacturers have put a bunch of battery management tools into these devices, and the asset tracking ecosystem, to make tracking as easy as possible. It varies by manufacturer, but when a device is advertised to have a 5-year lifetime, that’s typically based on an expectation of a few thousand positional reports over its lifetime. That works out to 1-2 position reports per day for five years. So, while the device’s lifetime is marketed in the form of years, in reality the lifetime is based on the number of positional reports utilized.
Making the most of the battery management tools should get careful consideration as you deploy trackers. We recommend consulting with your tracking services or hardware supplier to dial this in as early as possible. Devices can typically be configured to report in the following ways (organized from most power hungry to least power hungry):
For trackers that are integrated into the machine and connected to vehicle power, this is an easy and inexpensive thing to do. However, most customers with battery powered trackers will not want to use this mode. Having the device report every minute, or even every hour, will consume a lot of battery life.
Many asset tracking devices include an accelerometer. These are great because they use minimal energy and can be used to wake the device when it moves. This is helpful if you want to know when equipment is moving from site to site or when equipment has begun working, for example. Depending on the tracker’s capabilities, it might be possible to set the device to report on movement but then to “snooze” for a period of time (e.g. 4 hours). A word of caution, however: if you can’t snooze its reporting behavior, this feature could run through the battery life quickly.
This is related to the movement feature, but it notices when the device stops moving for a period of time (typically configurable) and then reports the device position. It’s an inverted version of the previous feature with the same benefits and challenges.
This feature is generally easy to configure, easy to implement, and very friendly for battery life. Simply pick a time of day and have the unit report its position at that time every day. This can give you an overview as to where the equipment was left at the end of the day, giving you an opportunity to dispatch resources effectively at the start of the following workday. When combined cleverly with some of the above features (e.g. report equipment position at 5:00 PM, then report on movement in the event someone moves it after hours), it can be used to give an effective and timely overview of fleet positions while using minimal battery.
This easy to use feature is very powerful and enabled by the newest generation of cellular technologies. For those of you who want to push your glasses a bit higher on your nose and nerd out with us about how this feature works, we’ll dig deeper in a future blog. For this post, we’ll talk about the capability at a high level so you can understand how to exploit it.
Using a computer or mobile device, you ask the equipment to report its location. This feature sends a message over the cellular network, which is stored in a mailbox of sorts. The device periodically checks that mailbox, using very limited energy, to see if it needs to report in. If there’s a request waiting, it reports its location.
The beauty of this feature is that whenever you need to know the location of an asset, you can have the device report in at the push of a button. The report doesn’t come back in seconds, because typically the device is configured to “check the mailbox” at scheduled intervals in order to minimize energy use. However, even waiting a few minutes to get the devices’ location is MUCH faster than driving from site to site looking for it.
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Popular Science, one of America’s oldest and most trusted magazine brands with a legacy of reporting on groundbreaking innovations, recognized Garmin Autoland with a 2020 Best of What’s New Award in the Aerospace category. Autoland is part of our Autonomi family of autonomous safety-enhancing technologies for aircraft, and the world’s first system of its kind for general aviation aircraft. It has the ability to land an aircraft in an emergency should the pilot suddenly become incapacitated or unable to fly1.
After reviewing thousands of products in search of the year’s top 100 innovations, Popular Science unveiled the best breakthrough products and technologies that represent significant advancements and ‘solve an unsolvable problem’ in an announcement last week.
“We are truly humbled and proud to be selected by Popular Science with this honor for our revolutionary Autoland autonomous flight technology,” said Phil Straub, Garmin executive vice president and managing director, aviation. “This recognition highlights our commitment to innovate in the aviation industry. It’s a testament to the entire Garmin team, whose dedication to continuously drive our pioneering vision led to the development of the world’s first Autoland system for general aviation aircraft and changed the way we look at aviation safety.”
For 33 years, the editors at Popular Science have reviewed thousands of products in search of the top 100 tech innovations each year – breakthrough products and technologies that represent significant advancements in their categories. The publication’s Best of What’s New Awards are presented to 100 new products and technologies in 10 categories: Aerospace, Automotive, Engineering, Entertainment, Gadgets, Health, Home, Personal Care, Security, and Sports & Outdoors. Garmin Autoland was chosen among nine other innovations in the Aerospace category, which includes anything that flies or pertains to flight.
“The Best of What’s New Awards showcase the year’s greatest feats of human ingenuity,” said Popular Science Editor-in-Chief Corinne Iozzio. “Even in a year like 2020, innovation has helped us glimpse a future that’s safer, smarter, and more enjoyable than we might have thought possible.”
