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The AK350 Altitude Reporter otherwise called as altitude encoder is
connected to the aircraft pneumatic static system and the output is given
to KT-70, ATC Transponder. The altitude encoder converts those analog
values of Pressure into specialized Gillham codes (digital codes) which
are transmitted to the transponder which further converts those codes
into meaningful Altitudes. Gillham code is a digital code using elevenwire interface that is used to transmit uncorrected barometric altitude
between an altimeter and a transponder.
The Gillham codes application is in the transmission of height
information from an altitude encoder to a secondry survelliance radar
(SSR) transponder/ATC. It is possible to decode the Gillham code and
make it to use for displaying the altitude in a readable format. The
Gillham code is an unusual mix of codes. It is a parallel binary code that
uses a Gray code to ensure that there are not multiple bit changes
between adjacent altitudes. The Gillham code can be detected using
various methods. Standard techniques use hardware or software
It was observed that the altitude encoder height information and the aircraft
altitude indicator often get misaligned and hence requires frequent calibration
of altitude encoder. The calibration in turn becomes cumbersome for the
maintenance personnel as there is no kit available for calibrating the altitude
The calibration till date is being performed by adjusting and
comparing till the altitude encoder gets matched with the aircraft altitude
indicator. To overcome the maintenance issue pertaining to the calibration of
altitude encoder, a prototype altitude encoder calibration tester is proposed.
The calibration tester will be using a PCB based hardware kit with a Arduino
based microcontroller which contains 8-bit microcontroller in conjunction with

a liquid crystal display. The microcontroller will be embedded with a C

program which converts the Gillham code to corresponding altitude
information. This altitude information in turn will be displayed to the LCD.

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on
flexible, easy to use hardware and software. It consists of Atmega
microcontroller (AVR chip) which can sense the environment by
receiving input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surroundings
by controlling light, motors, and other actuators.
The basic approach of this project is to:
Firstly take the input from the altitude encoder to the Arduino
development board.
Secondly with the Arduino software the codes and to be converted in to
Thirdly the values are to be displayed on to the LCD screen


Liquid Crystal Display
Arduino Atmega 328p
Arduino software