Pilotbrief features real-time weather updates via inflight satcom

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WSI Pilotbrief from The Weather Company.
WSI Pilotbrief from The Weather Company.

WSI Pilotbrief, the internet-based app for tablet computers from The Weather Company, now features live updates via an aircraft’s inflight connectivity solution.

Until recently, pilots were prohibited from using the internet in the cockpit, limiting their access to critical data such as detailed weather forecasts and real-time turbulence reports.

But that’s finally changing, as more airlines are embracing the “connected cockpit”.

The Weather Company can now deliver the latest weather data to a pilot’s Apple iPad or Microsoft Surface tablet, which is viewable via a web browser or tablet-based app.

With Pilotbrief, pilots and crew can graphically visualise aviation weather, airspace notifications and flight plans on one interactive workspace, allowing them to easily evaluate alternatives.

Mark Miller, General Manager of Aviation at The Weather Company, said that there has been a convergence of factors, including tablet computing, connectivity and the internet of things, that have enabled a revolution in near-real time weather data for pilots.

“It really is transformational,” Miller said. “An electronic flight bag used to be around $20,000 a unit, but now you are looking at about $500-$1,000 for a tablet-based solution.

“Pilots want more weather information and we are now able to deliver it via an aircraft’s satcom solution.”

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Pilotbrief is an IP-based solution, so as long as the satcom or air-to-ground (ATG) network is internet-based the actual system in use is irrelevant.

In November, Gogo announced it had partnered with with Weather Services International (WSI) and its Pilotbrief Optima iPad application to provide up-to-date weather data in the cockpit.

Pilots can retrieve real-time weather briefings, create and file digital flight releases (DFR), and access en-route and approach plate charts right from the cockpit via their iPad.

“Our origins are in moving large amounts of data from weather satellites,” said Miller. “We have the capability to move tremendous amounts of data over limited bandwidths, which makes our solution ideal for satcom systems.”

WSI’s Pilotbrief Optima also features convective weather enhancements including high-definition (HD) convective weather layers with enhanced radar; vertically-integrated liquid (VIL) and echotop mosaics; and global lightning, with an optional overlay of WSI’s proprietary Global Lightning Network.

Pilotbrief Optima’s SATrad also provides a synthesized depiction of convection areas throughout the tropics. This allows pilots to pinpoint and avoid the areas of strongest convection, improving safety and passenger comfort.

More information: http://business.weather.com/products/

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