Garmin Autoland is available as part of the G3000® integrated flight deck on select general aviation aircraft. In the event of an emergency, such as pilot incapacitation, Autoland is capable of completely taking control of the aircraft, avoiding weather and terrain, and landing at the nearest, most suitable airport. Elements taken into consideration when identifying the most suitable airport include a wide range of performance, operational and environmental factors. Throughout an Autoland activation, the system provides simple visual and verbal communications in plain-language so passengers in the aircraft know what to expect. Further, the system will automatically communicate with air traffic control, advising controllers and pilots operating near the aircraft of its location and its intentions.
On approach to land, the system initiates a controlled descent to the airport. Once in landing configuration, the aircraft begins its descent to the runway. On the runway, automatic braking is applied while tracking the runway centerline to bring the aircraft to a full stop. Engine shutdown is also automated so occupants can safely exit the aircraft.
The first certified Autoland system for general aviation aircraft, Garmin Autoland has received FAA certification in the Piper M600, the Daher TBM 940, and the Cirrus Vision Jet as part of the G3000 integrated flight deck. EASA approval was also recently granted to the TBM 940. By the end of 2020, more than 100 fielded aircraft are expected to feature Autoland.
For additional information about Autoland and the Garmin Autonomi family of automated flight technologies, visit www.garmin.com/Autonomi.
The post Popular Science Tabs Garmin Autoland One of 2020’s Greatest Innovations appeared first on Garmin Blog.
Our GTN Xi Series of navigators now feature even more advanced capabilities, including a Glide Range Ring that helps safety-minded pilots visualize the estimated area an aircraft could reach in the case engine power is lost1. Other new features include the ability to remotely control the radios of another GTN Xi when dual GTN Xi units are installed in an aircraft, quicker page navigation with the addition of customizable dual concentric knob functions, and more.
Glide Range Ring
The new Glide Range Ring helps pilots enhance their situational awareness by depicting the estimated area that the aircraft can reach when it’s configured for best glide range in the case of an engine failure. It considers terrain data, as well as wind data when provided by a GDL 69 or FIS-B Source, or calculated winds from a compatible Garmin fight display2, in order to help pilots continuously plan while flying. Further, G500 TXi or G600 TXi flight displays can also show the Glide Range Ring when paired with the GTN Xi while using the GTN Xi GPS guidance as the horizontal situational indicator (HSI) source.
Best Glide Airport Indicator
Depicted as cyan chevrons pointing to the recommended airport for the aircraft to glide to from its current position, the Best Glide Airport Indicator1 is selected based upon distance from present location, runway length at the airport, wind data, and airport weather through FIS-B or Sirius XM if available on the aircraft. If desired, the Best Glide Airport Indicator can be displayed by itself or with the Glide Range Ring also shown.
Nearest Airport list updated to show Glide Check
The Nearest Airport list now indicates which airports are estimated to be reachable on glide by displaying a green check mark indication next to the airport identifier1. If the pilot’s criteria for nearest airports would have excluded an airport that is estimated to be within glide range, the system will automatically add these airports back to the Nearest Airport list and display the Glide Check, while also highlighting the runway length and surface type with a white box if these figures do not meet the previous nearest airport criteria set by the pilot.
Remote radio control and new radios page
When dual GTN Xi navigators are installed, pilots can now remotely control and tune the radio frequencies on both units from a single GTN Xi navigator. Pilots can control both the Comm and Nav radio tuning, in addition to volume level, which is an especially useful function for quick radio tuning in a busy flight environment. Additionally, pilots can cycle through radios of both GTN Xi navigators by pressing the dual concentric knob on just one GTN Xi. A new radios page displays all Comm and Nav frequencies (active and standby) of both units, as well as volume levels. The radios page can be quickly accessed from the frequency keypad page or as a preset user field button. From this page, pilots can easily flip the respective active and standby frequencies. Also new, pilots can load a frequency to the active or standby position of either GTN Xi from applicable airport or waypoint information pages.
Quicker page navigation with dual concentric knob
Similar to other Garmin navigators, the dual concentric knob can now enable quicker access to select pages. The outer knob now allows the pilot to intuitively cycle between pages on their GTN Xi, while the inner knob can now support functionality related to the current page being displayed, such as scrolling through lists or zooming in on maps. A new locator bar works in conjunction with the outer knob and indicates the current page while also displaying which page is next. Pilots can allocate and customize up to nine pages to be controlled by the outer knob including Map, Nav, Flight Plan, Traffic, Weather, Fuel Planning, and many more.
