Avionics Report

February 2013 Issue

Connected Panel: Aspen’s WiFi Gateway

The FAA gives the nod to Aspen’s CG100 Connected Panel interface, advancing the concept of wireless avionics integration.

The thought of a wireless tablet computer interfacing with IFR-certified, panel-mounted avionics is enough to make an FAA inspector squirm in his polyester. Aspen Avionics—who has a knack for obtaining product certifications in short order—recently slid this concept and its CG100 WiFi hardware through FAA certification channels and earned STC approval. Connected Panel is an interface that’s sparking interest from a growing list of avionics manufacturers and app designers who are committed to joining Aspen’s open architecture. Could this be the start of WiFi-driven avionics? We think the system has serious growth potential and is worth considering when installing a multiscreen Aspen suite. The $2499 Connected Panel is essentially a communications network for flowing data­ from mobile devices—mainly Apple, for now, into compatible panel-mounted avionics. This data can include flight plans and comm radio frequencies, for loading into a GPS navigator, mainly Garmin’s GNS400W/500W and the future Aspen KSN770. Thanks to the wireless gateway, data can flow both ways—to or from the mobile device. For example, if you’ve ever wanted to send engine and fuel data into your iPad, Connected Panel could be the avenue for doing so, as long as there’s a compatible app designed for the task.

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