ADS-B Down Under
With a contract issued and the elimination of all en route radar set as a goal, Airservices Australia marches ahead in establishing a nationwide automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) system. The main advantage of establishing ADS-B surveillance in Australia would be a dramatic cost reduction, Robert Brown, senior operations specialist with Airservices Australia, tells Avionics Magazine.
“ADS-B equipment is cheaper to purchase and cheaper maintenance-wise over radar,” says Brown. “Unlike radar, the ADS-B ground stations have no moving parts. We estimate we would save as much as $50 million a year by not replacing our old [secondary] radars. That represents about one-tenth the cost of radar over a 10-year period.”
Airservices Australia hopes to help the country’s 8,000 to 9,000 general aviation (GA) aircraft operators save money by seeking a low-cost airborne Mode S transponder for ADS-B. “We want the per-unit cost [of a transponder] to go down to $5,000 Australian [$3,550 U.S.],” says Brown. One local company may fit the bill; in mid-May Microair Avionics Pty Ltd., of Bundaberg, Queensland, submitted a low-cost system to Airservices Australia for evaluation.
Airservices Australia has contracted Thales to produce 56 ADS-B ground stations to be installed two-per-site at 28 locations. All ground stations are to be “up and running by December 2005,” says Brown. Thales also will integrate ADS-B into The Australian Advanced Air Traffic System (TAATS), an air traffic management system it also developed, which allowed the consolidation of Australia’s six flight information regions (FIRs) into two FIRs.
With 28 ground station sites, Airservices Australia will be able to provide countrywide ADS-B coverage at 30,000 feet and above. That will benefit the high-flying traffic; however, the agency also plans to increase ADS-B’s line-of-sight coverage for its lower-flying GA operators, as well as for the regional airlines, especially those with high-volume traffic, transporting gold miners in western Australia. (Australia’s regional carriers told Airservices Australia that they believe they would save several million dollars in fuel savings and crew time a year with ADS-B, according to Brown.)
Greater ADS-B coverage means more ground stations; however, Airservices Australia has yet to determine how many more will be needed. The agency also would like to consider installing ADS-B stations on offshore oil rigs in the East Timor Sea, to monitor the traffic over the country’s northern coast.
The ground stations currently ordered will be located at existing VHF stations. They will forward the identification and positioning data transmitted from aircraft to ATC centers via a ground link or, in remote areas, satellite link. The remotely located ADS-B stations also will be solar- powered.
Airservices Australia has a trial ADS-B ground station located in Bundaberg, which has been in use for two years. Controllers at the Brisbane area control center have been monitoring the ADS-B-equipped aircraft flying in the Queensland region. Australian controllers have been receiving ADS-B training that, Brown claims, “is simple…and much like radar.”
Korean Air has selected Connexion by Boeing as its service provider of high-speed Internet communications. The agreement calls for the first installation on the airline’s long-haul fleet of B747-400s and B777ERs in early 2005.
Meanwhile, Boeing and Lufthansa German Airlines have combined to be the first to offer passengers real-time, Wi-Fi-based, high-speed Internet on a commercial flight. This was initially offered on flight LH 452 from Munich to Los Angeles on May 17, 2004, by using the Connexion by Boeing service and Lufthansa’s FlyNet portal. So far, Connexion has been installed on five aircraft in Lufthansa’s long-haul fleet, but the airline has committed to outfit its remaining long-haul aircraft and offer connectivity on all extended routes from Munich and Frankfurt by 2006.
In addition, Connexion has selected ViaSat Inc., Carlsbad, Calif., to design, develop and initially produce 55 airborne broadband terminals for the business jet market. The data transceiver router server (DTRS) subsystem is part of an agreement between Connexion and Rockwell Collins to launch eXchange, Rockwell Collins’ mobile Internet access service for business jets. The timing of ViaSat’s DTRS deliveries makes it possible to begin installations for an eXchange service launch in 2005. Visit www.viasat.com and www.connexionbyboeing.com.
Ae270 Flight Control System
Honeywell’s KFC 325 three-axis flight control system (FCS) will be standard on Ibis Aerospace Ltd.’s Ae270 Spirit single-engine turboprop aircraft, starting in early 2005. FCS features include altitude hold, heading select, approach, back course, control wheel steering, indicated airspeed hold, and yaw damp. The system also provides digital calculations of such parameters as airspeed and altitude. Visit www.honeywell.com and www.ibisaerospace.com.
