This year Naviter introduce Position Sharing for the Oudie via the Open Glider Network, bringing many additional possibilities to the freeflight community including in-flight tracking and identification of fellow pilots plus future developments like ‘passive’ FLARM beacons. The Oudie 4 and Oudie 4 Basic continue to be a big success, perfectly complimenting the Flytec range of instruments: Alto, Speed, Track and 6030!
Naviter Oudie Position Sharing via the Open Glider Network
Exciting news from Naviter this year with the introduction of Position Sharing for the Oudie range of flight instruments, which is expected to be accomplished through the innovation of data sharing via the Open Glider Network (OGN). This also brings about the opening of a whole raft of additional possibilities to the Free Flying community (as well as Gliding and other recreational aviation communities).
We spoke with Andrej Kolar of Naviter at the Coupe Icare to find out more about this very exciting new development.
The main point to note is that the OGN is not a proprietary network and shares data with the FLARM system. There are two really interesting aspects to us in regards this innovation.
Pilot Tracking & ID
Firstly, the Oudie range will be able to support tracking and identification of fellow pilots in the air. Ever wondered who is flying 2km away on your track? In future, your Oudie flight instrument should be able to tell you.
"After speaking to many pilots at Coupe Icare there is one particular use case worth mentioning: When a group is flying together in an area with many pilots this feature will be able to show you where your team mates are. Eg. A guide will know where his students are. Nobody is interested in a sea of 150 paraglider icons on an already crowded Oudie display, for instance in a competition you don’t want to see 150 other competitors. You want to know the whereabouts of your team and possibly a few of the other top pilots.
You can assign a name to pilots and even select to follow one of them (e.g. your Guide or Cazaux following Seiko in Australia and vice-versa etc). Distance and Direction navboxes will guide you to this live moving target if you select this option (it’s already in the software)."
Coming back to the technology of the Open Glider Network, the OGN website states:
"The objective of the Open Glider Network is to create and maintain a unified tracking platform for gliders and other General Aviation (GA) aircraft. Currently OGN focuses on tracking aircraft equipped with FLARM, FLARM-compatible devices or OGN tracker."
Development of this functionality is now finished and Naviter are just waiting for the OGN to initiate data sharing for it to go live, which will hopefully be in place by the end of the year.
Future development: ‘passive’ FLARM beacon (FANET+)
Secondly, and for future development, OGN technology enables a ‘passive’ FLARM beacon (transmit only, Tx) to be broadcast by the Oudie, making paraglider pilots visible to air traffic control and the broader flying community (more than 10,000 devices are already registered on the OGN devices database). This could be very good news as extra visibility offers a powerful argument to halt the closure of the skies to free flyers, and potentially even help reverse the trend, clearly important in the particularly restricted airspace of the UK.
The Oudie is also able to function as a receiver within the OGN therefore increasing the overall network coverage.
(While OGN Tracking through smartphone will be available immediately after OGN releases their software, the passive FLARM beacon will be available in collaboration with Skytraxx, using their FANET+ technology, at a later stage - There is still much development to be done before this becomes reality.)
Of course, network effects work best where we can freely share data across networks, compatibility with LiveTrack24 being absolutely key in this regard. There is much support from the OGN community to incorporating LiveTrack24 data but do note it is currently work in progress and the networks at this point in time remain separate. So, LiveTrack24 integration is possible, and we hope very likely to happen, but not just yet. Watch this space. (The more pilots ask the manufacturers of their favourite flight instruments to incorporate this new tech, the better!)
Oudie 4 & Oudie 4 Basic - still winners!
The Oudie 4 and Oudie 4 Basic continue to be a great success, with a unique set of features not offered by any other freeflight instrument, so there is currently no plan to replace these.
Commenting on the ongoing integration of Flytec instruments into the Naviter range, a process which began with the acquisition in September 2016, Andrej states the company has learned much in the way of best practice from their new partners, particularly in vario technology.
For advanced hang glider pilots who want a pitot tube for total energy compensation (TEC), the old favourite Flytec 6030 is still available to order.
Flytec instruments still carry the Flytec brand name but have been updated with new simplified electronics amongst other changes.