Aviation Weather in the Cockpit

AeroPlus delivers weather data through small Iridium device

The Delorme InReach 2-way communicator is available for less than US$ 250 from Sporty’s or the Pilotshop. With it you can send your friends, family and colleagues short text messages by SMS or even send e-mail messages.

Friends can reply to these messages from a web-based form, thus making 2-way communication possible through the Iridium satellite network.

At AeroPlus, we added an un-official and un-supported feature to the InReach 2-way communicator that allows the device to communicate with our AeroPlus Aviation Weather Service. As a pilot, you now can get the latest weather for your destination or alternate(s) while enroute by sending a message to weather@aeroplus.nl with in the messagebody the exact ICAO code(s) of the airports from which you would like to receive the latest weather. Our weather service will then send you reply messages with the latest available METAR, TAF as well as EXTRA weather data such as the winds aloft, expected freezing level, cloud top and base altitudes and lifted index values.

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The inReach device works on 2 lithium batteries and is easy to use and install.

After sending the text message with the ICAO code of e.g. EHDL (Deelen Militairy Airforce Base in the Netherlands), our weather service sends several messages back with the latest METAR, TAF as well as one or more EXTRA messages giving extra weather information based on weather models such as the GFS model. The length of messages is limited by Delorme and the reason why we send several messages back to the pilot.

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Messages received through the Iridium SAT link with the latest weather.

SIGMETS and EXTRA weather data made available

In the below case of LIME (Orio al Serio airport in the Italian province of Bergamo), there seem to be two SIGMETs published for FIRs in the area of Bergamo warning pilots of severe turbulence. These SIGMETS are sent to the pilot as well.

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SIGMET information sent to the cockpit alerting pilots of severe turbulence in the area.

The EXTRA information sent back to the InReach device gives the pilot the latest airmass data for the specified location or airfield. This information is based on the latest model data from weather models such as the GFS model. The EXTRA 3H gives an extra 3-hour forecast of this data. The EXTRA information should be interpreted with care and the data could be different from the METAR and TAF data provided for the same location. The source of the EXTRA information is different from the source of the METAR and TAF data. The lifted index number could give you a good indication of expected convective activity in the airmass at the requested location.

FZ120 = Freezing-level at FL120
-20T215 = -20 degrees Celsius level is at FL215
CB60 = Cloudbase at FL60
CT95 = Top of clouds (Cloudtops) at FL95
LFTX8.6 = Lifted Index of 8.6
FL120 W19913KT = Winds Aloft at FL120 13 KT
from direction 199 degrees

Missing information

What is still missing is weather radar images. For that, we are about to release an updated version of our Aviation Weather app that will work with either a Thuraya Satellite link  and the Thuraya Satsleeve device or with the Iridium Go! device and through the Iridium satellite network.

Please keep in mind that our above service that is provided through the Inreach device is provided – as is – and not an official product or service we or Delorme provides.

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AeroPlus Weather satellite weather imagery through Thuraya satellite network.

Comments

  1. Hi,
    what do i have to DO/BUY to use the inReach with your server? Cannot find any information!

    • Send an e-mail to weather@aeroplus.nl with in the body the ICAO code of the airfield where you would like to receive weather from, e.g. EHAM. Then a few minutes later you will receive several messages with the METAR, TAF, EXTRA (GFS data) and EXTRA 3HR (GFS data 3 hours in advance).

      • Igor Tokarev says

        Is this email service still in operation ? I tried it with Garmin InReach and have not received any response.

  2. How does your user logon relate to the inreach I’d ie how does the app know an authorised person?

  3. David Elder says

    Sjoerd, I am based in Melbourne, Australia. I have a Cirrus SR 20. I have downloaded your excellent weather app. I wonder if you could advise why YMMB does not appear in the airports?
    I am also very interested however in the possibility of live weather data on the iPad via the InReach and Thuraya hardware. Has this progressed towards release? Would this set up give me the weather coverage that I am after? (Australia has no XM or NexRad service.) Many thanks David.

    • We do have nearby airports YMEN, YMML and YMAV but indeed no YMMB. We will add the airfield, so let us know at support@aeroplus.nl if you find other airports you are missing. The InReach solution is operational and available. There is Thuraya coverage. We are still in the test phase for the Thuraya solution. Not available yet.

  4. How about integration with the ADL 120/130/140 products? I would love to be able to use your weather app in flight with my iridium and DWD subscriptions.

    • Chris: that is exactly what we are working on: integration between the ADL devices and our weather app including a rain radar overlay without the need to get a DWD subscription.

  5. Excellent! Please let me know when it becomes available.

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