Other GTN Xi series improvements
Additional features of the latest GTN Xi update include:
These updates for the GTN Xi series of navigators will be available later this month through the Garmin dealer network. A dealer installation charge may apply. The GTN Xi Series also comes with a two-year warranty, which is supported by our award-winning aviation support team. For additional information, visit https://www.garmin.com/GTNXi or contact a local Garmin authorized dealer.
1. Requires additional configuration steps during software upgrade. See Garmin dealer for details.
2. Compatible flight displays include G500/G600 TXi, G500/600, G3X Touch, GI 275, and G5 (with GAD 13/GTP 59).
The post New Safety-Enhancing Features for GTN Xi Series Navigators appeared first on Garmin Blog.
It is important for our machines to be connected. From industrial asset trackers for inexpensive off-road vehicles to satellite telemetry solutions for business jets, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are counting on embedded connectivity solutions to deliver high business value for them and their operators. To deliver this value, these connectivity devices are networked to critical onboard engine, hydraulic, display, and navigation equipment to provide the rich data needed to exploit the business value of the connected tractor, loader, or aircraft.
With all of these interconnections and access to critical machine or aircraft systems, there is an obvious need to ensure that such connections are secure. Security is a confusing and acronym-laden space that can leave buyers uncomfortable or uncertain. To combat this, we’ll focus in on the top two areas that you should have a strategy for:
1. The hardware and software on the device itself
2. Transportation of data from device to cloud
First, it’s important to understand the concept of a “key” when discussing security concepts for telematic devices. In a simple sense, information is scrambled using an algorithm, and the key unlocks that information. If you’ve ever used paper cutouts over a page of text or a pinwheel decoder to extract a secret message, you’ve experienced a sort of encryption, or cipher, and a key. There are many different manifestations of encryption and key structure, but the concept of an algorithmic encryption and key to enter/exit that encryption are consistent across these concepts.
In a simple sense you can divide security concerns within a telematic device into hardware and software. You need to be confident that the software on the device is genuine, has not been corrupted by some bad actor, and is not attempting to do anything nefarious. You also need to be sure that the hardware is secure, so the electronics are protecting the data resident on the device (including the secret decoder keys that unlock the encryption the device uses to communicate).
There are some spectacular tools available to device manufactures to secure applications and storage onboard telematic controllers. For example, Arm TrustZone allows the device manufacturer to secure certain ranges of memory and flash from snooping and sniffing. This security extends to the ability to secure these ranges from the application software onboard the device itself, so even the application running on the device cannot read that data off the flash and send said data to the cloud.
Why is this important?
One example of a security vulnerability is to send a false application update to a device, whose express purpose is not to successfully corrupt/replace the application software, but instead is the first component of a multi-stage attack in which the initial attack’s objective is to steal the encryption keys from the device. In such a situation, the application is falsely deployed to the device and retrieves the keys. Even though it fails to update, the device uses the telematic capability of the device to offboard the keys and enable a subsequent, more dangerous attack. With such hardware security enabled, you would not be able to read the protected memory locations, the false application update would be rejected, and the device would continue on its way.
A different approach to hardware security is through the utilization of trusted platform modules (TPM). In this case the keys are stored entirely within a different, secure, integrated circuit that is separate from the core product’s processor/memory, and the keys never leave the TPM. Trusted platform modules can also play a role in secure boot as a special sequence initialized only by the correct software, in the correct order, to “unlock” the TPM.
What level of hardware security is appropriate for your application will vary, based on your deployment’s risk profile, the capabilities of your device, and the technologies supported by your server-side infrastructure. What is important is that some consideration is made for securing your device at the hardware level, and that you and your device manufacturing partner are united in your approach to telematic hardware security.
With good hardware security and key storage in place, the updating of the application onboard the device itself can be secured, regardless of whether that update is through firmware updated over the air, or by connecting physically to a device. This security ensures that no bad actor can replace or modify the software onboard your device. This security is achieved by having the application signed with a secret/private key. The signing of this application ensures that the device can verify that the software is genuine, or trusted, before allowing the software to be run on the device.
When transmitting data, there is the protocol being used to transmit data and the method of security that is applied to that protocol. Typically the security and protocol are separate considerations. So whether you are using a popular telematic protocol like MQTT or a UDP IP based protocol like CoAP, there are methods by which that data can be encrypted in its transfer from the device to the Internet, where it then transits to the server. In this sense, most typical security concerns are focused on the data’s pathway through the Internet on its way to its server location more so than the radiation of the data in free space from the device’s antenna.
