First test for in-flight weather uplink

U.S. pilots have long enjoyed uplinked weather reports but getting the same information into a U.K. cockpit currently involves a satellite link and the associated costs. That may be about to change.

Yesterday FLYER participated in an early trial of in-flight uplinked weather, almost certainly the first time it has been done in Europe.

SkyDemon worked with uAvionix to install a low power (20 watt) test antenna on its Somerset premises and start transmitting some preliminary data. We were flying and when within a range of between 10 and 15nm (range varies with height and receiver aerial shielding), we saw weather radar being uplinked (photo above).

Trials are expected to continue, with further weather products available soon and the ultimate aim being to have a series of higher power transmissions providing graphical and textual weather through UAT (essentially a flavour of ADS-B with more bandwidth). Exciting times…