Press release: Scheduled and mandatory firmware update to all FLARM and PowerFLARM devices; New TrackingServer

Baar, Switzerland – January 28, 2015 – FLARM Technology today announced that a scheduled and mandatory firmware update is soon to be released for all FLARM devices. The update is required for all FLARM-compatible designs. It includes classic FLARM, PowerFLARM and FLARM manufactured by LXNAV, LX Navigation, Garrecht/AIR Avionics, Triadis, Ediatec, Flytec/Bräuniger, OzFlarm and others.

The update will be released by early March 2015 on www.flarm.com at no cost. It includes safety features that increase the effectiveness and robustness of collision warnings, further decreasing nuisance alarms, for example by taking into account wind. It also includes new features to alert about temporary danger areas such as skydiver drop zones, RC plane- and UAV zones. Position and message encoding with newly introduced optional no-tracking setting will address privacy for ground-based tracking solutions while improving performance and system integrity. Some regions will see a change in operating frequency, to improve range. The new obstacle database now handles additional obstacle areas and types. Old obstacle database versions are obsolete and will no longer work. Obstacle database and functionality extension licenses can be purchased from shop.flarm.com.

This scheduled update has been announced with the last major firmware update in 2011, and is part of the FLARM system maintenance concept since FLARM was introduced to the market in 2004.

If the free FLARM update is not applied, the device will no longer be operational and stop to operate after March 31, 2015.

Every FLARM device must be updated to the latest firmware and obstacle database version at least once per year, which should be part of the regular aircraft maintenance program. Failure to do so may render the device fully or partially inoperable.

FLARM TrackingServer

In spring 2015, FLARM Technology will introduce a scalable TrackingServer service, connecting FLARM ground stations and 3rd party receivers. This will enable tracking of participating aircraft, for example during competitions and by permitting flying clubs to track their own aircraft. It will fully support the new no-tracking setting and existing FLARM “Stealth Mode” for full global privacy. Search & Rescue operations (SAR) will have fast and comprehensive access to the data. TrackingServer is designed to combine various sources of tracking data such as FLARM radio packages (raw and dataport), smart phone tracking, SPOT, FlarmNet and other sources, with its core data and service accessible for everybody at no cost. FLARM ground stations and airborne systems will eventually rebroadcast data received from other sources to ensure maximal coverage regardless of the technology used, using FLARM’s innovative, patented mesh-technology. FLARM Technology welcomes other data sources and service enablers to collaborate with TrackingServer.

About FLARM Technology GmbH

FLARM Technology is the producer of the award-winning airborne collision avoidance system with the same name. The technology has undergone rapid growth thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of their products. Today, nearly 30’000 FLARM-compatible devices are in use worldwide. Initially developed for the glider community, powered aircraft and UAV operators are increasingly using FLARM, since it greatly reduces the risk of mid-air and obstacle collisions. In contrast to the bulky and expensive TCAS system used in airliners, FLARM has been designed to meet the specific needs of smaller aircraft. The newly certified PowerFLARM devices are ideally suited for General Aviation, since they also issue traffic warnings for transponder and ADS-B equipped aircraft.