FLARM Features

FLARM warns of impending collisions with nearby FLARM-equipped gliders. It also warns of any aircraft equipped with a transmitting transponder, including the new ADS-B.

It only works with gliders equipped with a FLARM.

FLARM understands the unique flight characteristics of gliders, and stays quiet unless there is a real collision hazard.

It also shows other nearby FLARM-equipped gliders that are not a collision risk.

 

There are three versions of the FLARM.  The Classic FLARM and two new PowerFLARM versions being developed for the USA market.  

 

Classic FLARM is widely used around the world, including most countries in Europe, Australia, South Africa, Israel.  Over 14,000 FLARM Classic and compatible devices by licensed manufacturers have been installed in gliders, motorgliders, towplanes and also rescue and air force helicopters and hanggliders.

However, Classic FLARM systems do not meet US FCC requirements and should not be used in the US or Canada. 

PowerFlarm Front View.jpg The PowerFLARM will be made available in two versions, the system designed for mounting on top of an instrument panel (shown to the left), and a version with a seperate display for mounting in the instrumnet panel.  

The addition of the "in the panel" version is a portable unit for pilots without adequate panel space of for moving from one aircraft to another.

The USA PowerFLARM versions will be available in April 2011 and will be FCC approved.  In addition to being capable of detecting other nearby FLARM units, FLARM can detect nearby aircraft equipped with ADS-B systems or Mode C or S transponders.  PowerFLARM is based on a more powerful processor and a fully redesigned and higher range radio transceiver, but remains fully compatible with the "Classic" FLARM.  

PowerFLARM also features:

The portable PowerFLARM can run on either internal "AA" batteries or from external 12V aircraft power.  The panel mounted PowerFLARM version will not have the "AA"battery feature.  

The panel mounted unit allows for direct connection with various flight computers, e.g. the ClearNav, ILEC SN-10, or LX-8000; and, several External Displays are available as well.  

PowerFLARM provides a comprehensive collision-avoidance system. It understands the flight characteristics of gliders and includes warnings for potential collisions with aircraft having mode C or S transponders or 1090ES ADS-B-Out systems.

PowerFLARM is not an ADS-B transmitter nor a transponder.  If you want FAA Air Traffic Controllers and commercial aircraft (jets) pilots and their TCAS collision-avoidance systems to see you, you need to couple PowerFLARM with a Mode S transponder with 1090ES (Mode C works but is no longer recommended).

 

There are many display possibilities. Here is a display on the ILEC SN-10.

This SN-10 screen presents a radar view of the FLAR-equipped gliders in the area. This screen depicts two gliders at 2 o'clock. The highlighted glider (square box) has a FLARM ID of FDDADF, is 3.9 miles away, climbing at 2.5 kts, and 492 ft higher than you.

 

FLARMn1.png

PDAs with a program like “SeeYou mobile” will display aircraft PowerFLARM has identified, making it easy to keep up with those in your blind spot. 

SeeYou Mobile Flarm

 

A pilot maintaining collision avoidance by watching outside the aircraft is much preferred; but a quick glance at a Power Flarm screen is tremendous for maintaining good situational awareness. 

Personal preferences will vary here.  In the SeeYou Mobile display, "your glider" is the larger one to the left.  The other two smaller gliders represent other gliders with FLARM.  The "Enemy" and "Friend" are displayed in the SeeYou software and replace the PowerFLARM ID that would otherwise be present.  Also, you can see the relative altitude and climb rate of these two gliders.

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FLARM receives your position and movement information from an internal GPS receiver. Each second, FLARM calculates your predicted flight path from the GPS information, and transmits this predicted flight path via radio, as a low power, digital signal. Provided they are within receiving range, this signal is received by other FLARM-equipped aircraft. Your FLARM compares your predicted flight path with those received from other FLARMs. At the same time, FLARM compares your predicted flight path with known obstacle data, including electric power lines, radio masts and cable cars.

If FLARM determines you are at risk of colliding with another aircraft or an obstacle, the unit warns you of the greatest danger at that moment. The warning is given by a whistle sound (beep) and bright light emitting diodes (LED). The display also gives indication of the threat level, plus the horizontal and vertical bearing to the threat. 

The operating range is very dependent upon the antenna installation in the aircraft.. PowerFLARM will have a range up to ten kilometers (6 miles).

  The GPS and coordinates of the other aircraft can also be made available for use in other systems (e.g. external display, speech synthesizer, PDA) via a serial data output. There are a number of manufacturers of equipment which displays FLARM data.

More information about Flarm can be found on this web site:

www.GliderPilot.org

To place you name on the order list at a special early-bird price, please send an email to: tomknauff@yahoo.com