Inverted Flight Mode: Comply with airline regulations when tracking parcels

Patent Pending: Inverted Flight Mode. 

Do you want to be able to track your parcels during transport, while complying with airline regulations? Then you cannot just use any tracking device to do so. Airlines state that electronic devices should not interfere with airplane electronics and radio systems. If airplane mode is not properly implemented, or not enabled correctly, devices might still send messages when they are on board the airplane. This could jeopardize safety due to a risk that the messages that are sent by the tracking devices interfere with the onboard equipment. But how can we track parcels and assets, while complying with the rules? At SODAQ, we found the answer to this question: our patent pending Inverted Flight Mode. 

In the current situation, when complying with airline regulations, a tracking device that is always switched on, must have a method to switch off when on board of an airplane. SODAQ’s founder and Senior Solution Architect Jan Willem Smeenk: “With the Inverted Flight Mode, we turned this process around. We don’t switch off the radio when we are in flight, because our radio is off by default. Our Inverted Flight Mode simply doesn’t allow the radio to be switched on when in flight. The mechanism that we use can be seen as an ‘on the ground’ mode instead of a flight mode. Before sending data, our technology is checking whether the asset is standstill on the ground. If the conclusion is that it is not, no message will be sent. Only when determined that the parcel with the tracking device is standing still on the ground, data will be sent. Because a plane never stops during a flight, we can make sure that the tracking devices will not send any messages when flying.”

Flight mode v1.1-05
Explanation of the patent pending solution Inverted Flight Mode

How does Inverted Flight Mode work? 
Inverted Flight Mode comprises a radio element and a mechanical movement sensor with a low-power management circuit. The radio element is inactive by default. The movement sensor is used to detect if the device is in a complete standstill. Only when the movement sensor positively acknowledges this standstill, the radio element may be activated. In a rare case of a broken movement sensor, the radio element will never be activated again. 

Tracking devices with the Inverted Flight Mode can be attached to a parcel that will be sent via air transportation. In use, the radio element is kept inactive for most of the time. The management circuit checks for standstill for a short duration. This happens on a set frequency, for example every hour. If standstill is acknowledged, the radio element is activated to send an update. Switching on, sending the update, and switching off, only takes a very short amount of time. If movement is detected, standstill cannot be acknowledged, so it will wait for a set time before checking again.

"Only when determined that the parcel with the tracking device is standing still on the ground, data will be sent. Because a plane never stops during a flight, we can make sure that the tracking devices will not send any messages when flying.”

A low-power solution 
SODAQ’s tracking devices are always low-power, therefore the Inverted Flight Mode is a solution with low power consumption. Devices with the Inverted Flight Mode are both cost efficient and energy efficient and have a lifetime of several years, making them reusable for many shipments. This contributes to our mission of creating world-friendly IoT solutions.

Track your air parcels with SODAQ 
Inverted Flight Mode is implemented in several of our tracking devices, such as the SODAQ TRACK products. When using these devices, the Inverted Flight Mode can be switched on or off. To learn more about the possibilities of the Inverted Flight Mode for your organization, get in touch today at  

Closed Loop Management

Reduce risk and loss and boost supply chain performance with real-time visibility. Integrate the SODAQ TRACK Stealth into reusable small containers and boxes moving through your closed loop supply chain, providing you with control over moving assets.

For who?

Organizations with closed-loop supply chains looking to increase transparency and streamline the flow of assets throughout both their own and customer facilities.

  • Create a connected, transparent supply chain that delivers real-time visibility at every stage.

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Using the TRACK Stealth allows you to monitor the temperature, motion and location of reusable supply chain assets. The Stealth is powered by a rechargeable supercapacitor which allows for an endless number of charging cycles and is able to power the device for up to 3 months.