Aviators will have a chance to check out the inReach personal satellite communicator for the first time at AirVenture this week. Produced by DeLorme, a company that started producing maps in 1976 and has grown into the GPS and satellite communication business, the inReach was developed for outdoor enthusiasts, but its application in the aviation world is evident.
InReach is a two-way satellite communicator that provides emergency alerting and GPS locating services in areas where cell phone coverage is not available, which is 90 percent of the planet, according to DeLorme. The system operates over the Iridium satellite network, and DeLorme claims data links are provided from any point in the world to another in less than 60 seconds.
The handheld unit can also be wirelessly paired to a smartphone, enabling text messaging of up to 160 characters to be sent to people in your contact list via e-mail addresses or cell phone numbers. You can even use inReach to inform your Facebook or Twitter friends of what you’re up to. InReach is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and Android phone.
Another neat feature is the ability for your friends to follow your flight track online through the GPS locating service. DeLorme claims that GPS location is accurate to within five meters.
You can see for yourself what inReach is all about at DeLorme’s booth in Hangar D.