Firmware version 6.40 has been released for all FLARM devices. It introduces intuitive obstacle warning behavior, full antenna diversity, a redesigned range analyzer, and a supplementary privacy option. These features have been requested by pilots and improve both the user experience and flight safety. The firmware is available for all PowerFLARM, Classic FLARM, and FLARM-interoperable devices, and can be downloaded for free from the website of the device manufacturer. For end-user devices built by FLARM Technology, it’s available here.
Fixed obstacles like power lines and cable cars receive a lateral buffer, adding width to the object similar to antennas. Flying parallel to such objects now yields more consistent warning behavior. Alarms are now suppressed better when circling or turning in proximity of an obstacle. The data port now transmits a unique obstacle ID for improved future processing by smart displays, e.g. to suppress repetitive alarms. These features are available on PowerFLARM products only, and operate with any valid obstacle database. The latest database including an interactive visualization is available here.
PowerFLARM devices contain two radio antenna ports: “FLARM A” and “FLARM B”, with the latter being activated by applying a license (RFB). This update adds full symmetric diversity (transmit and receive) to “FLARM B” when the RFB license is active (does not apply to North America). This increases the protection around the aircraft in all directions. The RFB license for PowerFLARM Core devices can be purchased in the webshop. Existing RFB licenses automatically enable the new behavior. PowerFLARM Portable devices do not require a license.
The online Range Analyzer tool has been completely redesigned. It now features a side view for 3D assessment of installation performance. Simultaneous upload of multiple files now allows for a more comprehensive and reliable analysis. Full independent receiver diagnostics of both radio channels is now possible for dual antenna setups, helping to verify and optimize installations. Also refer to Section “Safety Equipment Requires Care and Maintenance”.
To accommodate increased privacy needs, the random radio ID option is introduced on all devices (except first-generation F4). It can be selected by setting the ICAO 24-bit address to “0” (zero) in the online configuration tool. With this option set, the characteristic ID used for message broadcasting is randomly generated at each power-up, i.e. typically once per day. Enabling this setting is however discouraged, as it renders Search and Rescue (SAR) and other functionality impractical. It is not possible to activate random ID if the aircraft has a Mode-S transponder (which already transmits the ICAO address of the aircraft).