Cessna service letters can help Citation operators ensure that passenger electronic carry-on devices will not interfere with onboard avionics systems.
Communication equipment for voice or data-linked transmissions is typically installed by TC, STC, or FSDO Field Approval. Wireless routers (supporting wireless operations) are generally limited to TC or STC approval for the installation of equipment and shows that the airplane is transmitting portable electronic device (T-PED) tolerant. This places the burden on the operator to ensure the carry-on T-PEDs do not interfere with onboard avionics systems.
For many operators, a Cessna Citation is a mobile business office traveling around the globe. One of the obstacles corporations face is staying connected to the outside world—both in voice and data-linked transmissions.
The solution for voice-capability began with the Iridium Satellite Phone Communication network offering a lowcost, reliable means to communicate from the ground or in the air to any point around the world. The Iridium Satellite Constellation has been constantly upgraded since the late 1990s, proving to be a highly adaptable system within the aviation community.
Recently for data-linked transmissions, Aircell has the Gogo Biz™ system operating from a network of ground wireless towers located in the United States. The system delivers broadband technology for Wi-Fi enabled laptops, notebooks, and smart phones for data usage and entertainment use.
Aircell currently has the lowest cost, highest data solution available; however, it is limited primarily to operations in the U.S. and above 10,000 feet. Alternatives to the Aircell technology include various Inmarsat Broadband Global Area Network solutions that provide reasonable data rates, suitable for office use on a larger—more global scale.
Though the technology has offered wireless connectivity for several years, the adoption of this capability into aircraft has slowed due to the certification concerns over electromagnetic interference with onboard avionic systems.
Ironically, the concerns over the interference were less associated with installed aircraft equipment and more focused on the wide variety of cell phones, personal data assistants (PDAs), laptop or notebook computers that passengers carry onboard the aircraft. To the regulatory officials, these T-PEDs represented may unknowns.
To date, Cessna has conducted rigorous testing of Citations for T-PED tolerance with most current production type models. For those airplane models that have been tested, a service letter has been issued and is available at http://www.cessnasupport.com/.
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Note: For aircraft models not listed or aircraft that have been modified after factory delivery, Cessna is working on a method to test fielded aircraft for T-PED tolerance. Cessna anticipates having a method in place by third quarter 2012.
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