Aviation cellular provider AirCell has introduced Nexrad weather radar services. Using a Compaq iPAQ palmtop computer as a display and AirCell's cellular service as a conduit, pilots can view the same Nexrad radar images that they see online. Thankfully, the system bypasses the internet and uses AirCell's data center as the point of contact. The pilot selects the icon on the iPAQ screen and the request is automatically put through for the selected image. The process takes, says AirCell, less than a minute of airtime to complete.
AirCell sells the Flight Guardian software required to make the system work for $99. An active AirCell phone system is also required, of course. The company also sells packages, with the iPAQ and the software bundled together, for $649.95. A subscription to the data service required starts at $9.95 a month, with $1.99 per minute connection fees; voice and data subscription prices start at $29.95 a month and $1.99 per minute. For more information, visit www.aircell.com.