Pima County unveils new Cessna 208 equipped with the Rhotheta RT- 600-L and smartDF App

Pima County (AZ) Sheriff’s Department Air Operations Unit has officially introduced one of two new Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft, the first one is already operational while the second one is expected to be completed by the end of 2021, according to Chief Pilot Chris Janes. The new aircraft is a “night and day” difference from the older aircraft that PCSD used, said pilot Scott Hofmann, who has flown in both the older 1999 Cessna aircraft as well as the new Cessna 208 Caravan.

The Cessna 208 Caravan is larger, includes a high-resolution camera, can stay in the air longer, can fly higher, and is easier to maintain, said Janes. The older aircraft, 1999 Cessnas, were grounded more often due to parts not being easily available. We would have to take parts from one plane to fix the other, said Janes. The cost of the project, which includes two aircraft, three cameras, and all the interior units and design, came to a total of $7.7 million. In addition to introducing the Cessna 208 Caravan during the ceremony, the PCSD also honored one of the pilots, Harold Shoemaker, from the original PCSD’s Aero Squadron. Harold Shoemaker’s son Keith Shoemaker attended the event and donated the badge his father wore in the 1950s when he was a volunteer using his plane to fly search and rescue and other missions for the agency.

PCSD has equipped these new aircraft with the Rhotheta RT-600-A airborne radio direction finder and the Rhotheta smartDF iPadOS application.

About the Rhotheta RT-600-L

The RT-600-L is an essential mission tool that enhances the operational capabilities of TX DPS – as it does for other law enforcement agencies – allowing them to efficiently track, locate and rescue personnel – or recover assets – in the harshest conditions.

The RT-600-L is an advanced Doppler wideband DF designed for airborne platforms and capable of indicating the direction (or bearing) to an emitter or beacon transmitting on VHF-UHF frequencies. Its operational bands include Air AM band, Marine FM band, LoJack™, ETS™, and Cospas-Sarsat™ 406 MHz frequencies (channels). The RT-600-L conveniently displays signal & squelch levels, operating band & frequency, live and averaged bearing (LOB) values, beacon ID & lat-long location.

The RT-600-L is compact, lightweight, and rugged, and features a short bearing-calculation time due to a high electronic rotation frequency . The RT-600 series is relied upon by the US Air Force AUX-Civil Air Patrol for 20+ years and by law enforcement agencies for over a decade.

About the Rhotheta smartDF

smartDF is an iPadOS application designed for remote monitoring the Rhotheta RT-600 airborne DF over a Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) link. The App is compatible with both RT-600-A and RT-600-L models. smartDF relies on the iPad’s built-in GPS/GNSS, compass, and accelerometer sensors. All information obtained from the DF is conveniently displayed over maps with state-of-the-art graphics and an intuitive user interface.

About Rhotheta International

Rhotheta International Inc (RHI), Ft Lauderdale FL is an international distributor and factory-authorized service center for all Rhotheta RDFs. Its mission includes support for DF system integration, installation, and operation to dealers, OEMs, integrators, completion centers, and operators of search-and-rescue (SAR), air traffic control (ATC), vessel traffic service (VTS), law enforcement, and special mission operations worldwide. With a focus on competitive price-performance ratios, short lead times, fast service turnaround time, and personalized product support. RHI actively participates in programs to enhance operations and situational awareness for organizations such as USAF AUX-Civil Air Patrol, US Coast Guard, Canadian Coast Guard, and public safety agencies.

For more information, visit https://rhothetaint.com/ and https://rhothetaint.com/airborne/

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