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The Pilot-Controlled Automated AWOS and Advisory System

We've affectionately named this schnazzy new, pilot-controlled, Automated Unicom and AWOS system a SUPERAWOS.  In response to pilots’ most commonly asked questions, here's a brief description of your airport’s SUPERAWOS® capabilities:

Traditional AWOS SuperAWOS
INSTANT real-time Winds No Yes
Crosswind Warning No Yes
Windshear Warning No Yes
Runway Change Warning No Yes
Ground Fog Warning No Yes
Freezing Warning No Yes
High Density Altitude No Yes
Traffic Advisory No Yes
Runway Advisory No Yes
Pilot Radio Services Radio Check No Yes
Density Altitude Warning No Yes
Pilot Greeting Greets Inbound Pilots No Yes
Instructions on Unicom No Yes
NWS Ceiling Measured Spot Laser
Accurate, for that spot
General Area
Not Required For Flight Operations
NWS Temperature FAA Certified NIST Certified
NWS Dewpoint FAA Certified NIST Certified
NWS 2 Minute Average Wind FAA Certified NIST Certified
Remote Access Telephone Yes Yes
 Internet Yes Yes
NADIN (FSS) Yes, In Final Test! Yes, In Final Test!
Instrument Flight Rules
Commercial Flight Ops (Part 135+) ALTIMETER & VISIBILITY
Private Flight Ops (Part 91) ALTIMETER
Visual Flight Rules
Private & Commercial (Part 91 & 135) PILOT'S DISCRETION


SPEAKS WITH A CLEAR, NATURAL VOICE - The system composes its messages from digitally recorded human speech, with totally natural pauses.  The voice and behavior is so human pilots often think it's alive.

NEVER TIES UP THE UNICOM FREQUENCY - The system continually adapts its behavior to what is happening on the frequency, intelligently changing what it will say and when according to how the unicom frequency is being used by other pilots; including at other nearby airports.  With absolute consistency, it’s always polite.

SHARES THE AIRPORT FREQUENCY YOU NEED TO BE MONITORING - The system gives you the information you need where you need it, on unicom, where you need to be listening for other nearby traffic.

APPROVED BY FCC AND FAA The FAA and the FCC have licensed and approved the SUPERAWOS® to operate on any airport’s unicom because of its proven intelligent, adaptive, well-mannered behavior on any busy frequency; its logical sensor location, and proven track record of improving airport safety and services.  The SUPERAWOSâ patented technology is the only system that has undergone this review and meets these new standards.   Our selective FAA approvals of altimeter and visibility meet all your flight requirements, for all private and commercial flight operations.

INTELLIGENTLY ADAPTS TO FREQUENCY CONGESTION  As the unicom frequency gets busier, it becomes essential to reduce the non-essential information from tying up the unicom.  For example, there is no point in telling pilots it's a pleasant 73 degree sunny day, when that's obvious.  As Density Altitude, or Visibility, or freezing temperatures, or any other parameter starts to become OPERATIONALLY important to given current conditions, that information is added back into the transmission, always adapted to ever-changing frequency congestion.  For example, when the unicom frequency is extremely busy, as time permits, the system will either remain silent; reply only with “Please stand by” and wait for the frequency to clear before giving an advisory; or just give you the basic wind and altimeter.  As the frequency becomes less busy the system determines that more time is available to give more information; but even then, only if the information is important for the current conditions.  For example, there is no point in tying up the unicom frequency on a sunny weekend afternoon with temperature and dew-point information, until they are close together and ground-fog becomes a concern.  Similarly, density altitude is given only when it is higher than usual for the airfield, or becomes critical to takeoff performance; and NOTAMs are given only when the unicom frequency is quiet enough to allow for this typically longer message.


REAL-TIME WIND FOR FLIGHT OPERATIONS  Traditional AWOS wind algorithms are a mathematical average of past conditions, designed for NWS meteorological modeling.  Over unicom, SUPERAWOS wind is more like a talking windsock; you get the wind conditions you actually need for flight operations.  The system also provides crosswind and wind-shear warnings, capabilities no traditional AWOS can provide using standard NWS algorithms.  Only the wind sent remotely uses traditional NWS algortihms, which are more appropriate for flight planning than flight operations.

Sensors are Located in the Runway Environment Right on the Windsock Pole The SUPERAWOS® is a totally self-contained system with its own sensors, typically co-located right at your airport’s windsock “within the runway environment.” The SUPERAWOS®‘s sensors and unique algorithms will always give you the most current and realistic runway conditions for real-world flight operations.

APPROVED ALTIMETER & VISIBILITY UNLOCKS ALL PRIVATE & COMMERCIAL IFR FLIGHT OPERATIONS  The only requirements for all IFR operations are local altimeter, and for commercial operations visibility above minimums for the IFR approach in use.  The SuperAWOS provides all the other information you might need, including temperature, dewpoint and wind, but they are 'ADVISORY,' just like your airport's windsock.When The Unicom Frequency Is Jammed with Traffic When the airport’s unicom/CTAF frequency is simply too busy the SUPERAWOS® intelligently recognizes that its Advisory and Greeting message features are unnecessary and suppresses them.  The system continues to give Radio-Checks, but if a pilot unnecessarily triggers an Advisory the system only responds with “Please Stand By,” automatically locking itself out until the frequency clears a bit, giving the delayed Advisory, then resuming normal operation.

Aware of Frequency Congestion The system listens to and records the date, time and length of all transmissions on the unicom frequency.  Using this information, the system adapts its behavior appropriate to how the frequency is being used by others.  This record also allows us to see how our system is being used and to continue to refine its adaptive behavior.

Always Listens Before Transmitting The system always listens to the frequency before it transmits.  The system will transmit only if the frequency is already clear; if it has something to say it will wait until the other person finishes.  If only everyone on unicom were so polite!

Low Power Transmission Allows Other Aircraft to be Heard The system uses a low power transmitter so that aircraft transmissions can normally be heard right over it. Nonetheless, the inverse square law applies:  If you are on the ground right next to the system its low power transmitter will overpower the signal from a 25 watt transmitter located 20 miles away.

If you are ten miles out at 1,000 ft and the frequency is jammed by other aircraft you will not be able to hear the system’s transmissions over the transmissions of other air traffic: Wait until you get closer to the airport before you activate or use the system!

Always Powered and Always Available 24 Hours a Day The system is powered by its own internal battery; which in turn only needs a few hours a day of standard 110 VAC to fully recharge for the next day's operation.  Thus, the system can recharge itself off of the airport's night-time windsock circuit, runway lighting circuit, or any other handy continuous or intermittent standard 110 VAC source.   The SUPERAWOS®  is always available to answer any pilots’ requests, anytime of day or night.

Your Comments & Suggestions Make the System Better We'll look forward to your comments, both good and bad. Your comments help make the SUPERAWOS® even better for everyone!

Email your comments and suggestions directly to us at  bigcheese@SUPERAWOS.com

Thank You,

David Wartofsky – Big Cheese
Potomac Aviation Technology Corp.    (800) 207 8999

Limited Capabilities of Traditional AWOS Systems