OEM Joint Venture
Four original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a support network for the Airbus A380 and component and maintenance services to operators of single-aisle and long-range Airbus aircraft. The MoU—signed in Toulouse, France, by Thales, Zodiac, Diehl Avionik Systeme, and Liebherr-Aerospace, acting through IN-Services—paves the way for a joint venture that may include future OEM partners. Called OEM Services, the joint venture is expected to be set up this year. Visit www.thalesgroup.com.
Lockheed Martin Transportation & Security Solutions (LMTSS) has awarded Barco a $30-million contract for the delivery of ISIS 28-inch main displays, PVS6000/PVS6600 graphics cards and TELLAR recording, archiving and playback software. These products will replace and upgrade the graphics capabilities of 20 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air route traffic control centers (ARTCCs) in the United States, which represent more than 3,000 data and radar positions. They also will be used to replace the current National Airspace System (NAS) software and add the ability to support free flight, air traffic services and information security. Deliveries of Barco’s products will begin this year and finish in 2007. Visit www.barco.com.
In order to support its Airshow 4000 and other future cabin systems, Rockwell Collins has opened a Member Services Center (MSC) in Tustin, Calif. The MSC operates a computing infrastructure that provides several cabin information feeds, including CNN, BBC, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, SportsTicker and Intellicast Weather. In addition, the center boasts a support staff that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. MSC currently is supplying more than 1,000 business jets, as well as a major airline, with real-time news, sports, financials and weather information. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
OIT for Airbus A380
Sagem SA has contracted Barco to develop an onboard information terminal (OIT) for the Airbus A380. Flight crews will use the OIT as an electronic flight bag to consult maintenance manuals, security procedures, backup applications and other information. The OIT features a 12-inch (30.5-cm) active matrix liquid crystal display, a Pentium-class central processing unit, and an operator desk that includes custom-made keyboard, tracking ball and mouse. The A380, which will enter airline service in 2006, will feature an OIT on each side of its cockpit. The OIT is part of the Airbus’ network server system, developed by Sagem. Visit www.barco.com.
MP-RTIP Enters Phase 2
Northrop Grumman will develop, integrate and test a second-generation ground moving target indicator (GMTI) radar under an $888-million U.S. Air Force contract. The award signals the beginning of Phase 2 of the Multiplatform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP). Expected to improve the ability to track and identify stationary and moving vehicles, as well as low-flying cruise missiles, the modular, active, electronically scanned array radar is to be deployed on the service’s RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned air reconnaissance vehicle and the E-10A Multisensor Command and Control Aircraft (MC2A). In addition to improved range, update rate, resolution and accuracy, the MP-RTIP—with automatic target recognition software—promises to allow operators to classify targets by length, and in some cases, by type—e.g., tanks, missile launchers and civilian buses. During Phase 2, the company will manufacture six MP-RTIPs: three for Global Hawk and three for the E-10A. Flight-testing on the first Global Hawk development unit is expected in 2006. Visit www.northopgrumman.com.
First BizJet to Use FANS
On May 24 a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) became the first bizjet to complete a North Atlantic flight using future air navigation system (FANS) gear. The nonstop flight from Gary, Ind., to Geneva, Switzerland, was part of a trial being conducted by the FANS Central Monitoring Agency (FCMA) to test traffic over the North Atlantic. Previously used only on commercial aircraft, FANS automatically provides air traffic controllers with real-time aircraft position data and clearance requests for in-flight changes. Presenting text messages on the flight deck computer screens, FANS reduces the voice conversations between pilots and controllers by using oceanic air traffic control satellites and VHF radio data link networks. Visit www.boeing.com.
SafTGlo on Aloha Airlines
The UK’s STG Aerospace was selected to provide Aloha Airlines with its unpowered, emergency lighting system, called SafTGlo. The company will replace the existing electrical lighting systems on the carrier’s fleet of 11 Boeing 737-700s. Visit www.stgaerospace.com.
