Rockwell Collins has been selected by Airbus to provide the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) interface and communication unit (EICU) for the Airbus A320 and A330 aircraft families.
The optional system for airlines will be available and certified next year.
The EICU, a lightweight, compact unit that is part of Rockwell Collins’ Secure Server Router product portfolio securely connects to portable and factory-installed EFBs in the cockpit via wireless or wired connections.
The system’s embedded router enables the EFB to interconnect with select onboard and external networks, including the avionics, maintenance information, airline operating centres, connecting gates and the cabin.
This technology finds the most cost-effective communication channel available, whether it is cellular, WiFi, SATCOM or ACARS, for connecting the EFB to external networks.
The unit also features a virtual digital aircraft condition monitoring system (ACMS) recorder (VDAR) that leverages the ground cellular/WiFi connectivity to automatically download quick access recorder (QAR) files to airline ground servers.
Greg Irmen, vice president and general manager, Flight Controls and Information Systems for Rockwell Collins, said: “The EICU is a another step in the progression of our information management solutions strategy and an extension of the success we’ve had with Airbus on other aircraft types.
“This new EFB solution for A320s and A330s is central to onboard and off-aircraft networks. It enables pilots to quickly and efficiently connect with essential decision-making tools to make flight operations safer and more efficient.”
The EICU will also be flexible enough to accommodate future networking technologies that may become available.