How Spidertracks’ Mark Button Makes Aviation Communication Simple and Reliable

December 3, 2018

Spidertracks prides itself on continually working to develop the most comprehensive, robust aviation communication system in the industry. Part of that is giving pilots and operators the ability to talk to each other even when the usual communication infrastructure isn’t available (such as when a pilot is flying through a remote region or when cellular coverage cuts out) — but another key aspect of building such a system is making communication as simple as possible.

Imagine you’re in a remote location where it’s not feasible for you to be in direct communication with your ground team. You see what or who you’re looking for, and you need a fast, reliable method to relay that information to the ground.

Or perhaps you’re simply looking for an easy way to communicate events that frequently or occasionally occur during flights, such as a short delay or a forced (but not urgent) landing due to a technical issue.

Enter the Mark button, a feature we built to make it as easy as possible for pilots to send messages from the cockpit. Mark Messages are preset communications that enable pilots to notify people on the ground (family, friends, an office, etc.) simply by pressing the Mark button on their Spider. These messages are customisable, efficient, and fully reliable thanks to satellite technology.

Here’s how it works and how to set them up:

You can set up to four different messages, each with a 50-character maximum, and you decide who each message should be sent to and whether it should be sent as an email or an SMS.

From the Flying page in your account, click Organisation Settings in the bottom left. Navigate to Manage, and then click Notifications in the left-side menu.

Once you’re here, you can customise your messages for each aircraft, or you can choose the Apply to All Aircraft button to keep things the same across the board. (If you don’t write your own messages, the functionality will send only a position report for each Mark.)

Once you’ve customised your messages, sending them simply requires pushing a button.

Press the Mark button once, and a position report will be sent to the website along with your message if you’ve chosen to write one. Once the report reaches our system, an email or SMS with the position and message will automatically be sent to your chosen contacts.

To send Mark 2, Mark 3, and Mark 4, press the button twice, three times, and four times, respectively.

Mark Messages are the simplest way for pilots to send quick communications from the cockpit to the ground. They’re applicable to many common aviation situations (such as needing to update contacts on progress over a journey), and they can also be used to support your organisation’s unique needs. Take a Spidertracks customer in Virunga National Park, for example, who use the Mark function to support their wildlife conservation efforts by sending position reports when they spot poachers or other intruders.

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