Wednesday 28th January 2015 – Grove Technology Park, Wantage
Airbox Aerospace Limited, the specialist navigation provider, has provided London’s Air Ambulance with its ACANS (formerly known as PANDA) app for enhanced mission capability and situational awareness across the Capital and beyond.
ACANS (Aviation Command Aircraft Navigation Systems) is a portable tablet-based system designed to improve a pilot’s knowledge of their environment whether at the planning, operational or debrief phase of a mission. Among the innovations included within the ACANS package are power line and obstacle avoidance, aircraft tracking, remote mission tasking and the ability to store and display multiple air and ground maps.
William Moore, Airbox’ Chief Technical Officer and co-founder of the company explained, “The great thing about ACANS is that the end user can download and try the software before they buy it, so there is no leap of faith any more. It also enables us to fine tune the product as per our customer’s requirements prior to delivery. This aligns our interests with those of our customers. We are very proud to have brought London’s Air Ambulance on board and see it as a vote that we’ve got that process right.”
Customisations that have been made for London’s Air Ambulance include the ability to search for a location using the A to Z page number and a system to make interactions with Heathrow airport more efficient.
Airbox products are already used extensively by the Police, Emergency Services and the Military for both air and ground roles; with London’s Air Ambulance joining an ever increasing list of HEMS operators that includes Yorkshire Air Ambulance, ANWB in the Netherlands, East Anglia Air Ambulance and the Midlands Air Ambulance.
Captain Neil Jeffers, London’s Air Ambulance Chief Pilot, said: “Our trials with the Airbox ACANS system have shown the app provides increased street fidelity, enhanced situational awareness with its alerting for airspace and enhanced London mapping. The A to Z search facility assists the assessment of potential landing sites on the move. All these elements and more mean ACANS helps our crews save valuable time, effort and ultimately lives when in use.”
ACANS is an all-encompassing multi-platform application providing pilots with an unprecedented level of functionality. Other features include full flight planning ability, airspace and terrain awareness including warnings, in-fight navigation, geo-referenced approach plates, advanced satellite weather overlays, remote tasking and multi-user collaboration.
The mapping engine, derived from RunwayHD, an app originally developed for the General Aviation consumer market, gives users the ability to access and view multiple map scales and styles at any one time including ICAO charts right down to high detail street level mapping and photographic imagery if required. Because chart, airfield and location data is stored offline pilots are now able to carry with them digital documentation that previously would have been a practical impossibility due to volume of paper required.
Airbox’ work with other HEMS operators has led to add a powerful on and offline search function for ACANS, which allows users to search, locate and fly to locations such as towns, landmarks and even individual numbered houses on streets.