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Author's profile photo Hans Peukert

Launching my 1953 ex USAF Piper Cub on Internet of Things with HCP in 5 minutes – don’t wait – just innovate …

1_My_CUB - Copy.jpg

Do either of these disparate yet similar scenarios ring a bell?

  • Aircraft missing/ down, a lot of speculation in the news, or
  • Inability to track the status/ performance  of any crucial equipment or track an important delivery

In both cases, IoT could be the solution. As sensor prices fall, technology is already plug-and-play and the HANA Cloud  Platform can provide any type of rule-based alerts based on sensor streams. Two of my passions are aviation and the latest technology trends. Remarkably, it only took me 5 minutes to upgrade my 1953 ex-military Piper Cub with an inflight sensor package in order to provide live data about the flight, with rule-based alerts to my iPhone or indeed any mobile device.

All I needed was a TI sensor tag bought online from Amazon for a few bucks. The matchbox size Multi-Standard Sensor Tag IMG_3174_a.jpg

was then easily connected to my iPad. The whole implementation was plug-and-play and after downloading an app, it established a Bluetooth connection with the sensor and the HANA Cloud Platform (HCP).

The HCP provides the capability to consume any amount of streamed sensor data while triggering any actions based on implemented rules. For example, using simple Java coding I defined two rules on the HCP to trigger an alert when “exceeding” parameters during flight.

When I bought my Cub all the instruments were analogue except for one of the first GPS boxes with a large antenna. The first major transformation happened with the introduction of aviation applications for the iPad. I had used my digital flight bag on my iPad for quite some time, giving me full situational awareness during flight and helping to get rid of paper in the cockpit.

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I now use the digital flight bag in addition to the analog instruments, like compass, altitude, airspeed, … Recently I also upgraded my Cub with a satellite based SPOT system providing my flight track via SMS. I can also use it as Personal Emergency Locator Beacon. These are just examples on how quickly technology becomes available – and how easily it can be retrofitted. With the TI sensor now, when flying, I share in-flight live sensor data via the HANA Cloud Platform.

My Piper Cub now autonomously creates alerts based on live sensor data with easy to implement rules in the HCP to any device, e.g. unusual vibration, or a hard landing. My Cub is an example how anything can get a digital wrapper and thereby connect to anything.

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The screen shot shows the standard HCP dashboard on my iPad live, including  location of my plane, the local temperature, pressure, humidity, light, vibration, orientation of the plane / Box. You can also see two buttons for user specific input, e.g. Emergency / Hijacking / Loss of Communication (This I currently squawk via a transponder code, hoping that radar will pick it up). 

When exceeding any predefined limits of the sensor package my iPhone receives the SMS triggered by the rules in HCP.


The “Upgrade” of my Piper Cub with IoT Capability linked to HCP in 5 min is an example that the major building blocks for the digital transformation of defense forces are commercially available and are plug and play.

Defense organizations today can harness top technology trends to reimagine better ways of achieving desired operational outcomes through digitally responsive military capabilities. The SAP Whitepaper Digital Defense is already available outlining just these sort of scenarios.

My bet is that similar IoT scenarios will be mainstream soon, applying IoT to disparate use cases has become simple:

all the key ingredients are available …

  • Cloud Based In Memory Platform ( HCP )
  • Sensors are cheap, Plug & Play with HCP and IPHONE
  • iPad  / IPhone ( example for smart phone / tablet with GPS )

With these tools in place, the only limitation is your imagination … I see applicability in all areas of our daily life; be it public, defense, your home, or your hobby.

Finally, this is not the first time that my Piper Cub has received a digital wrapper. Several years ago, my Cub went social. I was surprised then that a historic plane could create such a buzz on Facebook with people following / commenting on the flights of a plane.

Let’s see what response there is to IoT?!

see also the Blog on Piper Cub goes blockchain: How to innovate on  blockchain … follow my ex-USAF 1953 Piper Cub

Always Happy Landings …

Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.


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      Author's profile photo Robert Raines
      Robert Raines

      Nice one Hans, now to automate and remote the Cub.