Global satellite communication and digital solutions provider Marlink and IDG Europe has completed the trials of a new Smalltrack portable tracking system for fixed-wing aircraft.

Tested on an aircraft operated by Scandinavian Air Ambulance and a helicopter operated by Scandinavian MediCopter in Sweden, the system has been developed by Marlink.

During the five-day test conducted on a Beech Super King Air 200 aircraft, Smalltrack was placed on the glare shield of the plane and position reports were being monitored.

"Smalltrack is the ideal ‘carry-on’ tracking device for small fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters."

The trial demonstrated that th edevice placement on the glare shield does not affect the ability to transmit or receive data, which was made available through the Smalltrack online interface.

During the three-week long helicopter testing aboard an AS 365 Dauphin N2 aircraft, the device was transmitting all the data reports.

While conducting the test, Smalltrack was set to activate using the built in accelerometer so it does not have to be included in the pre-flight check list, saving the pilot time before taking off.

Marlink enterprise president Danny Côté said: “Highly compact, mobile and reliable, Smalltrack is the ideal ‘carry-on’ tracking device for small fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.

“The trials with our partner IDG Europe demonstrate the convenience of the system for small aircraft pilots, who will benefit from the added layer of safety and security tracking provided, without having to add another item to pre-flight check lists.”

The new location-based Iridium tracking device operates on its satellite network and can be used in any location without connecting to external power or antenna sources.

Smalltrack provides precise tracking to support flight safety and logistics, as well as manual and automatic emergency alerts.