In the world of data encryption there are two high-level concepts that are important to understand: symmetric encryption and asymmetric communication of data.
Symmetric encryption is when you open a “secure channel.” If you think about the President of the United States and the red phone for secure calls, that is a very good analogy for symmetric encryption. This is a secure two-way channel for communication. For applications where the receiver and sender are in the same organization, or the device and end-point receiving the data are designed by the same company, this system is commonly and effectively employed. This technology is commonly used in applications like banking transactions and data at rest (not in transit from one server to another).
In this method of security, there is a public key that can be used to encrypt data to be sent to a receiver, but a secret key that is possessed by the receiver is the only way to decrypt the data. Where different organizations are communicating with one another, or when several organizations might be contributing data to a common dataset, such a security methodology is very effectively used. Asymmetric encryption is commonly used in applications like digital signatures and is a feature of transport layer security (TLS) or secure socket layer (SSL) communications.
One of the shortcomings of asymmetric encryption is that it is much slower to implement and use on devices because the encryption algorithms are complex and require more computational power to run. This is unfortunate for embedded devices where processing capabilities are often a significant limitation. Although symmetric encryption doesn’t require as much computational power, it requires that secret keys be effectively distributed and maintained, which is a separate challenge.
With consideration for the challenges above, it is common in messaging and telematic applications to employ a hybrid model. With this model, an asymmetric message is used to open a secure channel and exchange keys to begin the session between the client and the host, so that session can subsequently be done with safe, secure, lower-overhead symmetric encryption. For example, the client can use a public key to send a message to a host describing all of the information the host needs to connect back to the client using symmetric encryption (a shared secret key).
No One-Size-Fits-All Approach
A good security strategy is a collaborative effort between the device manufacturer and the OEM. For example, in a simple asset tracking use case with a battery powered asset tracker that needs to optimize battery life for a longer duration, the asymmetric public key transfer could use 6k of data in the process of sending a one-time 500-byte message. That means that throughout the life of the device, more than 90% of the precious battery life the device is trying to optimize for would be consumed securing the device’s messages. In such cases, like inexpensive IoT sensors feeding asset tracking or environmental intelligence to machinery management systems, the costs in battery life and data transmission may necessitate other approaches to message security.
In a future blog article we’ll cover how a device manufacturer, in collaboration with the cellular or satellite carrier, can be creative in the manner that data is received off the device at the network infrastructure to keep that data off the internet and further contribute to a security solution. Approaches like this can be of considerable assistance when combatting power/data budgets for use cases like the above IoT sensor.
When considering your connected vehicle deployment, ensure you and your device manufacturer have hardware level key security, signed certificates for software deployment, and a right-sized strategy for encryption of communication to/from the device.
David Batcheller – President & CBO
Jim Karpowitz, Avionics Technician
A few years back I attended an evening concert by a wonderful artist whose music I very much enjoy. That particular night, however, the person sitting next to me insisted on singing along with every song. This individual was enthusiastic but was also tone deaf and monotonic. The skill of the artist was no match for the caterwauling coming from the seat next to me. As a musician myself, the dissonance was at the threshold of pain and the only way I could enjoy the concert was to move to another seat. In other words, I had to get clear of the noise source to receive the desired signal.
This is how your avionics feel in the presence of consumer grade portable devices and power supplies that have a tendency to radiate electromagnetic interference, or EMI. EMI has become a serious concern in a number of industries because of radiated interference from power supplies, lighting systems, computer systems and peripherals and other noise sources creating interference to everything from television and radio broadcast to wireless microphone systems to amateur and commercial communications.
Avionics are not immune to interference either. In the aircraft environment, the use of portable digital devices has increased greatly over the last few years and these devices can and do generate substantial amounts of interference. I have diagnosed numerous cases of interference and have found that cigarette lighter USB power supplies are some of the greatest offenders, often dropping incredible amounts of interference within the nav and com bands. The result can be anything from intermittent squelch break to serious interference with desired signal reception.
Often people will try to address the intermittent squelch break issue by turning up the squelch threshold. It’s the wrong approach, rather like hanging a candle in an outhouse. The first rule of noise mitigation is to deal with the interference at the source. I cannot overstress the importance of addressing the interference itself rather than masking it in the receiver. Often this means investing in devices (USB supplies, for example) that have gone through the process of testing and approval for aircraft use, giving the user some assurance that a) it does not interfere with on-board systems and b) on-board systems won’t interfere with it, to say nothing of testing for safety issues such as overload and fire protection.
