Twitter Facebook Google RSS
Business & Industry News 

Air National Guard Considers Replacing Manuals With Tablets 

12  2,013 

By Valerie Insinna 

The Air National Guard is studying whether pilots may be able to replace paper copies of reference manuals with electronic versions stored on a tablet. Such technology could make it easier for pilots to look up technical information and reduce weight on aircraft.

The Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center in Tucson, Ariz., is working alongside the Georgia Tech Research Institute on evaluating 24 commercial tablets’ compatibility in the cockpit, including whether tablets need to be ruggedized to meet military specifications, said Air Force Lt. Col. Vincent Sei, deputy director of testing.

Additionally, Georgia Tech is building two software applications for use by the Air National Guard. The first is a technical order app that includes information on safety procedures and other information that can be used in an emergency such as an engine failure.

The test center originally looked at commercial document readers, but they did not allow pilots to rapidly access information. Georgia Tech’s apps, on the other hand, were designed with “nice, big, pilot friendly buttons” that quickly take you to the appropriate pages and then back to the table of contents, Sei said.

Georgia Tech is also designing an app version of its FalconView mapping software, which includes flight charts and mission planning elements, allowing pilots to plan weapons delivery and aerial refueling, he said. This application could be used by the Army and Air Force, which have shown interest in developing the software and have contributed funding.

So far about 15 pilots have tested two tablets — one running Apple’s iOS and one running Google’s Android operating system — during four days’ worth of A-10 and F-16 simulator sessions. The response from pilots has been positive, Sei said.

“They [the tablets] seem to work really well. Obviously there are issues with flight gloves, but companies have already figured that out and made special flight gloves that work with touch technologies,” he said.

Pilots have conducted A-10 flights with tablets loaded with the technical order app, and flight testing of the FalconView mobile application will begin next summer, he said. The Air National Guard also intends to test the tablets in F-16 jet fighters.

The government will retain ownership of any software developed.

“We looked at a lot of commercial software packages … and they’re awesome,” Sei explained. But once the Guard started to figure in upkeep and building in extra features, the expenses kept piling on, he said.

Whether the government will eventually contract portions of the initiative out to industry is yet to be decided, he said.

Photo Credit: Defense Dept.
Reader Comments

Re: Air National Guard Considers Replacing Manuals With Tablets

Looks like a 3 to 1 opportunity for someone

Paul Maas on 11/27/2013 at 14:38

Re: Air National Guard Considers Replacing Manuals With Tablets

AMC already has the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB).

Might want to contact them and save a lot of time and money!

Vince N on 11/27/2013 at 09:15

Submit Your Reader's Comment Below
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Please enter the text displayed in the image.
The picture contains 6 characters.
*Legal Notice

NDIA is not responsible for screening, policing, editing, or monitoring your or another user's postings and encourages all of its users to use reasonable discretion and caution in evaluating or reviewing any posting. Moreover, and except as provided below with respect to NDIA's right and ability to delete or remove a posting (or any part thereof), NDIA does not endorse, oppose, or edit any opinion or information provided by you or another user and does not make any representation with respect to, nor does it endorse the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement, or other material displayed, uploaded, or distributed by you or any other user. Nevertheless, NDIA reserves the right to delete or take other action with respect to postings (or parts thereof) that NDIA believes in good faith violate this Legal Notice and/or are potentially harmful or unlawful. If you violate this Legal Notice, NDIA may, in its sole discretion, delete the unacceptable content from your posting, remove or delete the posting in its entirety, issue you a warning, and/or terminate your use of the NDIA site. Moreover, it is a policy of NDIA to take appropriate actions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other applicable intellectual property laws. If you become aware of postings that violate these rules regarding acceptable behavior or content, you may contact NDIA at 703.522.1820.

  Bookmark and Share