RB Logbook revolutionizes pilot logbooks with ACARS terminal scan

Would it be possible to snap a photo of your ACARS (OOOI) display in the cockpit of the airplane, and then have your times magically populate your logbook? This is the question that RB Group has asked itself and more specifically Tuan-Anh Nguyen from Avans University.

RB Logbook was released on the Pilot Expo in February this year, when air traffic was at its peak. The COVID crisis was still on the horizon. Nobody could have predicted what would follow. But luckily we were able to release our logbook just before this. When pilots will hit the skies again, they will have something to look out for!

Long have we kept this feature a secret. We believe it will revolutionize the way logbooks are kept.

How it works

The flow for populating the logbook with an ACARS photo is really easy. Its takes just a few steps:

  1. Open RB Logbook
  2. Navigate to new flight
  3. Hit the ‘scan’ icon
  4. Take a photo of your ACARS terminal
  5. Wait for the results to be processed
  6. Validate, correct if needed, and import
  7. Complete your flight
  8. You’re done!

Not only is this flow a quick and convenient way to log the required times, also the photo is kept with the entry in the logbook, adding to the validity and reliability of the data.

How it was made

Tuan-Anh started an internship at RB Group and from within the RB Logbook team, he researched and built the feature from scratch. He did an amazing job, that was also made possible by leveraging the knowledge available within RB Group about image and data processing. RB Group has obtained this through years of experience with interpreting countless variations of duty roster from airlines.

By using the mobile device’s camera feature, we can interface with the cockpit systems without actually connecting to them.

Tuan-Anh: “It was great working on this feature at RB Group. I worked with AWS, React, Laravel and Machine Learning to make it happen. Seeing it go live and data coming in, I learned a lot and was able to improve the performance even more.

After the feature became available, we already saw a large amount of photos uploaded from a lot of different aircraft. With each scan uploaded, we improve our algorithm, which is based on machine learning. So if an terminal is not immediately recognized, on subsequent uploads chances are increased.

Pilots taking a photo of their cockpit telemetry and by doing so, filling the logbook. It is not science fiction, but reality.

More info on RB Logbook

Check out our RB Logbook website to try ACARS-scan and for more information on RB Logbook.