Hemisphere GPS Introduces Satloc Bantam Aerial Guidance System and Background Map Feature for Air IntelliStar

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Source: Hemisphere GPS

From the National Agricultural Aviation Association Convention and Exhibition in Savannah, Ga., Hemisphere GPS announced the availability of Satloc Bantam, a mid-level GPS guidance solution targeted at two markets; a growing customer segment seeking specific high-end features in a lower priced platform and the niche market of small agricultural aircraft and helicopters. Satloc Bantam has been modeled after Hemisphere GPS' popular M3 guidance system — the most widely used GPS guidance system in aerial application. It compliments Hemisphere GPS' high-end IntelliStar system and the entry-level LiteStar II system to give customers a full range of guidance product choices in aerial application.

Using Hemisphere GPS' AirTrac software and a moving map display, Satloc Bantam is ideal for row crop spraying, forestry, and fire fighting. The benefits of this system are further enhanced by interfacing it with a flow control system such as Hemisphere GPS' IntelliFlow or by connecting to Hemisphere GPS' new HQ asset tracking system. The Satloc Bantam offers the affordability and advanced feature sets that the market needs, and Hemisphere GPS adds the quality and service network that the industry requires.

"As the leader in aerial application guidance and control products, the low-cost yet powerful Bantam guidance solution is a perfect fit to our product line, especially in global markets such as South America and Australia where tough economies have forced users to purchase lower-priced guidance systems," says Greg Guyette, director of sales and marketing, Air Products at Hemisphere GPS. "Aerial application customers will appreciate the simplicity and light form factor of this product, which offers the high-end features that have become essential in today's working environment."

Satloc Bantam is lightweight and quick to install, making it a good choice for equipping helicopters and all modern agricultural airplanes, such as the Ipanema, the alcohol-powered aircraft from Brazilian manufacturer Embraer. Customers can choose between various screen and lightbar options. The lightest configuration allows for a 1.7lb (.77kg) touchscreen, a 2.5lb (1.13kg) lightbar and a 4.1lb (1.86kg) CPU with integrated Crescent GPS, and takes up very little room in an aircraft.

Hemisphere GPS also introduced background maps, the first software mapping application for use in the aerial application market. The IntelliStar aerial application guidance system with background maps enhances flight navigation and confidence by allowing aerial applicators to view their current flight information such as spray lines, waypoints, and polygons overlaid on pre-existing maps.

For improved navigation, safety, and efficiency, Hemisphere GPS customers can access street map files or sectional charts in either 2-D or 3-D mode and can load them together to view as sequential background map pages on IntelliStar. Street maps are similar to automobile navigation systems while sectional charts have topographic information consisting of contour lines, shaded relief, a selection of visual checkpoints and landmarks, and such aeronautical information as visual and radio aids, controlled air space, and special-use airspace.

"Hemisphere GPS is dedicated to providing our aerial application pilots with the most beneficial applications possible," said Greg Guyette, director of sales and marketing, Air Products at Hemisphere GPS. "Being first to the market with a background map feature is an important milestone that will improve the overall efficiency and safety of aerial application."

The street maps are based on OpenStreetMap collaborative wiki mapping technology. Customers can visit OpenStreetMap.org to improve and update maps of anywhere in the world. For example, customers can record windmills and power lines or identify obstacles and potential exclusion areas and enter them all within the OpenStreetMap Web site. They can then download updated maps containing this new information into IntelliStar.

Since OpenStreetMap is a collaborative environment, as more users add detail to the maps, more complete data is available for use.

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