TracPlus and Airborne Mission Systems launch AFDAU-T1 data system

TracPlus Global and Airborne Mission Systems press release | August 19, 2020

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TracPlus Global and Aircraft Maintenance Solutions (AMS) have launched the aerial firefighting data acquisition unit, AFDAU-T1, a set of products that will revolutionize the way aerial firefighters collect and report operational data, according to businesses.

The AFDAU-T1 offers unique advantages for rotary and fixed wing operators, according to the manufacturers. Photo of airborne mission systems

Designed to meet National Aerial Firefighting Center of Australia (NAFC) OPS-14 standards, the AFDAU-T1 is the premier automatic bucket calibration and digital data collection tool for aerial firefighters. The new NAFC standard states that operators must accurately collect and report volume collected / left, engine start / stop and takeoffs / landings and evidence of substantial flow from an aircraft.

The product offers unique advantages for rotary and fixed wing operators. For rotary aircraft, the AFDAU-T1 eliminates the need for manual calibration / recalibration of a bucket, meaning that no pilot interaction is required, even when swapping out buckets in a configuration of sling load. For fixed-wing operators, the device automatically and accurately detects operational data for an accurate report, including evidence of substantial flow from a hopper, as indicated by the new NAFC standard.

“Our goal was to bring to market an aerial firefighting data acquisition unit that had been designed to meet the requirements of the ANCA event reporting contract,” said Chief Engineer. from AFDAU-T1, Zane Vohland. “With AFDAU-T1, operators don’t have to worry about the accuracy of the data. They will have the peace of mind that their data is reliable, automatic and accurate.

Vohland and his team are working in alliance with NAFC to ensure that the technology allows operators to meet the requirements of their contract.

Together, the AFDAU-T1 and RockAIR devices allow data to be sent and stored in TracPlus for proof of compliance and reporting. This data is also sent to ANCA’s ARENA software to enable contractors to meet contractual event reporting requirements.

“ANCA has closely followed the development of AFDAU-T1 and is encouraged to see this equipment become available for firefighting aircraft in Australia. ANCA is delighted that there is now an additional device on the market for operators wishing to meet contractual event reporting requirements, in particular the difficult task of reporting fill and drop volumes of control buckets. against fire, ”said Andrew Matthews, Capacity Manager, NAFC.

Aerial firefighting is extremely costly for operators, especially when they are grounded due to faulty equipment. It is the conviction of AMS and TracPlus that operators deserve affordable products, but reliable and using modern technologies, AFDAU-T1 offers a price significantly lower than current systems on the market.

“In 2018, we started testing the AFDAU-T1 prototype in one of our BK117s,” said Jim Norrie, established aerial firefighter with United Aero Helicopters. “We were looking for an alternative and cost effective solution to meet our contractual firefighting needs and saw the TracPlus / AFDAU-T1 / RockAIR combination as a possible solution. From day one, Airborne Mission Systems’ diligent team has been successful in accomplishing and meeting our requirements. We have now seen a very busy fire season of data collection with the AFDAU-T1 unit and the results have been exceptional. We now plan to upgrade our existing systems across the fleet. “

Fixed-wing aircraft operators also tested the device, which exceeded expectations.

“Our first results were well above our expectations. The combination of AFDAU-T1 and RockAIR is cost effective, while providing a solution ahead of the competition. I am delighted to test an innovative product built by the world’s leaders in aerial firefighting, ”said Michael (Mick) Gribble, founder of Alpine Airwork.

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