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Will Aviation Comm Go Digital Like Police/fire?

Wed Apr 17, 2002 3:40 am

Will aviation communications go digital like police/fire depts?

(It is nearly impossible to use my analog scanner to monitor the police/fire communications in my area. Nearly all of them have switched to digital. Fortunately, Uniden and Yupiteru will come out with digital scanner/receivers in the 3rd quarter of this year.)

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RE: Will Aviation Comm Go Digital Like Police/fire?

Wed Apr 17, 2002 3:53 am

I hope they don't! I don't want to but another scanner. Even though i have gotten well worth my $120 investment on it. But seems like digital things are costly and i would hate to buy another one. But it is easier to change police and fire radios b/c that is within a city where aviation is world-wide and every plane and airport would have to change to digital by a certain year just like analog TV stations that have to change to digital by the year 2006. That date keeps getting pushed later and later and i could imagine the mess in aviation. So i bet it will be at leastr 10 years until it would be in full swing on all airliners.

Just my thoughts.
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RE: Will Aviation Comm Go Digital Like Police/fire?

Wed Apr 17, 2002 5:03 am

It will be highly unlikely that services in the VHF aviation band will be changed from analog to digital.

Two reasons:

1. Whose standard would be used? Today, there are several digital standards being used for land mobile radio, ie Tetra (Europe and some other countries - public safety and commercial systems), Tetrapol (Europe and a few other countries - public safety only), APCO25 (USA - public safety) and Iden (Motorola's proprietry system used mainly in commercial applications, primarily in the US but in some other countries also). Just look at the bunfight going on over 3G cellular and whose technology should be adopted for the new global standard.

2. The logistics of a changeover would be a nightmare. Digital equipment would progressively need to be installed on aircraft (in tandem with existing analog radios) and likewise at airports. When this mammoth task is completed, the old analog equipment would ned to be decommissioned. And this would need to happen in every aircraft from a B747 to a glider in every airport from LHR right down to the smallest grass strip everywhere in the world, so as to ensure commonality between all aircraft and airports.

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RE: Will Aviation Comm Go Digital Like Police/fire?

Wed Apr 17, 2002 7:20 am

Police and fire are digital? Not where I live... they run on a digital system called a trunked system, but the frequencies can still be scanned and picked up by a regular, non-trunking scanner. I don't think that aviation will switch over to digital because every single aircraft (except those without electrical systems) will have to switch over, costing billions of dollars, where in a police system just requires switching over that police station's cars and system.