ATU (Additional Telemetry Unit) data reported from the aircraft that you operate can be an invaluable resource for your business, whether using it to meet Aerial Firefighting Agency requirements or not.


What is an ATU ?

Additional Telemetry Units (ATU) work by connecting to various aircraft sensors such as oil pressure switches, squat switches and load cells to detect and report events that happen in real-time on fixed-wing and helicopters alike. Typically these events are sent in real time via a satellite or cellular network.

Who requires that data reported by an ATU?

The advent of ATUs has been driven largely by the contract requirements of aerial firefighting agencies, such as the US Forestry Service and Australia’s National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC). These agencies contract aviation assets to deploy them in firefighting operations. Typically the contracts issued by these agencies require ATUs to be fitted and report certain events in real time. This data allows them to make strategic decisions in deploying those assets.

Our ATU device is called the AFDAU (Aerial Firefighting Data Acquisition Unit) and provides compliant event reports for NAFC, U.S Forestry Service as well as the Chilean agency CONAF.

How can the AFDAU benefit my business?

AMS created the AFDAU-T1 to deploy an advanced algorithm that monitors and reports accurate aircraft operational events that organisations can leverage for asset management and use to get operational insights into their fleet.


The AFDAU reports an array of events that can be used to determine engine operation times, flight times as well as various firefighting and hook load events.

Job Duration Events

  • Engine On/Off
  • Takeoff/Landing
  • Hook Load to Unload Time
  • Lift Job Turn Times

This event data can be used to assist in billing and job cost generation for customers and for cross checking pilot flight returns.

Asset Utilization

With every engine on and off, flight and load recorded, a very accurate picture of asset utilisation can be drawn. This assists organizations in understanding the true value an asset brings to aerial firefighting or lift jobs.

Firefighting Events

  • Fill (Bucket/Tank)
  • Drop Start
  • Drop Stop
  • Pump On/Off
  • Volume (Fill/Drop)

Load Events

  • Lift Weight Total
  • Lift Weight Average
  • Hook Release



Training & Debrief

Reviewing historical data, after the heat of the operation, allows for all involved to debrief and understand where improvements can be made, or what worked well and why.

Each recorded event contains additional metadata for understanding the context around events:

Event Data Tags

  • GPS Location
  • GPS Telemetry (Speed, course, alt)
  • Date/Time

If you would like to understand further how the AFDAU product can help your business get in touch with our team via