LA JOLLA, Calif., 14 Aug. 2013. Erickson Air-Crane Inc. (NASDAQ:EAC) officials sought to harness satellite-based technology for the Erickson S-64 Aircrane Helitanker to improve safety and efficiency during firefighting operations. They found their solution at Blue Sky Network, a supplier of satellite tracking and communication solutions for aviation, land, and marine applications.
Erickson Air-Crane officials selected Blue Sky Network’s SkyRouter cloud-based web portal and its D1000 Automated Flight Following (AFF)-compliant tracking hardware. SkyRouter satellite tracking provides Erickson assets with near-real-time data while on location, and enhanced situational awareness and fire retardant usage.
Erickson, by leveraging Blue Sky Network’s New Sky Router and D1000 Series tracking hardware, benefits from features such as satellite tracking and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication to help ensure fires are extinguished efficiently. Erickson has deployed aerial firefighting resources worldwide in areas like Australia, Italy, Greece, and the southwestern United States.
“Blue Sky Network’s satellite tracking solution enables crucial communication with our pilots and aircraft in remote areas. Communication is constant and uninterrupted, an essential feature during firefighting operations,” explains Erickson Marketing Communications Manager Brian Carlson. “We selected Blue Sky Network because they provide superior reliability and coverage for our fleets, and enable us to differentiate our operations during critical missions such as aerial firefighting.”
Erickson, a global provider of aviation services to a diverse mix of end markets, including firefighting, acquired Evergreen Helicopters Inc., a diversified global provider of cargo and personnel air transport services to government and commercial customers.
To support Erickson, Blue Sky Network’s D1000 Series contains an RS232 port that enables the collection of intelligent asset data, such as the amount of fire retardant being dropped on fires, from external sensors. When paired with the ACH1000, the D1000 Series provides the ability to make voice calls and the benefit of two-way messaging between aircraft and command centers. With New Sky Router, the D1000 Series allows fleet managers to maintain, view, and communicate with multiple assets simultaneously on a single map from a centralized command center.