The PNG WICS features NVG compatibility, push-to-talk and voice activation functions that allow integration of the MP50 handset transceiver into their mission set, along with multiple civil, para-public and military mission profiles.
The integration of the Axnes PNG WICS was performed by United Rotorcraft in Denver, where the S-70i airframes are equipped with mission equipment, including internal audio integration and two PNG MP50 handsets, to allow crews to operate inside and outside of the aircraft with full-duplex crew communication via wireless intercom.
Eventually, 12 CAL FIRE S-70i Firehawk aircraft will be equipped with the Axnes wireless intercom to improve crew safety, situational awareness and enhancing communications for mission efficiency.
Bringing situational awareness and safety
Brett Gardner, Vice President at Axnes Inc, commented: “The PNG system brings situational awareness and safety to CAL FIRE crews, freeing them from having to be connected to ICS drop cords. Our equipment is easy to operate and enhances their mission capabilities. Plus, PNG enables secure line-of-sight wireless communication with its full AES 256 grade encryption.”
Zach Boyce, Fire Captain and Training Cadre Member at CAL FIRE, added: “We operate our new high-performance Firehawk helicopters under very challenging conditions, so safety and crew awareness are very important to us. Axnes’ unique wireless intercom technology was essential to us because it provides excellent full-duplex wireless ICS capability, allowing seamless crew communications inside and outside of our aircraft in high noise environments.”
As the volume, intensity, and risk of aerial firefighting missions increases, AirMed&Rescue explored how aircraft and crew are being made safer.