Inside Satcom Direct’s FlightDeck Freedom Platform

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Satcom Direct has brought the world the very first automated digital flight log solution. Called FlightDeck Freedom® (FDF), it was designed for military and business aviation, and is already active on more than 2,000 aircraft worldwide. In a world where instability is growing, FDF provides critical communication links and the ability to track the aircraft anywhere in the world.

Satcom Direct FDF
FlightDeck Freedom® (FDF) is Satcom Direct’s unique flight deck communications platform. Photo: Satcom Direct

FlightDeck Freedom® from Satcom Direct

FlightDeck Freedom® (FDF) is Satcom Direct’s versatile flight deck communications platform providing secure, cost-effective datalink communications for flight crew globally. As part of the SD Xperience portfolio, FDF constitutes a major piece of the SD ecosystem of hardware, operational software, infrastructure and data management services.

FDF delivers key aircraft performance data into the SD Pro® digital flight operations management system enabling real-time data sharing between flight departments and all aircraft crew. FDF also powers the innovative SD PostFlight product, the industry’s first automated digital flight log solution.

Specifically built for business and military aviation, FDF features an open architecture design to support every type of avionics and datalink-capable airframe and can be customized using numerous configurable features and value-added services to provide a single source of data to support management of each customer and/or aircraft platform’s mission needs.

Giving aviators freedom to fly

Since its launch in 2007, FDF has given subscribers the freedom – hence the name – to select, upload from, and communicate with preferred third-party trip planning services to support flight planning and execution. Today FDF is active on over 2,000 aircraft and is the only datalink service that offers comprehensive integration with more than twenty globally recognized trip planning providers.

Integration with ForeFlight, the all-in-one flight planning tool, goes even further. As well as enabling flight plan up-linking from the ForeFlight app or website, additional position, altitude, heading, airspeed, remaining distance data can be accessed via the Satcom Direct Router (SDR). Flight plans can also be overlaid onto the ForeFlight map for graphic representation of the upcoming or ongoing flight.

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Satcom Direct FDF
Satcom Direct’s FDF is now installed on 2,000 aircraft worldwide. Photo: Satcom Direct

“Our remit is to make sure that the pilot and flight department/ground control are always connected. FDF gives them this and delivers features that streamline pilot workload, enhance safety features, improve operational efficiencies and address cost savings, all of which are essential for successful operations,” says Chris Moore, President of Satcom Direct Business Aviation.

Unique features of FDF

Adding major value for crews and their passengers, FDF continues to be the only datalink service that links flight deck and cabin communications. Crew can monitor connectivity through visibility into cabin communications and data usage patterns. The unique GeoNotification feature details when aircraft are approaching a defined geographic area, which may affect connectivity or be defined as sensitive airspace. Combined, these tools support better management of passenger expectations. FDF also provides flexibility in using satellite or VHF for datalink communications.

In addition to these unique features, FDF provides access to Digital ATIS, pre-departure clearances, oceanic clearances, and email messaging to and from the aircraft. Crew can receive automated monitoring and notifications of potential hazardous weather and security situations. Alerts can be delivered as uplink messages to the flight deck display, or via email for receipt by aircraft occupants and others needing the information.

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FDF allows aircraft to be tracked all over the world. Photo: Satcom Direct

In a world where geopolitical and environmental instability is growing, FDF provides a crucial communication link between crew, dispatchers and ground personnel through the ability to track the aircraft anywhere in the world via takeoff/landing reports, diversion reports, ETA updates, position reports, and SD Flight Tracker. This global, real-time situational awareness proves vital when unexpected events occur at destinations or departure points, giving operations and crew the ability to make informed, critical decisions to maintain the integrity of the aircraft and passengers by adapting the flight plan according to the ongoing situation.

“FDF really does give our customers the freedom to securely fly how, where and when they want by providing critical up-to-date information about key factors that affect flight planning. We are delighted to have activated our 2000th aircraft this month. It’s a great reflection of just how valuable the ability to select and tailor the flight experience to each mission need is for aviators,” concludes Moore.

This article is sponsored by Satcom Direct

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