Digital A solution for Aircraft.

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Ryfly

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Ok, so as a pilot myself, i've gotten into some pretty crazy situation with ATC and the radios, from stuck mics, to over crowded air waves.

Well, after seeing how amazingly well Digital work for the Entire state of Colorado, I've thought that it might be a solution/idea for aircraft one day.

See, giving the ATC Controller, control over the planes radios, getting stuck mics off the main channel, being able to just talk to one pilot instead of broadcasting over the entire air. Being able to disable radios from talking at the same time, and atc immediately knowing which plane is talking.

Plus the clarity of the entire digital system would eliminate the mis-understood communications.

Of course there are downfalls, loss of packets, losing the entire transmission instead of making it out through the static. The amount of money to even switch over to such a system, but hey if cell phones did it, i think planes can do it too.

But's hey its a idea, what do you guys think?
 

SkipSanders

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Aircraft (it is said) remain AM, instead of FM (or digital) because they WANT to be able to hear if other aircraft are trying to talk at the same time. With AM, you can hear this, with some squealing. With FM or Digital, you hear only the strongest signal.

It's unlikely aircraft will change from AM any time soon.
 

nycrich

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It is already in plan for the upgrade ATC system that is suppose to happen in stages( already used in military flts and some commercial). Voice will still be around for private/recreational pilots because of cost.
 

immelmen

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My two cents....Iv been flying in the airline biz for about 6 years now and ATC voice will NEVER be changed from AM in our lifetime....not even in the big jets...especially in the big jets. The cost would be prohibitive. even when oil is over $130 a barrel the public wants to be able to fly new york to LA for $199 and that alone is not reality. There is no way the public would cough up the ticket prices to pay for that technology when it is not necessary.

think of how expensive it is to buy Motorola XTS radios to play around with P25 voice...now think of the cost to get such radios TSO's(approved by FAA for flight.) I recently had a maintenance delay at a hub where i waited while one of 3 CATIII ILS receivers on board was swapped. i asked what that black box cost and was told it could fetch $10,000 BROKEN on ebay. so do the math...at least 3 comm radios per jet, if a switch to digital were required, every major airline in america shuts there doors tomorrow. yea, we have acars for weather and clearence ect. but the voice will allways be good ol AM.
 

immelmen

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MattSR said:
Doesn't matter. ICAO will MAKE it neccesary...

...yeah, just like MLS was supposed to be "necessary"....till the ICAO is told there will be NO airlines left after they all file bankruptcy....the airline lobby is a strong one....just look at United flt 811 to understand why......EVERYONE including the FAA knew 747 cargo doors could blow off due to design defect(a pan-am 747 had nearly had this happen), but was there an AD issued to fix them ASAP as boeing recommended.....noooooo, cus that would have put united, pan-am, twa into bankruptcy.....so instead they were allowed to wait till D checks(done once every 10 years) to fix the door......as a result 9 people died when a door finally ripped off, then the FAA said fix it.....

sorry, but the flying public demands miracles at ticket prices that are less than Amtrak for the same route, so the folks up front will be on AM comms and ICAO can go sit in the corner. thats how this business works.
 
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prcguy

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Recent history with digital conversions show the proponents of digital are always the ones who will make a buck from the sale, like Motorola. They promise this and that and in the end the new digital system is a huge compromise and in some cases lives are lost due to the system not functioning properly. Is this what you want for airplanes flying over your house?
prcguy
 

unitcharlie

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Sorry guys... AM might have problems.... but it works. Gunny Cotton taught me many years ago, "If I can't understand what you are saying we ain't communicating..." Putting that into a digital perspective, if I am too far from a receiver for my signal to be all ones then it is going to be all zeros which means my In-flight Plight just might fall upon deaf ears.... unless some kind soul from rr.com listening to air band happens to hear me and has the inside number to the ATC Facility I am crashing thru..... I want to know what Tower is saying to everyone in the area, I want Tower to hear what I am saying to someone else in the vicinity....
 

K4DHR

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Digital gets brought up for aircraft every few years or so, but never goes anywhere.

As it has been alluded to, it would be ungodly expensive to convert everyone to it, largely thanks to the bureaucracy juggernaut of the FAA. Avionics are ridiculously expensive (price out a simple AM/SSB amateur radio capable of tuning 10+ bands, then look at a simple aviation spec com receiver, capable of covering about 20MHz) because of the bureaucratic mess and certification processes that keeps alot of manufacturers out of the market.

But there is also alot of value in being able to hear what ATC is saying to someone else, particularly if you're monitoring an approach control frequency flying VFR and they give someone else a traffic advisory that just happens to be your aircraft. Since you won't get the same, it lets you know to look out for the aircraft that ATC is talking to.
 

oldranger

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AM vs. FM (Digital)

Right now AM transmissions are a must for aviation communications because of a major drawback FM has ,it is called "Capture Effect".This means the FM receiver will lock in on only the strongest signal and only process it.Weaker signals can't be heard because they are quieted out.
Say a weaker or distant station has an emergency,they will not be heard,but with AM,they can be heard in the back ground or may even " hetrodyne " with other stations.
 
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