We all want to save our dollars where possible, but trying to save money by using untested/unknown devices is penny wise and dollar foolish. Some consumer grade devices may interfere, some don’t. The point is, without some level of testing and certification, it’s a complete crap shoot, and aviation is no place to be rolling the dice.
Jim Karpowitz is an avionics technician in Wisconsin.
Our G1000® NXi flight deck is now available for integration with the Blackhawk Aerospace XP67A Engine+ Upgrade for the King Air 300 and King Air 350, adding a significant benefit to those looking to maximize these aircraft. Additionally, we have expanded its Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approval to now include King Air 350 aircraft with a max gross weight of 16,500 lbs.1, bringing enhanced capability to operators looking to maximize payload and efficiency.
“We are pleased to offer this new Blackhawk engine interface with the G1000 NXi flight deck for the King Air 300 and 350 models,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “In doing so, we’ve answered our customers’ requests to include this engine upgrade interface to our system, which will even further improve performance for the King Air 300 and 350 models. Additionally, we have now certified the G1000 NXi flight deck in the high gross weight configuration for the King Air 350, which will significantly benefit special missions operators, or any other operator who has been seeking this higher gross weight capability, along with G1000 NXi in the cockpit.”
Blackhawk Aerospace Engine Support
The Blackhawk Aerospace XP67A Engine+ Upgrade for the King Air 300 includes two factory-new Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67A engines and Hartzell 5-bladed composite propellers, combined to deliver maximum cruise speeds as high as 343 knots true air speed (KTAS) with an initial rate of climb up to 4,000 feet per minute (FPM). This performance increase results in only 19 minutes to climb from sea- level to flight-level 350 – half the time compared to a King Air 300 without this upgrade. Blackhawk Aerospace is a popular provider of King Air upgrades, already offering an engine upgrade for the King Air 350 that integrates with the G1000 NXi.
“There are so many advantages in upgrading legacy King Air’s with modern engineering marvels from Garmin and Blackhawk,” said Edwin Black, Blackhawk senior vice president of sales and marketing. “The Garmin G1000 NXi is arguably the most sophisticated, user-friendly, and light-weight avionics masterpiece ever certified for the King Air market. It is rewarding to work closely with the Garmin team to empower our mutual customers with the most compelling investments an operator can make to maximize performance and safety.”
Increased gross weight STC
With the latest G1000 NXi approval, King Air 350 owners and operators can now take advantage of an increased payload, providing significant performance enhancements that can prove to be particularly beneficial to special missions operators. Along with the separate STC modifications, support for G1000 NXi equipped King Air aircraft is now available via an enablement.
The G1000 NXi integrated flight deck upgrade for existing G1000-equipped King Air 300 and King Air 350 is available immediately through select Garmin dealers. King Air 300 and 350 owners and operators can easily upgrade to the G1000 NXi with minimal aircraft down time and panel disruption as the displays preserve the same footprint and connectors, so panel modifications are not required. The upgraded components of the G1000 NXi also come with a two-year warranty, which is supported by our award-winning avionics product support team. For additional information regarding the G1000 NXi upgrade for the King Air 300 and King Air 350, contact Scott Frye at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.garmin.com/KingAir. The Blackhawk Aerospace XP67A Engine+ Upgrade for the King Air 300 and King Air 350 is available immediately through Blackhawk Aerospace, and the increased gross weight STC for the King Air 350 is available from Textron Aviation.
The post G1000 NXi Adds Integration With Blackhawk Engine+ Upgrade for King Air 300 and King Air 350 appeared first on Garmin Blog.
The trend is reversing for displays in off-road rugged equipment. Instead of incorporating lots of control logic into display systems, it’s going to become much simpler.
The preeminence of the display as a compute source on the machine, rather than a simple operator interface, was born more of convenience rather than an optimal machine control architecture. When more complex display terminals began to emerge on the market, many of those terminals were utilizing a Windows operating system. The hardware needed to host Windows was left with unutilized computing power. Many organizations, as a result, began taking advantage of that by putting machine control software into the terminal.
Today, however, significant computing potential is possible within embedded devices with a broad spectrum of affordable processor and memory technologies. This gives machinery manufacturers the potential to inexpensively push the control logic out of the terminal and back into the electronic control units, making the displays true thin clients and providing manufacturers much more display flexibility at a lower cost.
