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, twelve (12) CAL FIRE S-70i Firehawk aircraft will be equipped with the Axnes wireless intercom to improve crew safety,situational awareness, enhancing communications for mission efficiency.

The MP50 handsets used by CAL FIRE is housed in a waterproof, rugged aluminium case and includes a two-to-three-mile range and secure AES 256-bit secure encryption. Battery life of the MP50 handsets include 30 hours of standby time and up to 12 hours of continuous operation.

Axnes is proud to be the trusted partner for the wirelessintercom technology on the CAL FIRE Firehawk program,” said Brett Gardner, Vice President at Axnes Inc. “The PNG system brings unprecedented 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.”

The DO-160G (environmental-airborne) and DO-178C(software-airborne) qualified PNG WICS is integrated with the aircraft Becker Avionics DVC6100 digital intercom system, increasing mission capability and operational safety for the most challenging scenarios, particular during rescue hoist missions.

The PNG Control Panel CP50 can be seen in the middle left

Zach Boyce, Fire Captain and Training Cadre Member at CAL FIRE stated, “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. We were also attracted to their PNG product due to its unique adaptive noise and echo cancelling technology and its “hands-free” VOX capabilities, which are vital to enhancing our firefighting missions.”  

The PNG WICS system is designed for integration into any aircraft communications suite, or it can be deployed as a standalone portable system. PNG provides robust, reliable, clear, and secure, full-duplex communications to crew members who are either wired or wireless. 

October 4, 2021