BA Adopts eOffload
Rockwell Collins, along with Innovative Media Solutions, Anaheim, Calif., will provide its eOffload service to British Airways. eOffload is an Internet-based service that manages in-flight entertainment (IFE) use and information. It is supported by Rockwell Collins’ enCompass IFE service and provides data on passenger use of broadcast and on-demand audio and video, as well as game usage and passenger survey data. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
Regionals Choose TAWS/RMI
Three regional airlines have selected Sandel Avionics’ newly certified ST3400 terrain avoidance warning system and radio magnetic indicator (TAWS/RMI) for the Beech 1900. Installations for Air Midwest (part of the Mesa Air Group, Phoenix), Great Lakes Airlines, Cheyenne, Wyo., and Skyway Airlines, Milwaukee, will bring the total number of Beech 1900 installations to more than 100. The ST3400 is a 3-ATI-sized drop-in instrument that, in addition to its TAWS and RMI functions, can display terrain maps, topographical maps, nav waypoint maps and traffic alert collision avoidance data. Visit www.sandel.com
The Federal Aviation Administration granted type certification to Cessna’s 680 Citation Sovereign on June 2, marking the fourth new aircraft to be equipped with Honeywell’s Primus Epic integrated avionics. The Sovereign cockpit includes four 8-by-10-inch, portrait-format, liquid crystal displays, as well as digital radios, flight management system and autopilot. The aircraft is approved to operate at reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM). Primus Epic has been certified in the Falcon 900EX EASy, Embraer 170, and in the Gulfstream 550 as the PlaneView cockpit. It is expected to be approved this year in the Gulfstream 450, Falcon 2000EX EASy and Agusta-Bell AB-139. Visit www.honeywell.com.
EW for Turkish F-16s
BAE Systems will provide integrated electronic self-protection systems for Turkish Air Force F-16s. An integrated product team, including experts from BAE Systems and MiKES Inc. (a Turkish defense industry enterprise), will design and develop hardware and software for the AN/ALQ-178 (V)5+ electronic warfare (EW) systems for Turkey’s “Block 50” version of its Fighting Falcons. MiKES will be responsible for the production of 60 EW systems in Turkey. Visit www.iews.na.bae-systems.com.
Integrating Mine Countermeasures
The U.S. Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a $9-million contract to integrate five airborne mine countermeasure systems for its MH-60S helicopters. Along with Sikorsky Aircraft, Lockheed Martin will integrate: towed sonar with a mine identification system (AN/AQS-20A), airborne laser mine detection system (ALMDS), airborne mine neutralization system (AMNS), rapid airborne mine clearance system (RAMICS), and organic airborne and surface influence sweep (OASIS). Key to the systems’ integration are changes to the cockpit avionics and installation of a common console, being developed by Lockheed Martin, that will allow for centralized systems operation. Visit www.lockheedmartin.com.
Network Centric Market
The U.S. employment of network centric warfare techniques in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere worldwide is driving demand for command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) technology and equipment. According to Forecast International’s annual C4I Market Overview, market revenues will reach nearly $84 billion between 2004 and 2013. Demand will be strong at the beginning of the period, reaching $9.06 billion in 2004. The market forecaster anticipates sales of $8.93 billion in 2007, $8.71 billion in 2008, and $8.88 billion in 2010, tapering off to $6.99 billion in 2013, as research and development activity declines. Over the forecast period, C4I market leaders will be:
Raytheon ($10.32 billion, or 12.3 percent);
General Dynamics ($5.63 billion, or 6.7 percent);
Lockheed Martin ($5.2 billion, or 6.2 percent);
Boeing ($3.36 billion, or 4.0 percent); and
Northrop Grumman ($3.04 billion, or 3.6 percent).
B7E7 Fire Protection
Boeing recently selected Kidde Technologies, Wilson, N.C., to provide fire protection systems for its new B7E7 Dreamliner. The systems will provide fire detection and extinguishing for the 7E7’s engines, auxiliary power system and cargo holds. The system-controlling software will be housed in the B7E7’s common core processor. Kidde estimates the value of the deal at nearly $250 million over the next 20 years. Visit www.kiddeaerospace.com.
Helo with Synthetic Vision
A helicopter that is primarily used for search and rescue (SAR) missions has been equipped with a synthetic vision, electronic flight instrument system (EFIS). Skaggs Aviation, Salt Lake City, selected the Chelton Flight Systems EFIS with synthetic vision to serve as the primary instrument system in a Eurocopter AS-355N, which is used by the Salt Lake County and Summit County sheriffs departments in Utah. Hillsboro Aviation Inc., Hillsboro, Ore., is installing the system, which is to “reduce instrument scanning and pilot fatigue,” as well as help pilots “see” aircraft position in relation to its surroundings during SAR missions in darkness and weather, according to a Hillsboro release. Visit www.hillsboroaviation.com and www.cheltonflightsystems.com.
