Ok, ok, even after posting the "I Am Back" note, basically nothing happened on the web site for another year. But I have a good excuse.
Most of my hobbyist life has been suspended for the last three years as I took up a job as lead SATCOM engineer at Avionica, a small (but quickly growing) company based in Miami. We excel at producing innovative avionics, mostly for for large transport category airliners, in the communication and flight data processing areas.
The last two years we have been working on our flagship product, satLINK MAX, a 4-channel Iridium satellite communication system that is the first on the planet to offer fully certified Iridium ATS Safety Voice communications around the globe. With this box, flight crew can remain in contact with air traffic control by voice and datalink at all times, including deep water, expansive rain forests, deserts, and both poles. We offer all this in an enclosure 1/4 the size of a shoebox, and if you add another box the size of a pocket book, you save 15 kg in wiring weight.
We performed the first install in May in Hong Kong on a 777, and last week we got the final FAA approval to send the first shipment of boxes out to our launch customer for their 777 fleet.
I am quite proud to be a member of the Avionica team that kicked this project to completion in record time for the industry, and look forward to at least one more of this kind of development. This industry does not build on technical capability alone. To get your box installed in airliners of major companies, you have to bring much more to the table than technical excellence. Stewardship for the whole team throughout, long days and nights, many sacrificed weekends, ultra-exhaustive international trips where you see just the inside of an aircraft for six days straight, and a relentless drive to continuously improve everything are crucial. But we pulled it off!
Huge thanks to my family to put up with all this, including moving to Miami in the first place. Without you it would not have been possible.
And, really, another huge thanks to Hardy, the author of PS1 and the just-released Precision Simulator X, who has laid the ground work that developed my interest in and knowledge of the aviation industry in general.
I am at least as proud to have been one of the alpha and beta test team members for this system simulator, which exceeds anything else on the planet by a wide margin, and has set a new standard for what can be achieved on home equipment.
satLINK MAX and PSX both represent a significant milestone in my professional and hobbyist life, and it won't be my last!