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Author Topic: HF Radio being phased out for Aircraft comms ?  (Read 235 times)
jasonw
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« on: February 01, 2016, 04:49:34 AM »

Hi All

Just a question, has anyone heard that HF radio is going to be phased out for aircraft comms and will be going thru a satellite system in a Next Gen communications system.
Also will this mean that VHF will also disappear for communications in favor of text messages and sat comms.

I did hear this mentioned the other week about HF being phased out, would be a shame as it is always there for long distance communications with a low amount of infrastructure needed to have it up and running.

Regards from
Jason in New Zealand.

   
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dave
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2016, 09:33:58 AM »

This has already started on oceanic routes. Read more here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controller%E2%80%93pilot_data_link_communications

You will still hear plenty of position reports and I suspect HF will at least evolve into a backup communications system over time. Hard to imagine pilots only having one communications system with no backup.


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InterpreDemon
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2016, 12:08:34 PM »

When they outlaw voice communications they will outlaw HF communications... which is never because when they outlaw voice communications they will have outlawed human pilots. Every position report you hear is from a plane unable to connect via CPDLC for whatever reason, and there are still plenty of them. Often times clearances will not get through the data link and you'll hear them read out or confirmed via voice. HF in particular is very efficient in that it requires a minimal number of ground installations, and the use of HFDL as a backup to SAT and VHF has been on the rise. Finally, it is a private sector system (ARINC/Rockwell) paid for by the industry at paltry cost per member and I cannot imagine them giving up that option, especially for LDOC communications. For example the JBU flight talking to maintenance last night about a display paging problem where the pilots could not be sure their fuel had been transferred and they had to decide whether to proceed to Puerto Rico. I can just imagine the same situation where they are typing out or IM'ing some help desk in India instead of talking to a guy who sounds like he's turned a wrench or two in his lifetime. The same goes for medical situations dealt with through phone patches to MedLink doctors, which occur daily, so I don't see HF going away for a very long time.
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Feed Purveyor:
KJFK ARINC
KHPN ATIS
(KJFK) NY DEP Liberty East
HF CAR-A  3455/5550/6577/8846/11396
HF ARINC LDOC  6640/8933
HF NY VOLMET  6604

Complaints should be addressed to: City Hall
JetScan1
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2016, 09:53:37 AM »

Quote
it is a private sector system (ARINC/Rockwell) paid for by the industry at paltry cost per member and I cannot imagine them giving up that option, especially for LDOC communications.

SATCOM voice has already probably replaced close to 99.9% of LDOC calls to maintenance, dispatch, medlink, etc. that used to be done on HF. The only time I could see an airline like JetBlue using HF for that is if their SATCOM was unserviceable that day.

Quote
Also will this mean that VHF will also disappear for communications in favor of text messages and sat comms.

CPDLC (texting) is now used by all Canadian ARTCC's in high level domestic airspace (FL290 and above). The extent it's used seems to depend somewhat on pilot and controller preference. It's common to only hear an aircraft check on the frequency and that's it. Routing, altitude changes and frequency handoff's all done on CPDLC. At first it was just used by long range international overseas Atlantic and Pacific flights, but now Air Canada and WestJet have started using it on domestic flights as more of their fleets are becoming equipped. Both airlines start taking delivery of the B737 MAX in a year or so and I would guess the CPDLC package comes as a standard option ?

CPDLC uses VHF or SATCOM and even HF in some cases (?) but unlike ACARS messages that are easy to decode, CPDLC transmissions are encrytped.

A4471/14 NOTAMR A2776/14
Q) CZYZ/QCDXX/IV/NBO/E /000/999/4729N08055W999
A) CZYZ
B) 1406091318
C) PERM
E) CZYZ WEF 2014 APR 12 1300
CPDLC PHASE 1, 2, AND 3 FOR TORONTO ACC IMPLEMENTED WITHIN HIGH
LEVEL AIRSPACE FL290 AND ABOVE AS PER AIC 15/14.
ONLY THE FOLLOWING DOWNLINK MESSAGES WILL BE SUPPORTED BY TORONTO
ACC:
DM0 - WILCO
DM1 - UNABLE
DM2 - STANDBY
DM3 - ROGER
DM4 - AFFIRM
DM5 - NEGATIVE
DM6 - REQUEST (ALT)
DM9 - REQUEST CLIMB TO (ALT)
DM10 - REQUEST DESCENT TO (ALT)
DM18 - REQUEST (SPEED)
DM20 - REQUEST VOICE CONTACT
DM21 - REQUEST VOICE CONTACT (FREQ)
DM22 - REQUEST DIRECT TO (POS)
DM28 - LEAVING (ALT)
DM29 - CLIMBING TO (ALT)
DM30 - DESCENDING TO (ALT)
DM32 - PRESENT ALTITUDE (ALT)
DM34 - PRESENT SPEED (SPEED)
DM37 - LEVEL (ALT)
DM38 - ASSIGNED LEVEL (LEVEL)
DM39 - ASSIGNED SPEED (SPEED)
DM47 - SQUAWKING (CODE)
DM55 - PAN PAN PAN
DM56 - MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY
DM57 - (FUEL) (FUEL2) FUEL REMAINING (SOULS) SOULS ON BOARD
DM58 - CANCEL EMERGENCY
DM60 - OFFSETTING (DOFF) (DIR) OF ROUTE
DM61 - DESCENDING TO (ALT)
DM62 - ERROR (ERROR INFORMATION)
DM63 - NOT CURRENT DATA AUTHORITY
DM64 - (ICAO FACILITY DESIGNATION)
DM65 - DUE WEATHER
DM66 - DUE AIRCRAFT PERFORMANCE
DM67 - FREE TEXT
DM80 - DEVIATING (DOFF) (DIR) OF ROUTE
ANY DOWNLINK MESSAGE OTHER THAN THE ABOVE WILL GENERATE A 'MESSAGE
NOT SUPPORTED BY THIS FACILITY' RESPONSE FROM THE GROUND SYSTEM.

It's also already been in use in domestic airspace over Australia and parts of Europe for some time now. There are some LiveATC feeds that cover these sectors and you can hear (or not hear) how much CPDLC is being used.

« Last Edit: February 02, 2016, 10:00:46 AM by JetScan1 » Logged
InterpreDemon
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2016, 01:54:07 PM »

Jet - "SATCOM voice has already probably replaced close to 99.9% of LDOC calls to maintenance, dispatch, medlink, etc. that used to be done on HF."  Doubtless because it is more private AND it is asynchronous, which seems to be the way everybody likes to communicate these days... nobody wants to talk to each other because God forbid they might both have to be doing something together at the same time, like talking around a dinner table instead of texting smiley

That rant aside, the only point I was making is I do not see a compelling reason to eliminate HF as a backup or redundant system. It adds minimally to the weight of the aircraft, and even in the voiceless world it is a valuable third leg of the stool when it comes to ACARS, in fact modern airborne data systems handle the mode selection transparently between SAT, VHF and HF, sniffing out whatever is available and using the best of the three. Finally, if you asked pilots flying overseas, over central Asia or on polar routes whether they would prefer equipment that did NOT have HF available over a ride that did, I suspect you would get few takers.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2016, 02:26:40 PM by InterpreDemon » Logged

Feed Purveyor:
KJFK ARINC
KHPN ATIS
(KJFK) NY DEP Liberty East
HF CAR-A  3455/5550/6577/8846/11396
HF ARINC LDOC  6640/8933
HF NY VOLMET  6604

Complaints should be addressed to: City Hall
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