Five airlines that operate Fokker 50s have ordered new avionics from Universal Avionics Systems Corp. (UASC). Forty-seven aircraft in their fleets will be fitted with UASC’s terrain awareness warning system (TAWS), which received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) supplemental type certificate (STC) approval on the Fokker 50 twin turboprop in early 2004. Some aircraft also will be equipped with Universal’s UNS-1L flight management system with GPS, which complies with Eurocontrol’s precision area navigation (P-RNAV) requirements. The five airlines are Skyways Express AB, Sweden; Air Baltic, Latvia; SAS Commuter of Scandinavia; Denimair, the Netherlands; and Air Iceland.
In other news, UASC recently received FAA technical standard order (TSO) C-113 authorization for its radio control unit (RCU). Including a display and bezel-mounted controls, the RCU allows pilots to preset up to 12 frequencies, and it provides rapid access to com frequency 121.50 or air traffic control (ATC) code 7700. Visit www.uasc.com.
EFW Equips F/A-18E/Fs
Boeing has awarded a contract to Fort Worth-based EFW Inc., a subsidiary of Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd., to develop, produce and support a control display system and multipurpose color display for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The contract, valued at more than $45 million, provides options for production units of up to 360 aircraft. EFW will provide form, fit, function and interface replacements of the existing aircraft configuration in support of the F/A-18E/F multiyear II program (MYPII), to take place from 2005 to 2009. Visit www.elbit.co.il.
Honeywell IFE in Gulfstream BizJets
Gulfstream Aerospace has chosen Honeywell’s AIS-1000 and AIS-2000 satellite television systems as the preferred installations for its bizjet completions. The AIS-1000 provides satellite television coverage throughout the continental United States; the AIS-2000 provides coverage in the U.S., Europe and Middle East. Each installation comes with subscription coordination through Honeywell’s OneView service.
Honeywell also has announced that Gulfstream’s completion center in Appleton, Wis., has finished the first installation of a Honeywell Ovation cabin system on a G550 business jet. Ovation includes entertainment and information systems, communications equipment and cabin controls. The aircraft also has a JetMap moving map system. The communications systems include the Honeywell/Thales MCS-7000 seven-channel satcom and an HS-700/702 high-speed data system. Visit www.honeywell.com.
Radstone’s New HQ
Radstone Technology recently moved into its new headquarters at the Tove Valley Business Park, Towcester, UK. The new building sits on a six-acre lot with 35,000 square feet (3,252 square meters) of office and laboratory space and a 40,000-square foot (3,716-square-meter) manufacturing facility. Visit www.radstone.com.
Site Acceptance of ATOP
The Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP) system, developed by Lockheed Martin, received its first site acceptance, at the Oakland en route and oceanic center in late April. The Federal Aviation Administration, which manages about 80 percent of world’s controlled oceanic airspace, expects site acceptance of the new oceanic air traffic control system in New York in September 2004 and in Anchorage, Alaska, in 2005. Visit www.lockheedmartin.com.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified Garmin International’s G1000 integrated avionics system on the Diamond DA42 Twin Star. This represents the first aircraft-level certification of the G1000 system. The DA42 cockpit is equipped with two 10.4-inch (3.5-cm) displays. Visit www.garmin.com.
GINS for the F/A-22
Northrop Grumman has received an about $9-million contract from Lockheed Martin to provide an additional 86 GPS-inertial navigation systems (GINS) plus spares for the U.S. Air Force’s F/A-22 Raptor. GINS provides pilots with aircraft attitude, heading, velocity and precise position. Visit www.northropgrumman.com.
ETCAS for C-130s
The U.S. Air Force selected Honeywell to supply its enhanced traffic collision avoidance system for 129 C-130H turboprop aircraft. The agreement calls for flight deck displays, identification-friend or foe (IFF) transponders, control panels and antennas. The C-130 program office at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., will coordinate all work, which is expected to be completed by mid-2005. Visit www.honeywell.com.