Here are 8 ways manufacturers can benefit from using smart devices in place of display terminals.
1. Leverage investments made by consumer electronics manufacturers
Industrial and off-highway vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers are simply not capable of matching pace with the investment and technical progression of the devices in the consumer electronic world. The level of investment and speed of technology deployed in consumer devices by companies like Apple and Samsung is simply not within the reach of industrial and off-highway equipment sectors.
Exacerbating this problem is the limited volumes in the off-highway and industrial spaces — they are only able to access these technologies after they become available in consumer devices, and we then still need to spend years achieving their introduction to a machine. This cycle leaves manufacturers lagging the curve of consumer display expectations by years while investing a lot of time and money into advanced display systems that feel substandard by the time they reach operators (when compared against the latest phone or tablet they carry).
One way of mitigating this problem is by pushing some display functions into mobile devices. Here, without any hardware development or integration investment, equipment manufacturers can leverage the hundreds of millions of R&D dollars put into consumer electronics, as well as the additional investments in the infrastructure that supports them. In this sense, by developing and deploying mobile applications that seamlessly connect with machinery, manufacturers get to leverage the latest in processing and display systems while minimizing investments.
2. Push display features into operator mobile devices
This requires some consideration for both security and safety strategies that vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. On one end of the spectrum, the mobile device can be used as a simple display. The device receives information from the machine over a wireless link. This information is then rendered into value-added real-time information for the operator to view on the phone or tablet display, including whatever visual or auditory alerts are needed by the operator.
On the other end of the spectrum, the mobile device is an interactive element of the machine control architecture. In this embodiment the operator can provide machine control inputs through the phone or tablet — whether that operator is within or outside of the machine’s cab.
And, of course, there are many hybrid models for the utilization of the mobile devices in interaction with off highway and industrial equipment where input capabilities through the mobile device are possible, but limited to a smaller set of functions.
3. Utilize app update infrastructure through Android, Apple, and other devices
Where delivery of a new embedded feature or capability might require a service bulletin, dealer notice, or integration with a new vehicle model year the deployment of complimentary mobile capabilities can be done in a matter of days and launched whenever may be convenient for a vehicle manufacturer.
When coupled with the ability to deliver ECU firmware through the mobile application interface, it becomes possible for vehicle manufacturers to perform significant update campaigns, verify which vehicles have been reached with those campaigns, and to do so without any telematic or dealer service expenses.
4. Break the dependence on vehicle model year release cycles
It has, traditionally, been very difficult to add value for customers of off-highway equipment out of cycle with a machine’s delivery. Should a competitor release a new feature in many circumstances we as an industry are relegated to waiting for the next machine cycle to deliver a competitive response. To the extent that there is mobile experience integrated with the usage of the machine, innovative features enabled through the mobile application can be deployed at any time giving manufacturers the potential to quickly deliver differentiable features out of sequence with machine model year cycles (and make those features available to both new and existing customers).
5. Leverage community to fuel development and growth
With a mobile application also comes the potential to leverage community to fuel development and growth. For example, if there is an industrial segment that is a relatively small consumer of machines but has a strong desire for a specific display, license can be extended by the equipment manufacturer to view and use the data output by the machine. In this manner, a supplier in a specific market segment can develop an application experience that is unique to that one market segment, providing a value added experience to operators in that segment without requiring any development investment, support, or maintenance from the vehicle manufacturer.
6. Rapidly deliver features / speeding to market
Embedded development can be comparatively time consuming and expensive when compared against mobile development. Embedded developers are generally more difficult to hire and train, the software more time consuming to develop and deploy, and the verification and validation activity associated therewith similarly nontrivial. In contrast, working against a defined embedded interface mobile software development is comparatively less expensive, developers more accessible, and software deployment more rapid.
7. Display cost reductions
To the extent that operators are bringing their own devices, and machine displays can become simpler and less expensive, this initiative offers the potential for cost reduction of the machine electrics while delivering more features to its operators.
8. Capture user and machine data
Utilization of a mobile application provides a broad spectrum of possibilities for the capture of both machine and operator data. For machines where telematic connectivity may not be possible, utilization of an application may provide the ability to cache and deliver valuable machine data to a manufacturer (in lieu of the cellular connectivity onboard the machine). The application can also acquire demographics about users, and information about how they navigate and use the application, that can provide user and usage statistics that can become a powerful force for informing future development activity that will help optimize equipment and interfaces for operators.
David Batcheller – President & CBO